What if our children…
- got over illnesses faster
- had fewer allergies, asthma, or autoimmune conditions
- had little need for Ibuprofen or Tylenol (these drugs impact their gut health)
- need fewer surgeries (like a tonsillectomy, etc.)
- experienced fewer secondary infections; like pneumonia
This is what is possible when our children are fully nourished and don’t have any nutrient gaps. They’re resilient.
Diet is always first, but we all know how our children are picky eaters – they love bread and cheese.
So, how do we keep them healthy all year?
First, sneaking in veggies to their shakes and sweet treats. But, second integrating herbal medicine can help fill this nutrient gap they’re experiencing.
Before we dive in, try to avoid these seven things that weaken your child’s immunity.
7 Things that weaken our immune system
Before raising resilience, we have to ask, “Why are our children so sick?”
- Reduce the number of toxins in their environment & pesticides. There is an increase in the number of pesticides in our food. Even when washed, these chemicals remain and are known to cause negative effects on our bodies and affect our immune systems. Children absorb more chemicals due to their size and immune system.
- Reduce C-sections. The rate of C-sections has increased three times since the 1990s. Studies have shown that children delivered via C-sections have lower immunity than natural birth.
- Reduce antibiotic use. The amount of medication a child receives has increased. Dr. Aviva Romm suggests “By the time they are 20, they may have had 19 rounds of antibiotics”
- Reduce stress. There may be increased stress in the home with both parents working.
- Improve their diet. Children are notorious for being picky and having a poor, unbalanced diet.
- Improve pregnancy diets. During pregnancy, a mom’s diet changes. She’s eating less wheat, dairy, peanuts, and other top allergens.
- Try breastfeeding. Your child may or may not have been breastfed. Mother’s milk contains rich nutrients that not only nourish a child completely but also boost a child’s immune system.
So, what can we do to improve our children’s health?
How to boost your child’s immune system quickly
#1 Diet is always first
- We know 70-80% of all adult cancers can be avoided with a plant-based diet. But picky toddlers are known to choose processed foods over natural, plant-based, healthy foods.
- An increase in their sugar and processed-food consumption decreases their immune response and may lead to a condition called “Leaky Gut Syndrome.”
- This condition happens when gaps develop in the intestinal wall start to loosen and allow harmful substances like bacteria, toxins, and undigested foods to pass through into the bloodstream.
It would be ideal to have our children eat 2-3 fruits and vegetables at each meal. This can be a huge challenge when you’re a working parent and have more than one child.
- Try offering a chocolate shake blended with chocolate dairy-free milk, banana, spinach, avocado, and cherries, or check out Yummy Toddler Food’s recipes!
#2 Reduce Medications
Some medications can lead to a condition called “Leaky Gut Syndrome.” If your child is experiencing this, you may notice that they have more food sensitivities, more allergies, more rashes, and may have been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD.
Medications that lead to Leaky Gut Syndrome in kids are:
- Acid reducing medication
10 Signs of Leaky Gut Syndrome In Children
- Chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas or bloating
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Low immune system
- Headaches, brain fog, memory loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Skin rashes and problems such as acne, eczema or rosacea
- Cravings for sugar or carbs
- Arthritis or joint pains
- Depression, anxiety, ADD, ADHD
- Autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and celiac disease
#3 Add in supplements
As children’s diets are typically poor, we may need to give supplements to “fill the gap”. The three supplements I would add to your child’s diet if their eating is poor are:
#1 Zinc Citrate
- Zinc Citrate is an essential trace element responsible for the proper immune function and the health of the gut
- Zinc citrate, given continuously for more than 3 months, has been proven to decrease the risk of pneumonia in children under 5 years of age. ²
- Food sources: Oysters and Pumpkin Seeds are two rich sources of dietary zinc
#2 Vitamin D3
- Vitamin D3 has been shown to reduce cold & flu symptoms by 45%
- This is found in oily fish (tuna, salmon, etc.), butter, and eggs, sunlight
- Vitamin D3 supplements
- kids under 7: 400- 800 IU
- kids 7-12: 800-1000 IU
- kids 12+ and adults: 2,000 IU
- Taking probiotics during pregnancy and giving them to infants, especially to children delivered through C-section may reduce allergies in our children. ¹
- Try Klair infant probiotic or Klaire children’s chewable to boost your child’s immunity.
- Giving a probiotic during pregnancy and to infants, especially during c-section births may reduce allergies in our children. ¹
- Try Klair infant probiotic or Klaire children’s chewable to boost your child’s immunity
- ProbioMax ENT has been shown to help reduce strep infections in kids ²
#4 Add in botanicals
- Herbal teas provide many minerals and nutrients your child lacks in the classic American diet.
- A safe, effective herbal tea is called Astragalus.
It has been said… if you take astragalus daily in the fall and winter, you will not get sick!
Read more about making this nourishing juice for your child here 👇
#5 Heal Leaky Gut in Children
- If your child has Leaky Gut Syndrom and/or allergies, you may want to consider healing their gut with the 4R approach. See this post.
- You also will want to learn about integrating natural remedies to reduce antibiotic use.
- Healing the gut is more than an elimination diet.
- You remove the top allergens and then you add back in nutrients and gut-healing herbs to soothe the digestive tract.
Your child doesn’t have to suffer, learn how to heal their gut so they have fewer…
- food sensitivities
- allergic reactions
- behavioral problems and
- fewer asthma attacks
Getting to the root of your child’s immunity is important. Have they had antibiotics? Have they taken many doses of NSAIDs? Do they have any allergies? Do they need to heal their gut?
Once we figure this out, then adding in botanicals can “boost their immunity” and reduce food sensitivities for years to come.