Friday, August 17, 2018

Healthy Kiddo Hacks: Boosting the Immune System

Benjamin Franklin said “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is SO true!

Image result for an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure

It’s that time of year. Back to school. Flu season will be here before we know it. (SHEW- it was BAAAADDD last year. Like epidemic levels.) My goal, like all the rest of the mamas, is to keep my boys as healthy as possible, so I wanted to share some of my favorite homeopathic/natural remedies for boosting their immune systems and keeping them well. (For the record, it’s not fool proof. My boys had a summer cold/cough last week. But I do believe this helps + shortens the length when they do come down with a little something.) I don’t think there are many things more heartbreaking than seeing your baby not feeling well, so I want us to help with that some if I can.

I also have an awesome FB group called “Health Mama/Healthy Kiddo Hacks” where all my mama & grandmother friends share their fave resources, ask questions, etc., and I’d love for you to join us there if you like. You can just click on that link & request to join.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I am not offering any medical advice/prescribing anything here. I am simply sharing what we choose to do for our boys to boost their immune systems. I do believe parents are the best advocates for their own children’s health, and I highly encourage parents to do their own research/consult with a doctor on each of these supplements to make the best possible decisions for their babies.

As promised, here is a list of our fave homeopathic and natural immune boosting secrets. (I included direct links to purchase.)

  • Probiotics. ALL of us, every single day. Over 80% of your immune system is housed in your gut, so gut health is VERY important. Your gut is often referred to as your “second brain” because so many aspects of your health (even mental health, which is astounding) is tied back to gut health. (P.S. Antibiotics destroy the gut. They kill ALL bacteria, both good + bad, so probiotics are especially important in maintaining gut health while on an antibiotic and/or rebuilding it after. And we personally try to use antibiotics as a LAST RESORT. I have three babies, 5 & under, and have only had one kiddo on an antibiotic ever.) For my older two boys, I use this FastMelt. They LOVE it & it dissolves right on their tongue. For my littles/infants (before they can handle a Fast Melt), I like Klare Labs & Garden of Life (although they were recently bought out so I’m on the look out for ingredients to change). I put it on my breast while breastfeeding, in a bottle if I pump one, and eventually use a clean finger to swab it in their mouth.

Probiotic FastMelt®

  • Vitamin D drops. I think vitamin D is one of the most underrated supplements there is, and people are totally missing the mark. (Most adults are deficient too. (Here is the calcium + D3 we take. One of the doctors on our sci/med board told me it’s important to take calcium, D3, and magnesium together for maximum absorption and they have taken care of that for us in this supplement. It’s a multi-faceted approach by incorporating all three in one. Aren’t you grateful for super smart people like them?) I give Jase 1000 IU, Kade 800, & Beau 400. I do this daily, with breakfast, year round. The liquid drops are easiest, and I start at around 6 months (even while breastfeeding). I like for them to get as much sunshine as possible when the weather is nice because our body stores it up and this helps us fight off infections during the winter months. (I don’t use much sunscreen for this reason unless we are going to be in direct sun for extended periods.) There is nothing better than the real deal vit D, but because most of us aren’t getting enough, we need to supplement. P.S. I’m not super picky about the brand, but do yourself a favor and get the kind with the dropper. It’s such a pain trying to get them to hold their mouth open long enough for the other kind. I’m finishing a bottle of this brand now and it has lasted forever!!

Vitamin D Drops for Infants - Liquid Vitamin D3 for Adults, Kids, Baby - 400iu Per Drop - 2oz 2140 doses

  • Citrizinc chews. These help support your immune system with these grab-and-go chews that offer a great source of vitamins C and D as well as zinc.* You do want to keep them put up though because the kids love them and think they’re candy. (We take these as well, especially when we’re traveling.)

AdvoCare® CitriZinc™

  • Bone broth. If you can’t get them to drink it by itself, cook with it. It’s best if you can make your own. It’s very easy. Just google how to do it.

Kettle & Fire Chicken Bone Broth - Organic, Collagen-rich Chicken Bone Broth,Pack of 2

  • Oscilliococinum is an awesome herbal remedy (my personal preference over Tamiflu) if someone DOES catch the flu. I’d stock up now because when flu season hits, you can’t get your hands on any. We have friends that used this + elderberry last year and the flu symptoms eased very quickly.

Boiron Oscillococcinum for Flu-like Symptoms Pellets, 30 Count/0.04 Oz each

  • Colloidal silver spray. I first heard about colloidal silver at a huge holistic health conference we attended a couple years ago. They sold me on it. You can give it daily as maintenance, and amp it up when they’re starting to come down with something. You just follow the directions (age/weight and desired outcome determines the # of sprays). You can get drops too, AND they have some for adults as well.

