Kid’s Health – Getting Sick WELL

This month we are all talking about Immune Systems and keeping families healthy this fall. Here is what I focus on as an Naturopathic Doctor experienced in health-care for kiddos, and a Mama. Little ones are going to get sick, it’s part of their environment and developing immune systems. The goal is to prevent them from getting infections too often, & when they do, to “GET SICK WELL”. This means to mount a strong immune response (runny nose, sneezing, fever in an appropriate range, etc.) & to use those symptoms as the body intends, which is to clear the infection quickly.

Use Nutrition to Bolster Immunity: An optimally functioning immune system requires nutritional building blocks including protein, good quality fats, proper hydration, and plenty of important vitamins and minerals. This is the fuel we are putting into our bodies, we can’t put junk in and expect our bodies to perform well. I know that feeding kids well and getting them to eat well are two totally different things! Kids can be picky & kids also often get more than just what their parents give them. It’s important to just do your best to create a list of meal-options that builds off of their favourite healthy foods. Some basic supplements can be used to make up for what might be missing. The ultimate goal is to increase nutrients and decrease battles… If you have a “picky-eater” in the family, we can help!

Specific to preventing & treating respiratory infections, I recommend avoiding refined sugar & dairy products as the latter encourages mucus production in the upper respiratory system, while sugar depresses immune function. This can lead to congestion in the chest, nose/sinuses and ears, leading to infection and a decreased ability to overcome it. These should also be avoided if you experience ‘seasonal allergies’ (Allergic Rhinitis).

Here are lots of great Recipes for keeping your family healthy!

Some Natural Health Products I consider for kids include our in-house tea blends like “Fever Tea” and “Cold & Flu Tea”, elderberry, echinacea, vitamin D, zinc, and probiotics – particularly if your child has received antibiotics in the past. Culinary herbs and food-boosters to include in the diet include ginger, tumeric, oregano, thyme, garlic, and bone broth (or Organika Bone Broth powder – available at The Root!)

A very underrated therapy… hygiene! Teaching kids to cough or sneeze into  a sleeve or tissue is important but add in to also – ‘go wash your hands!’ Wash hands before & after eating, before leaving school/daycare, when entering the house, etc. And keep repeating. Just because because I’ve told my little guy not to stand on the coffee table, doesn’t mean he listened, heard me, or remembers…. so I repeat! The same goes for the hand-washing lessons.This really minimizes their infections as well as spread through the family & community.

Address stress: Even little kids experience stress, their “stressors” just may look different from adult stressors. Sleep is an important part of managing stress, keeping the immune system healthy, and for optimal development. Teaching your child to manage stress from a young age is as important as tying shoelaces. Stress has a direct impact on the immune system. In fact, the nervous and immune systems are interconnected. If your child has trouble managing stress or sleeping… we can help!

More Posts