Sunday, August 29, 2010

Little Bodies, Big Immune Systems :: Part One

Last Fall and Winter we were sick. Really, really sick. Sickness to the point of insanity. I was half crazy with the worrying and confinement. We were up to our ears in prescriptions. Just the remembrance of the barking cough my kids had (for months!) will send me into heart palpitations and a cold sweat.

I don't want to be sick again this year.
Do I need to type that again?

I don't want to be sick again this year.

I took my Mama Bear self to WF's last week (see?) and raided their supplements/vitamins section. I was a little overwhelmed but I had done a teeny bit of research on what the most effective immunity boosters are. I'm so glad I did because I think I would have just turned around and walked right out of there for the enormity of the selection.

I brought home quite a few good things that I wanted to share with the other Mama Bears out there.

Children's Multivitamin - Nordic Berries
Get a quality multivitamin. I bought this one because it had a good amount of zinc in it (which is great for the immune system); 8 mg. I would have loved to have found a multivitamin with 10 mg of zinc, I didn't this time, but I'll be on the look out for one.
Also, compared to the other multivitamins I picked up it had more units of each vitamin.
And...well...I ain't too proud to admit, the term "Nordic Berries" is really stinking adorable to me. Yep, I'm a victim of good marketing. What can I say?
And these things taste fantastic. Probably due to the amount of sugar in a serving (6g). When I go back to stock up on more vities I'll look for something with less sugar and more zinc.

Fish Oil - Carlson for Kids
When I was reading up on immune boosters, I saw that it is recommended that children eat 3 servings of fish a week to give them the proper dose of Omega 3's. We do not get 3 servings of fish per week...we might not even get 3 servings of fish per month. We're in the Midwest and we don't see much fresh seafood, we're just not big fish eaters. So, I went to the next best thing: Fish Oil.
This fish oil is full of Omega 3's. Omega 3's boost the amount of white blood cells in the body - WBC's are the things that destroy intruders like disease and infection.
This particular one is lemon flavored so it tastes yummy, not fishy. I promise, I tried all of this stuff before I gave it to my kids. It's palatable.
(Another way to get Omega 3's in the diet is via flaxseed meal; more on that later.)

Wellness Drops - Source Naturals::Wellness Herbal Kids
I'm a big believer in herbs and natural remedies. I searched for a formula that said "immune support" and came up with this one. It has echinacea, goldenseal, elder flower and a bunch of other wonderful things.
It doesn't taste too nasty. I give it to the kids by the dropper-ful with a promise of a glass of chocolate milk or a fruit smoothie. A spoonful of sugar...

Green Drink Powder - Orac-Energy Greens
Okay, guys. This is my favorite one. For some reason (maybe it's instinct, maybe it's to make myself feel better for spending a pretty penny on it) I feel like this is what's going to give sickness a kick where it counts. It has wheat grass, spirulina, 24 servings of fruit and veggies, acai and tons of other vitamins and roots stuff.

Thieves Oil Blend
This essential oil fights against viruses, fungi and bacteria. It's a concentrated, very strong oil that tastes and smells of cinnamon and cloves. It's not unpleasant for me to take, but it's pretty strong for the kids. I'm still trying to figure out how to give it to them without a fight.

I'm aware that some of these guys overlap one another. The multivitamins may not be so necessary with the green drink powder, but I'm okay with covering my bases twice...even three times.

We've only been at it for a few days and it's really not that hard finding times to give the kids their little bits of goodness. In my next Little Bodies, Big Immune Systems post I'll give the run down of how I sneak all of these supplements into the kids' diet and maybe throw in a few recipes while I'm at it.

I'm looking at this battle against sickness as a three-branched tree: Supplements, Diet and Sleep. (Maybe 4 branches...let's add Prayer in there.)

Behold, my Wellness Basket:


Annie said...

Very cool! I am planning on doing the ol' immune system boost this year as well. Last year we were pretty sick, and if they do start daycare in January I am freaked out!

Let me know how the "green drink" goes. I am curious how they handle it because I know that fresh squeezed wheat grass can cause you to throw up because it is essentially pushing the toxins out (i wish someone had told me this before my first bout with wheat grass...). I am guessing dried is less potent, but I am still curious!

Mrs. B. said...

Hey Annie - We've been doing the green powder (in fruit smoothies) for a few days now. I haven't had any throw ups or even sick tummies. Things seem to be going well! :)

Sarah said...

Ohhhh interesting!! I love that you are trying this. I used that Colic Ease gripe water for stomach flu when it struck, and it really did seem to calm vomiting.

As far as all this preventative stuff goes, I need to try it.
Are you supplementing Britt as well? Or just the older 2?

I know for myself I need to start the Omega 3 oils... not nearly enough here. Why not the kids too?

Keep us updated! Are you reading any books that support this?

Katie said...

I LOVE you for this post, because I LOATHE when my children are sick. And with little A going off to preschool for the first time in a couple weeks, I think I'm going to take myself to Whole Foods tomorrow to stock up on some of this stuff. I looked at our current multivitamin and it has a whopping 2g of Zinc. That ain't gonna cut it! But, my kids are super picky when it comes to multivitamins. I tried a WF one before, and they refused to eat it. I need to immunity boots, too, thanks for remind me!

Rae Nolt said...

Loving this! When I was pregnant I took ALLLL kinds of vitamins and only got sick once over Christmas. I drank TONS of water and made SURE I got lots of sleep. Can't wait to hear about your HEALTHY FALL!

The Arnold Family said...

Yup this is so smart! Build up the immune system now. I have never thought about fish oils for the kids...Im going to look into it. Fo' sho'.

I sent you a message on FB.

Anonymous said...

Just be carefull you are not giving them too much of anything in one day. Depending on weight/age everyone will have an "upper limit" of vitamins and supplements before it gets toxic. Way to attack the sickies before they invade your home! :-)

Jamie Willow said...

usually if you have to much of anything in your system vitamin wise, it just flushes out of your system...urine, sweating, or a good barf :) lol. usually just the urine though.

Great stuff Ash! you know my mom speaks this language well...she probably knows lots about the subject. She basically got me over Mono with supplements and boosting my immune system. I would probably still be sick otherwise...for could have turned into a bigger auto immune disease if I hadn't had her help.

Saundra said...

I'll add my two cents....My last job with Child Care Resource & Referral turned me into a (small) bit of a germaphob in the regard to hand washing and touching germ-filled public things like handrails, public door handles (I use my arm or paper towel). You would be surprised my how many people do not wash their hands after using the potty. Teach your little ones correct hand washing techniques (this is HUGE in daycares, etc.) Check these websites:,, search: handwashing for kids. Also, check out your local CCRR and Healthy Childcare Missouri websites. Lots of info out there. Hope this helps:)