Sovereign Silver® For Kids Bio-Active Silver Hydrosol™ for Immune Support* - 2oz – Fine Mist Spray - Ultimate Refinement of Colloidal Silver - Safe*, Pure and Effective* - Premium Silver Supplement

  • Vitamin C. I first learned about orthomolecular vitamin C while watching the Healthy Child Summit with Dr. Saul. High-dose vitamin C is POWERFUL for healing! (Check out the site to read more about the benefits, how it works, etc.) Some people give it to the point of loose stools. I don’t do this, but I do give a pretty good amount if they’re coming down with something. I mix the powder in their Rehydrate because it’s a little bit bitter, so I can get them to drink it right up. (Please, for the love of all things, do not give your kiddos sugary sports drinks and fruit juices. Rehydrate has electrolytes AND 71% less sugar than Gatorade/Powerade. I water it down for them and they LOVE it!)You can order from HERE (yes, the kind matters!) and enter the code Butler10 for a 10% discount. Katie (the owner/chemist behind this incredible company) is a wealth of knowledge and super helpful. She has a dosing chart on her site. You can also order the gummy powder to make your own gummies with it.(Jonathan & I take C-Grams during “sick season” and amp it up if we feel like we’re coming down with something.

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  • Elderberry syrup. We give this daily during flu season and amp it up if they’re coming down with something. (Reminder: NO honey for any babies! Botulism is very REAL, and their digestive tracts aren’t formed well enough to be able to handle raw honey. They say once they’re over a year old it’s okay, but I’m very conservative and don’t do any honey under the age of 2 1/2. I also don’t use as much as the recipe calls for.) We buy our own organic elderberries and make our own (Wellness Mama’s recipe, or follow the recipe on the back), but you can find someone local who makes it or buy it pre-made too.

Viva Naturals Organic Elderberries, 1 lb Bag - The ULTIMATE Superfruit for Defense Syrups and Longevity Teas

  • V-100 Multivitamin Chews. If you’re looking for a multi, this is the kind I recommend. Tastes great & it’s an easy and delicious way to get a dose of 16 vitamins, minerals and nutrients.* This is also what I recommend for mamas who are having a hard time with their prenatals making them feel nauseas. PLEASE, do not skip taking a multi when pregnant!!

V100â„¢ Tropical Chews

  • Rehydrate. This is probably my soap box product. I feel like every single mom in America the world needs this on her counter. My kids do not drink Gatorade/Powerade/Vitamin Water/Crystal Light, NO fruit juice, & no sodas. I prefer for them not to have Lemonade either unless I make it. (Have you seen how much sugar is in lemonade? It’s NUTS!) I will occasionally let them have an Honest juice box for a special occasion, & I try to make their own lemonade at home if they want something different. They also drink almond milk, but other than that I only let them drink water and Rehydrate. They LOVE Rehydrate, and if you hear them ask for “juice,” this is to what they’re referring. No artificial colors (artificial colors make my boys cray & aren’t good for us), 71% less sugar than other sports drinks, contains electrolytes which are especially beneficial when it’s very hot and when they’re sick. Plus, it tastes great, so they’ll chug it right down. This is 100% (hands down)superior to ANY OTHER hydration product on the market. When littles are sick (or even when they’re well, but especially when they’re sick), hydration is SO SO IMPORTANT. It helps flush out all the nasty germs more quickly and helps aid in digestion. I am on a mission because I feel like most people NEED to be drinking this, daily. And unfortunately, many people have no idea how unhealthy & how much sugar is in other sports drinks. They are almost as bad as sodas in my opinion! I SO wish I had known about this growing up on the ball field and chugging wayyyy too much Gatorade (thinking I was being healthy). Even if you choose the sugar free version of those, they still have artificial colors & don’t contain the sequential carbs, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that Rehydrate contains. It’s in the same kind of container as Spark, but this is caffeine free of course (just to clarify- cuz my boys don’t need ANY extra energy in the form of caffeine! lol!). It comes in either stick packs or a canister and several yummy flavors. And you can get a discount on it if you want which makes it cheaper per serving than what you’d pay for a drink at the gas station. There are no monthly minimums, quotas, autoships, or selling anything. It’s like a Sam’s or Costco membership, and a one time $19.95 gets you a 20% – 30% discount for an entire year. You’ll see the discount applied in your shopping cart, and it’ll ship right to your door in 2-3 days. You can use your preferred customer account to order any of the AdvoCare products you want to save 20% – 30% off the listed retail price.

AdvoCare Rehydrate® CanisterImage result for rehydrate vs gatorade

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  • Juice Plus. I personally give the red + green chews daily and amp it up if they’re sick. Jonathan and I get all of our vitamins through AdvoCare, so we only get the kids gummies. We are just retail customers and I text our lady when we are running low. The boys love them. (And I hope you can at least sense my authenticity & tell I am genuinely have the best interest of our kiddos at heart.)
  • Limit sugar. Too much sugar at one time shuts the immune system down for 5 hours at a time. FIVE hours!! No wonder “flu season” shows up right after Halloween & Christmas and all the parties, treats, candy, and cookies. We are basically filling them with poison and shutting their immune systems down. (For the record, I’m not a total weirdo and my kids aren’t deprived. I haven’t totally found a solution for how to navigate this and I do let them have candy. I’d like for them to consume less sugar though.) We should shoot for LESS than 25 g a day.

