Sunday, September 5, 2010

Little Bodies, Big Immune Systems :: Part Three

I promised a Q&A post on the subject of immunity for the little ones, so let's just get to it.

If I were to only get 2 things [supplements] which should I get? In other words which would be the most important?

I did a lot of thinking about this one. I had no trouble coming up with my number 1 must-have: A good multivitamin with lots of zinc - 8-10mg is best.
The second most important element is a bit harder to pin down. It really depends on your kids' eating habits.
If your kids get a good, balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies and fish a couple times a week, I'd go with the homeopathic wellness drops (something like this) as a second supplement.
If you struggle to get proper nutrition in food form, I think the green powder (I recommend this one) might be your best bet to cover the fruits/veggies requirement.

How do you like the Agave to cook with?-Alicia
I have to say I've only used Agave Nectar in smoothies (it sweetens wonderfully - no strange tastes) and this recipe. I really like it. I can't say one bad thing about the stuff, then again I wouldn't call myself an Agave expert, I've only been using it a few months and in very limited ways. So far, so good! (...and I'm picky about these things.)
Are you supplementing Britt as well? Or just the older two?
Are you reading any books to support this?
Vitamin D supplementation is something I keep hearing about in breastfed babies. Since we get quite a bit of sun in the Summer/Fall months, I am not going to worry about supplementing him with Vitamin D until we're stuck indoors - late Fall. I'll find some sort of liquid supplement to boost his intake of Vit D. (This is more important for babies that live in very cold climates and get out in the sun minimally and for dark-skinned children.)
Breast milk is the perfect food; (yay! I've reached perfection in at least ONE area of my life.)especially if a mother is taking her prenatal vitamins regularly.
I haven't read many books to support my holistic approach to immunity; but I have what I consider an invaluable resource in my Mother in Law. She has been using supplements and homeopathic remedies for years (Mr. B. has some pretty good memories of choking down magical, healing concoctions as a child) and I trust her input when it comes to herbs that build the immune system and fight off illness.
When I took my nutrition class for nursing school, the professor was passionate about foods and their effect on immunity. I learned a great deal at that time.
While I don't have it at the moment, I found this wonderful resource a few months back and I am dying for my birthday to roll around so I can ask for it as a gift. Such a good book!
Another great place to find answers to all of these types of crunchy, healthy mommy/kid questions is Dr. Mercola - also recommended to me by my MIL.

YOUR GROCERY LIST! Do you plan out your meals weekly?
- B. Fox

Child, my grocery list is no work of art. Not by a long shot.
We run on a pretty tight budget around here, so some weeks we have a little extra wiggle room and I can splurge on wonderful things that carry the claims "Gluten Free!" and "100% Organic" and some weeks I'm stocking up on the whole wheat pasta and potatoes. (Can you say "starch"?)

I try to plan weekly meals but life gets in the way a lot, I've learned. So I'll buy the ingredients for 3-4 decent dinners in a week and the rest of the time I throw together some meals from staples that I keep in my kitchen. (Part of this is because the Brawny Man works like a dog to provide for us and he's gone for almost every meal except on the weekends - so I don't get very fancy during the week.)

Some of my favorite things to keep on hand:
That kids love...
Annie's Organic Shells and White Cheddar
Celery and Peanut Butter
Apples, Grapes and Berries
Whole Wheat Bread (with NO high fructose corn syrup and NO "enriched" anywhere on the label - you have to search the bread section, but it's there; don't give up!)
Baby Carrots
String Cheese
Raisins & Craisins
Organic Probiotic Yogurt

Did you get something for your kids tummies? Like the good bacteria that sits in there?

I put probiotic yogurt in every smoothie that I make the kids and serve them yogurt at other times as well, I think that gives them enough to make sure they're keeping those good bacterias thriving.
It's especially important to be sure they're getting lots of probiotics when they're on antibiotics.

That's the end of the questions!

But I wanted to give a shout out to Annie, she reminded me of the importance of getting fluids in the kids. Kids should be getting just as much water as adults (their little kidneys are working overtime to flush out toxins and the more water they get, the easier it is on their bodies). Since Annie mentioned it I've been paying more attention to the piglets and their water consumption: it's not good. They don't get enough, so I'm going to be working on pushing the drinking. I think if we get some fun water bottles and have them hanging around the house that should do the trick.

Another helpful hint (which we all know, but sometimes forget) is how vital thorough hand-washing is. Kids need to get a good lather - the bubbles help the germs lift from the hands and come off when they rinse (thank you, Microbiology). Use warm water and do not use bar soaps - they harbor bacteria like a breeding ground. Dial foaming soaps have come out #1 in hand-washing experiments.

Another thing I wanted to mention: The importance of Vitamin C. I am on the look-out for little chews or tablets to give a boost in that area.

I think I've exhausted this topic. But if there are more questions/thoughts, please share them! We might just come up with enough material to do a Part Four. ;)
Here's to a Happy, Healthy Fall!


Katie said...

My kids love the Nordic Berries, so thank you so much for that recommendation! We've got the probiotic yogurt, and the wellness kids aren't big fans of the drops, but we're getting it in anyway! You're great for putting up this blog about all this!

Andrea said...

thanks for this series. i really learned a lot and it gave me so many good tips for when ava gets bigger, and even what i'm doing now as i breast feed her.

i'd love to hear your thoughts on breast feeding and how the mother should take care of her self, etc. for breast feeding.

can we do that series next?!! :)

Jamie Willow said... has a book she keeps on hand with all the info for homeopathy and should ask her what it's called cause that would be a good resource to pass on...she has read to me from it many many times when I have called her in desperation to help me find a remedy so i didn't have to go to the doctor.

And I'd be up for helping with a series on breastfeeding! like andrea mentioned :)

Rae Nolt said...

OH!!! I love this! My Chiro told me that IF you are breastfeeding and taking your vitamins you do not need to give your child a Vit. D. supplement. You are giving your baby all he/she needs. Hope that helps! :)