Well, here are a few things that we do to kick a virus, cold, or just an overall down in the dumps feeling in the butt. By the way, we happen to be doing this today because one of my girls woke up with glassy eyes, a sore throat, and her shoulders hurt. I immediately made her a smoothie, covered her with comfy cozy blankets, set out a glass of water, and headed to the kitchen to throw together some chicken noodle soup. Although I love my babies and would drop anything and everything to make them feel better, I too must change my plans in order to care for them. I had an appointment I was scheduled to travel for today, but as you can surely relate...my baby took center stage when she looked at me with those big ol' brown glassy eyes.
Over the years I've incorporated what we call "Sickie Prevention" into our daily routines and diets. Most kids don't get in enough veggies and essential vitamins and minerals, so we start the day doing just that. My kids get a smoothie loaded with fruits, greens, coconut milk, flax seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and a whole packet of Amazing Grass blended in.
* Contains over 70% certified organic ingredients
Maybe by this point you're thinking "My child won't eat that", well that's what I thought too...until I tried it. They both love it, and the best thing is they think they're getting a dessert for breakfast, but really they're getting in everything most kids are lacking.
Throughout the day I make sure they're drinking enough water. I'm sure you heard all of your life that 8 glasses of water is what you should be getting in, but what about our little ones? In reality, our water consumption should be based on our weight, activity level, the environment we live in, etc... For Abby, I aim to give her 0.5 liters of water every day. For Emma, I aim to have her consume 0.8 liters every day. Abby is less active than Emma, and Emma weighs more than Abby. It's important to realize and understand that not only do we as adults have our own unique nutritional needs, but so do our children! Here's a great hydration calculator to try!
In addition to the water, fruits, and veggies, I also like to make a mug of unfiltered acv, raw honey, organic saigon cinnamon, and mix it into warm water. Once the mix is blended, I pour it into ice cube trays and freeze for several hours. Emma likes to eat ice whenever I let her, so I give her a small cup of the acv cubes and let her eat them. Sometimes I'll put them into a glass of apple juice, water, or make popsicles out of them. For Abby I like to put them in her formula or blended food to keep it cool during trips. The taste likely is not good in Abby's food, but it goes into her tube and she doesn't have any idea what it tastes like. By giving them the acv mixture, you're combating and preventing an enormous amount! Here's a fabulous article on the many, many benefits of acv and raw honey!
Additionally, for each meal of the day I make sure that both girls receive plant based meals, snacking on whole foods that boost the immune system (no processed foods), get enough natural vitamin D by taking walks, playing with neighbor friends, and they do Tai Chi every morning. Now I know that not everyone can do Tai Chi in the mornings, but my mom is an instructor, so I use that to my children's advantage. Tai Chi is a gentle way to fight stress. Our children shouldn't be stressed out, but the truth is that they often are. The world has changed so much since we were young, and even more since our parents were children. Stress is a key factor in promoting disease, and in my opinion disease and stress has no place in the body of a precious child. These days our schools are places where we find high levels of stress for our children, after school activities can be stressful (they can also be beneficial, just depends on the child and environment), sometimes home life can be stressful, peer pressure, genetics, puberty, special needs family members, health issues, etc... It's hard to imagine a child being stressed out, but the annual Stress In American Survey finds that parents underestimate the level of stress that kids feel and the causes of that stress. Here's an article by Kids Health that discusses some common stressors in children's lives.
When my kids do get sick, yes it happens...but to be honest, it only happens about twice a year. They haven't had the flu since they were 16 months old and when they do get sick, it's only a minor cold. They haven't ever had a flu shot, so that is not the reason why they don't get sick.
However, when they are sick I always, always, always make a giant pot of Chicken Rice Noodle & Mixed Veggie Soup, which has been dubbed "Sickie Soup" in our house.
I use grilled chicken that we always have on hand, a bag of organic & non GMO frozen mixed veggies, organic free range chicken broth, any rice pasta we have in the pantry, and sea salt. That's it!!!
While the soup's cooking, I give both girls a bath in Epsom Salt, put them in comfy sweats, cover them with comfy & cozy blankets, close all of the blinds to block out any bright lights, and serve them their soup in cute soup bowls. Now, tell me that if your spouse did that for you, you wouldn't smile and that it wouldn't make your spirit lift even just a little?
Even at 5 1/2 years old my kids still take 2 hour naps every single day. So, at 12pm we head up to bed and nap time begins. Even if you're child doesn't take naps, rest time is mandatory for feeling better so try to squeeze it in and encourage quiet rest time in their beds.
When my girls get up from their naps between 2 and 3, I give them a mug of warm water with honey and lemon, and allow them to relax on the couch for as long as they like. Abby of course receives all fluid through her feeding tube. The two simple ingredients, honey and lemon, help relieve the worst cold symptoms. Honey soothes sore throats and lemon juice fights off bacteria. The antioxidants in honey boost the immune system, as does the vitamin C in the lemon juice. Wafts of steam from the drink can also help relieve nasal decongestion.
Typically by 4pm the girls begin to feel better and Emma almost always wants to go out and play with friends. I do however keep her inside and continue to encourage her to drink water & allow her body to relax. We end the day with smashed carrots and sweet potatoes drizzled with a small amount of pure organic maple syrup, and fruit cream (faux ice cream) to soothe a sore throat (if they have one).
Orange fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are rich in beta-carotene. When we eat these foods, our bodies convert this organic compound into vitamin A, which is essential for maintaining a strong immune system.Vitamin A is especially important for areas that go haywire when we catch a cold: It keeps the mucous membranes that line our nose and throat—one of the body's first lines of defense—healthy and functioning properly.
Normally by morning both of my girls are feeling back to 100%, and we can resume our regularly scheduled broadcast, lol!!
Do you have any tips or tricks that your family responds well to when the sickies have invaded your house? Do you have any sickie prevention tips? If so, please share them on my FB page for others who may be in need of some tips =)
*Please don't hesitate to take your child to the pediatrician if necessary. These are tips to help promote health and overall wellness, but sometimes the sickies do need a little help in the form of a doctor.*