Nuts, Bolts and Simple Tricks to Children’s Health

In regards to health, our aim as parents (and aunty’s ☺️) is to give the child what they need to grow, develop, build a strong immune system, and be happy, right?

Well, yes, there are plenty (a lifetime, really) of things to do, teach, and learn, but we can’t forget the gut. Being at the root of where the immune system, moods, and development flourish, I’d say it’s something we want to look out for and teach those coming after us.  

 

Nourish
  • A whole-food diet with lots of diversity makes for happy and healthy gut microbes, happy guts, and ultimately happy kids.
  • Makes plant foods the hero of the meal. 
  • Include bone broth in the diet. 
  • Include foods with probiotics like yoghurt, kombucha, etc.  

Mum Tips: 

    • Include bone broth in soups, cook rice in it, and add it to pasta, mashed potatoes, and sauces.
    • Add protein to all meals, i.e., if you have crackers, add hummus or nut butter. 
    • If you have a super picky eater, keep trying and encouraging them to explore, but don’t stress. In the meantime, you can always supplement by secretly adding a superfood powder into pancakes, smoothies, or icy poles.  
    • Always have stewed apples and berry coulis on hand to add to unflavoured yoghurt. 

 

Defend
  • Get Dirty: Kids need to play in the dirt and get exposed to a whole heap of different bugs to help strengthen their microbiome and, therefore, their immune system.  So go easy on the hand sanitiser and let them play with the pet and make those mud cakes.
  • Sunshine: There is a strong link between Vitamin D (from sunshine) and gut dysbiosis. Studies have shown that sunlight exposure helps the cells that fight off infection (T-cells) get to an infection and sort it out faster. So if your kids have the sniffles or are around those that do, sending them out for some sunshine daily is a great idea.

Mum Tips:

    • When the kids are sick and the sun is shining, get them outside for a picnic or spend time lying on a rug reading books. If they need encouragement, pillows, and blankets on the trampoline are a treat.
    • Instead of constantly hand-sanitising, switch to just hand-washing with soap at home.

 

Protect
  • Reduce the assaults: chemical exposure, medications, and antibiotics may have a detrimental impact on our gut microbes. Although we cannot 100% get away from this, we can reduce the assaults so that the toxic load on our children is less.
  • Reduce chemical-laden products in the house: laundry powder, cleaners, skin products, etc. 
  • Go easy on the medications; although sometimes they are needed, often they are overprescribed. Try a natural alternative without all the hidden nasties.
  • Antibiotics: always ask the doctor if the antibiotics prescribed are essential. Once again, sometimes they are essential, but sometimes they can be grossly overprescribed. Is the problem something that can be monitored for a few days and then taken if needed? There may be an alternative or natural treatment that could be tried. And lastly, if they are used, it may be a good idea to take a probiotic afterwards. 
  • Sugar as a reward: oftentimes, sugar-based foods become our treats and bargaining tools. Teaching kids to eat as much as they can when they can, and also overstimulating their taste buds so that fruit and naturally formed sugars no longer taste sweet.

Mum Tips:

    • Keep a bottle of probiotics in the fridge; you can buy powders for the little ones. Hide it in smoothies, yoghurt, or milk; just remember not to add it to anything hot; otherwise, you will kill the bacteria.
    • At home, try naturally sweet desserts like apple crumble, yoghurt with berries, and homemade banana ice cream.
    • For rewards, how about stickers, small toys, or special choices of what to have for dinner or activity after dinner as a family?

     

    Love Alissa & Kristyn ❤