Now that the kids are back in school, you might soon find they are bringing home a few new friends with them…
Germs for colds, flu, tummy bugs, and strep – these are not welcome new friends!
Of course, you don’t want your kids – or you – to get sick, requiring them to take off school and you to take off work in addition to everyone feeling awful. So today I’m going to give you tips to prevent all of these illnesses AND soothe them when they strike.
But it’s also worth pointing out that exposure to germs and infections, especially at a young age, actually seems to prime the immune system to be able to defeat threatening microbes like strep, candida, and other viruses and infections in the future.
Leading geneticists will tell you all of those germs they come into contact with at school and on the playground are excellent for your children’s immunity.
And if you think their little bodies are pristine, bacteria-free zones that enter the school building only to be treated to a barrage of germs, think again. Each of us has thousands of different species of bacteria inside and on our bodies. Estimates put the combined sum of all of those bacteria at a total of 3 to 5 pounds of our body weight!
In fact, did you know that you have 10x more bacteria in your gut, then you do cells in your body! And if you think THAT is crazy, you have 100x more VIRUS CELLS in your body, then you do human cells!
Yet, we have been programmed to FEAR the bugs! You know, I “caught” a cold…You can’t catch a cold (think about that – how does that really happen?). You “eat” the cold, and “think” the cold. In other words, it’s not about the bug, its about YOU!
While the bug may be the complicating factor to why you get sick, it’s NOT the cause. If it were the cause, we’d ALL be sick. In fact, we’d all be dead!
So what’s my point? Being healthy and preventing illness is about the TERRAIN. If a fish gets sick, we don’t treat the fish, we change the water, and you are no different. Lets keep you healthy, and if you are healthy, guess what…the sickness can’t take a foothold in your body!
My kids, ages 2 and 5, are living proof. Both adjusted minutes after they were born, and raised on a healthy plant-based alkaline diet, neither child has ever needed a single drug or antibiotic.
Now, they will get a sniffle here or there, and they NEED that to keep their immune systems strong and on defense, but we give them more of what they need to be healthy, to push whatever it was inside them, OUT!
So the best thing you can do as a parent – or anyone trying not to get sick – is to arm yourself with treatments to make any illnesses shorter and easier and arm your immune system to fight all of those germs.
Let’s start with what to do when a cold or illness strikes.
Natural Cold Remedies
Nature provides us with so much goodness to treat our wounds and illnesses. Even the simple resource of clean water is a gentle, effective way to break up mucus, cleanse the liver, and alkalize the body so it’s primed to fight a cold. Add a slice of lemon and you’ll get a dose of vitamin C, potassium, and trace minerals.
Our Turmeric Ginger Lemon Detox Tea is not just for detoxing after a night with wine and indulgent food! If you feel any signs of a cold coming on, or the kids have gotten sick already, this is exactly what your body needs to fight illness and inflammation.
On Tuesday, I shared the Cold Kicker Smoothie with 4 different cold-fighting super foods that will boost your immunity at the first sign of a sniffle.
Lemon Cold Soother
Sick kids (and adults) will happily drink this immunity booster. Tell them it’s warm lemonade! They’ll never know. ;)
1 piece fresh ginger
16-20 oz. filtered water
1-3 drops organic liquid stevia
Juice the lemon and ginger in a juicer. Bring the water to a boil and add the juiced lemon and ginger.
If you don’t have a juicer, boil the water on the stovetop. Meanwhile, peel and dice the ginger into small pieces. Add the ginger to the water and squeeze the lemon juice in. Remove from the stove.
Either method, add the organic liquid stevia to your taste preference. Pour a serving into a mug and sip away. Store any leftovers in the fridge.
Quite a few essential oils fight illnesses like the common cold. However, always use caution when using oils on small children and babies and consult a physician or health care practitioner to ensure their safety.
There are 2 great companies that I trust for essential oils and diffusers, Young Living and DoTerra. I have been using these essential oils for years, and their oils are second to none and I highly recommend them. In fact, when we were having some sleeping issues with my little one, essential oils was one of the tools we used, and it works.
ears.Peppermint and eucalyptus oils improve breathing when fighting a cold. You can diffuse these in the air, apply topically to the chest, or do a warm steam bath (for older kids and adults only) by adding oil drops to steaming water and breathing it in with a towel over your head.