Sugar recommendation in kids infographic

{image from here}

  • Make sure they get plenty of sleep. Sleep is when their bodies recover, their brain grows, etc. Not getting enough sleep weakens the immune system & hinders their ability to fight off viruses.

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{chart from here}

  • On Guard + Thieves (oils on the bottom of feet & diffuse). I use them interchangeably and like them both equally. I diffuse oils every single day & I love them as an alternative to toxic candles, scents, air fresheners, etc. I also uses Thieves hand sanitizer and clean our house with Thieves (I just ordered some Thieves oil, but before that I made my own with a recipe I found online.) Make sure you do your research to determine what is safe for littles (not everything is) & proper dilution. Also, I personally do not ingest or use neat. I know some people do, so you’ll want to come to your own decision on that. You can find your fave oils person to get hooked up.
  • Don’t wear shoes in the house. You track in all kinds of yucky germs from the outside. Easy peasy, just take them off at the door. I love cleaning our floors with Norwex items! (I love their cloths too. This is what I use to wipe down our counters, the baby’s high chair tray, etc.)
  • Nutrition. I try to help them eat real, whole foods as much as possible. Lots of fruits + veggies. Organic when you can. Avoid processed food, junk food, and fast food. I sneak in Superfoods when I can by making homemade smoothies, grain free muffins with Superfood blends, etc. I have some tips for these are in some previous blog posts, so feel free to scroll back through to take a look at those.
  • Homeopathic allergy relief. This is my preference over Claritin or other OTC drugs when it comes to allergy relief.

Genexa Homeopathic Allergy for Children: The Only Certified Organic Kids Allergy & Decongestant Medicine. Physician Formulated, Natural, Non-GMO Verified & Non-Drowsy (60 Chewable Tablets)

  • I am not one who is quick to go to the doctor. I avoid antibiotics at ALL COST unless 100% absolutely necessary. If we’re not careful, we can develop a resistance to antibiotics which would make them less effective in the future if we ever had a serious infection and REALLY needed it. Plus, antibiotics destroy your gut by killing the good bacteria (it has know way to differentiate between the good & bad guys, so just kills them all.) I have also found that it seems lots of antibiotic use leads to more sickly kiddos. When you don’t develop and immunity to something, you won’t be able to fight it off next time. Most things will run their course if you allow them, & you’ll want to use common sense/discernment here. I personally VERY RARELY use fever reducers anymore. Like, I can’t even remember the last time. Thankfully my boys haven’t had many fevers, but fevers are actually our bodies’ way of fighting something off. They are for our benefit. Our bodies heat up to kill whatever is trying to take us down. When we use a fever reducer, we are many times extending the life of the virus & interfering with the body’s natural ability to heal itself. Febrile seizures typically happen when fevers spike very rapidly, so definitely keep an eye out for that & reduce that fever! Also, I definitely encourage you to do some research on the topic for yourself. I recommend reading THIS BOOK (absolutely NO offense to doctors- so grateful for their knowledge! I wish it had a different title, but it is FULL of valuable info nonetheless) for a more comprehensive overview & explanation about this topic. Maybe check out this article about Tylenol raising risks of asthma. If you’re in need of a more natural fever reducer, I recommend this homeopathic option. 

Homeolab USA Kids Relief Pain & Fever

  • Wash hands often with non-toxic soap and warm water. I’m not a fan of antibacterial soap or hand sanitizer (endocrine disrupter), but if that’s all that’s out, it’s better than the alternative. Teach them to wash their hands OFTEN & how to do it the right way. (Tip: Teach them to sing their ABCs or the “Happy Birthday” song while scrubbing, then use the paper towel to open the door if in public.)

Image result for how to properly wash hands

The things I do daily (year round): probiotics, Rehydrate, vit D, Juice Plus gummies, omegas, wash hands, drink lots of clean water, aim to get enough sleep, clean with Thieves

The things I do during prevention season or when they’re coming down with something: elderberry syrup, Sovereign Silver, Citrizinc chews, vit C, diffuse Thieves/On Guard, use the roller balls, bone broth, multi

**I also love earth clinic to look up a collection of natural cures and remedies. Awesome resource to keep in your back pocket!

Sweet mama friends, I hope this is helpful for you. I know mommin’ ain’t easy, and we all want to do the very best by our children. Praying that if you’re reading this, the Lord blesses your children with a hedge of protection and thriving HEALTH in the upcoming year! Also praying He gives you wisdom as you navigate the BEST way to take care of your babies. I truly believe God has given you instincts to know how to best care for them, but I also know that when we know better, we DO better. Knowledge (applied) is power.

P.S. I’m always looking to learn! Anything else you use I need to know about??

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