Posted on 24 September 2010.
It is flu season, your kids are sick, and you need to keep them hydrated, plus address sensitive digestion issues.
What to do?
Conventional wisdom states that kids should sip sodas, like ginger ale or Sprite, to ease a sensitive tummy; slurp Popsicles and Gatorade to stay hydrated; spoon canned chicken soup for nourishment.
But, wait a minute. If you are trying to boost your child’s immune system, why would you feed him/her all this junk? These conventional foods are loaded with high fructose corn syrup, MSG and other chemical “enhancers.”
Plus, plain and simple, sugar WEAKENS an immune system. Hello? Are you getting this?
Eating or drinking 100 grams (8 tbsp.) of sugar, the equivalent of
about two cans of soda, can reduce the ability of white blood
cells to kill germs by forty percent. The immune-suppressing
effect of sugar starts less than thirty minutes after ingestion
and may last for five hours.
- Dr. Sears, from “Four Habits that Weaken the Immune System”
What your sick child needs is real food, nourishing food, gentle food that will build his immune system, not tear it down. Here are some easy, healthy alternatives to conventional wisdom:
- Instead of processed Popsicles, serve snow cones — use shaved ice and juice concentrate instead of syrup.
- Instead of Gatorade, purchase plain electrolyte water, which has no added flavors or colors, and tastes just like water. You can also make your own electrolyte water at home.
- Instead of chicken soup from a can, make your own broth by simmering a chicken leg or two in water, along with chopped celery, chopped carrots, chopped onion, salt and garlic. Then, strain the soup, and serve either as a clear broth, or, perhaps, with some brown rice.
- Warm teas can help ease a variety of symptoms. Traditional Medicinals has a great line for kids.
- A netipot or saline nasal spray can help clear nasal passages.
- Consider supplementing your kids with additional vitamin C and D, both of which have proven immune-boosting properties. In fact, there is even a case of a New Zealand man, hospitalized and near death with swine flu, who fully recovered when given intravenous doses of vitamin C. Also, adequate vitamin D is being heralded more and more as an effective preventative of flu.
Of course, keeping your child healthy is a year-round affair. Consistent and adequate rest, sufficient exercise, proper nutrition, managing stress levels, all play a role in supporting a healthy immune system.
I am not against traditional medicines: I have 2 kids with asthma, and keep a well-stocked medicine cabinet. I am thankful for pharmaceuticals. But let’s give modern medicine a stable base on which to stand — well-nourished children.
Cough and Sore Throat Soother
- raw honey
- one lemon
Make a simple syrup by mixing a spoon or two of raw honey with the juice of one lemon. Give to your child, as needed, to soothe throat and ease coughs.
Let food by your medicine, and your medicine be your food.
-Hippocrates, father of modern medicine
Lori Rivas, organic homeschooling mama to 4 great kids
Photo by Weslie and Chelsey Totten
sick girl image from http://www.btschool.org/news-and-events/
lemon and honey image from http://yourbodylovesfood.com/?p=6