Oh crap, it’s starting! The temperature is dropping, and the snotty noses are starting. That means it’s time to get out those immune-boosting supplements for our kids (and ourselves).
Winter is on its way [insert tears here]. So are the colds, ear infections, and other bugs our kids bring home. We may not be able to stop the snow from coming BUT we can try to keep illnesses at bay!
Parents want to keep their kids healthy this winter (and all year long). So I wanted to take a break (from placing orders for my Winter Essentials Kit for Kids) to share my 5 must-have immune-boosting supplements for kids.
Of course, kids get sick. They are swarmed daily by other snotty kids at daycares and drop-ins, so the bugs are hard to avoid. There is good news though:
Kids don’t need to get sick that often and…
Kids don’t need to stay sick for that long.
As you know, I work with a lot of picky eaters (and smaller children too). The last thing these parents need is a sick child with NO appetite. I personally know the damage that illness do:
- Poor sleep (for everyone!)
- Limited eating
- Poor nutritional intake
- Inadequate weight gain (and even weight loss)
There’s nothing pleasant about seeing your child get ill (other than maybe a few extra cuddles).
Flashback: I remember when Sienna was hit with the NASTY Norovirus at 9 months old. We ended up at Sick Kids for a week where she hardly nursed and didn’t eat. I almost crawled into a corner and cried when we realized she’d almost lost a pound of weight. A pound is a LOT on a baby who was only 11 pounds to begin with!
We worked so hard at every meal to get her to eat well (which I later learned was working against us). It took months to put on one pound. And that one pound was quickly lost again in one week. It was an emotionally exhausted time. I will do whatever it takes not to have a repeat.
I am now even more diligent about building up my little ones’ immune systems using nourishing meals and some important immune-boosting supplements for kids.
What we put in their bodies can have a tremendous effect on their health – both good and bad. So yes, there are some super important foods to include in their diet (to come in a following post). But for today, let’s talk immune-boosting supplements for kids.
My 5 favourite immune-boosting supplements for kids
Vitamin D3 drops – Studies have shown that vitamin D supports the immune system especially in northern climates like Canada. Super important given that many children AND adults are Vitamin D deficient which also impacts bone development. It’s tough to get enough of it from the sun in winter months, so Vitamin D supplementation is a must. According to the Vitamin D Council, the rule of thumb is 1000 IU per 25 pounds.
HMF Baby Probiotics (or HMF Powder) – We take probiotics all year round because they offer benefits much beyond immune health. They are super important for keeping the ‘good guys’ in her gut balanced so the ‘bad guys’ don’t wreak havoc. Remember 70% of our immune system is in our gut. Crazy huh!
Deep Immune Tonic – This is an herbal formulation made with Astralagus and Codonopsis to stimulate a healthy immune system in children who suffer from recurring colds and flus. It is used as an anti-viral and as a tonic which has a strengthening effect on our body’s “deep immune” system. We give my girls a few drops of this (almost) every day to stop colds before they happen. So far so good!
Echinasera – Echinacea increases the activity of immune cells and decreases secretion of inflammatory chemicals by the Influenza A virus. It has been shown to decrease the number of illness episodes by ~50%. It also decreased the number of days of fever. A meta-analysis of 14 studies found that Echinacea reduced chances of catching the common cold by 58%.
Garlic Mullein Ear Oil – Saving the best for last. This has been my SAVIOUR for any brewing ear infections. When Sienna had her first (and only) encounter with a mild ear infection I started putting a few drops of this oil in her ears. I was amazed that her infection never progressed. Majority of doctors prescribe antibiotics to panicked parents (including myself) but ear infections are primarily viral. And guess what? Only bacterial infections respond to antibiotics. Garlic has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, so I highly recommend you try this before going the antibiotic route.
So with enough requests from the moms in my Online Community, I’ve decided to resurrect this post….AND my Winter Wellness Kit for Kids.
Other Immune-Boosting Supplements for Kids
Elderberry syrup – A great remedy for soothing a sore throat, taming a cough, or just fighting a cold. Elderberries are extremely high in antioxidants with almost triple the antioxidant value of blueberries). The syrup is pretty tasty so you shouldn’t have to fight with your kids to get this one down. I keep this on hand for that nagging cough that keeps her (and us) up at night.
Lastly, I’m stepping away from traditional “supplements” to talk about a traditional spice, that is virtually just as powerful as any other immune-boosting supplement.
Turmeric – This brightly coloured spice is a powerful antifungal and antimicrobial that helps reduce inflammation and bacteria. It’s curcumin – the compound in turmeric – that is credited for helping the body fight infection. A pinch of turmeric (I get mine from My Spice Box) can be added to scrambled eggs, coconut milk (or other variety), smoothies, etc. to fight colds. You can also make your own powerful natural antibiotic with “Golden Honey”. Simply mix 3 tablespoons of turmeric with 1 cup of honey (another great anti-microbial). A spoonful of this will help sooth those sore throats.
What are your secret immune-boosting weapons for cold and flu season?
If your little one is battling a cold or you want help kicking illness before it starts, let me know.
I can also easily get any of the above supplements to your home in just a day or two. No trip to the health food store needed…because moms have better things to do!
The adults in my home use Oil of Oregano to prevent colds. A few drops daily does the trick. When I feel something coming on, I double the dose and I feel great the next morning! To quote the Buckley’s slogan, it tastes awful, but it works.
I mix oil a few drops of oil of oregano with caster oil and rub it on my kids’ feet with a pair of socks when they start to show signs of a cold!