Support for Children
(and Adults too!)
At my house we’re settling into the school routine, it’s getting cooler outside, and the noses have started to drip almost non-stop.
Like many children, mine are picky eaters. When they were infants I had more success giving them supplements and herbal tinctures, but now that they are older they’ll refuse if it doesn’t taste good. We just did an extensive taste test of immune support supplements.
Below are my kid-approved recommendations.
But first, a review of the best ways to avoid illness: focusing on the “basics” and practicing good hand-washing techniques.
the “Basics” Include:
Children thrive with routine. Of course we have activities and family events that disrupt our routine, but we try to stick to our schedule at least five nights of the week.
Physical activity every day, preferably outside. Aim for an hour or more if you can! Our elementary school is near a park. The weather has been so nice these last few weeks that we’ve all enjoyed running around together after pick-up.
Sufficient sleep. Infants and toddlers six months to two years old need 12-14 hours of sleep per day (including naps), preschoolers aged two to five years old need 10-12 hours each night and elementary school kids need 10-11 hours of sleep each night. If you have to get up at 6:30 in the morning have lights out at 8pm.
A nutritious diet with whole foods, organic produce, grass-fed meat, and whole milk products. Minimize sugars and artificial colors. We are still struggling to pack school lunches that are both healthy and kid-approved. But there are a few staples that they’ll always eat: my daughter loves broccoli and cauliflower and my son loves fruit leathers.
Wash hands every time you come inside, after using the bathroom and before eating. Teach kids to sing a song to themselves while they soap their hands and have them to wash the fronts, backs and in-between the fingers!
Every day my kids take a multivitamin and a probiotic. Sometimes I add on an omega 3 fatty acid. During the allergy seasons we add on a natural anti-histamine and anti-inflammatory to decrease post nasal drip. And during the fall/winter cold season we rotate through a variety of immune support herbs.
Daily multivitamin, every professional formula failed my kid’s taste test, so I am currently using Flintstones.
Daily probiotic, Ther-Biotic Children’s Chewable. Probiotics decrease frequency and severity of colds and support gut health.
Daily omega 3 fatty acid, Omega-3 Fishies. After many years I have finally given up on liquid fish oils. The kids would take them erratically and I have stained more of their shirts than I care to admit. Our dentist strongly recommends against gummy vitamins, but this isn’t really a gummy and the kids love it.
Seasonal allergy relief, D-Hist Jr. This is effective and tasty.
I rotate through immune support formulas, not using one longer than a month to maintain the effectiveness of each herb. I also sometimes double up on dosing or combine products if the kids seem to be getting sick. The kid-approved immune supports we use include Sea Buddies with vitamin A, zinc and elderberry, Kids Defense Drops with echinacea, elder, bayberry, and Immune Support Liquid with zinc, elder, larix and lemonbalm.
All of these are available to current clients via Fullscript. Send me a note if you’d like access to ordering professional quality products. Why does it matter – I wrote about it here: How to choose a high quality supplement.