Frankincense oil boosts immunity by diffusing or apply on the neck and behind
Lemon oil both supports the immune system to prevent illness (in a diffuser) and kills bacteria (dilute in home cleaning solutions).
Shield is a common blend that’s great for protecting against viruses and other illnesses caused by bacteria and germs. It’s made up of clove, orange peel, cinnamon, eucalyptus, and rosemary. Diffuse it or drop 1-2 drops on pillowcases at bedtime.
Cardamom oil clears congestion and reduces cough when diluted in a neutral oil (like coconut) and applied to the chest and throat.
Homemade Essential Oils Vapor Rub
2 tbsp. coconut oil
2 tbsp. shea butter (or extra virgin olive oil)
8 drops eucalyptus oil
6 drops peppermint oil
8 drops lavender oil
Lidded glass jar like a small Mason jar
Heat a saucepan on the stove with an inch or two of water to use as a double boiler. Add the coconut oil and shea butter to the glass jar and place in the steaming water to melt. (If you’re using extra virgin olive oil, wait and add that once off the heat.) Once melted, remove from heat and stir in essential oils. Allow to cool until solid. Store in the glass jar and use approximately 1 tsp. on the chest and throat as needed.
In addition to treating cold and flu symptoms when they strike, you want to do what you can to prevent illness because even if the actual germs they come into contact with at school are good for strengthening kids’ immune systems, that doesn’t mean you want them sick of course.
Here are my best tips for preventing illnesses.
Eat foods that support your immune system.
Eating nutrient-rich foods is the most important thing you can do to support your microbiome – the center of illness-fighting inside your body – because the foods you eat either fight disease or fuel it.
- Vegetables – leafy greens, carrots, onions, broccoli, cauliflower, beets, squashes, and seaweed
- Good fats– avocado, extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, raw nut butters, and wild-caught Pacific salmon
- Plant-based proteins– tree nuts, seeds (hemp, chia, flax), beans, lentils, and quinoa
- Herbs and spices– turmeric, ginger, basil, oregano, cilantro, thyme, and herbal teas are powerful illness fighters
- Whole alkaline fruit– lemons and limes in water, grapefruit, and pomegranate
You might notice that nearly all of these foods are alkaline as well. That’s no accident. Acidic foods destroy the microbiome, while alkaline foods nurture it.
With all of these foods, it’s best to buy organic because chemical pesticides harm the microbiome as well.
Avoid foods that weaken your immune system.
At the same time, you want to minimize the foods that weaken the immune system response in your kids’ diets:
- Drinks other than water
- All dairy products
- Artificial sweeteners
- Processed foods with preservatives
Take a quality probiotic.
There’s one thing I want to make clear, especially when it comes to kids, and that is that you can’t substitute “probiotic foods” for a good probiotic supplement.
Yogurt, kombucha, and other foods that are sold as probiotics don’t provide the same amount or quality of good bacteria that a refrigerated probiotic supplement does. And they are often filled with YEAST, artificial sweeteners, and other junk that bad bacteria love.
Supplement with quality sources of magnesium.
Did you know that getting plenty of magnesium supports a healthy immune system and it’s clinically proven to open up restricted airways to ease breathing and improve lung function?
Magnesium is also the #1 neuro-protector of your brain, so it will keep you sharp, and if your children are showing any attention deficit signs, this should be the FIRST supplement you turn to!
So by starting your day with Alkamind Daily Greens, you’re not only getting a dose of the most powerful, alkaline food on the planet. You’re also helping to prevent colds and other illnesses.
And by ending your day with Alkamind Daily Minerals every night, you’re ensuring that you get enough magnesium, as well as the right balance of calcium, potassium, and sodium bicarbonate, all from quality sources unlike most other supplements.
GET OFF YOUR ACID!
Stacey- Yes they certainly can. 1 scoop in a glass of water should be just fine, and very helpful for sleep.
Can my kids age 8 and 10 take the minerals at night and if so, how much?