5 ways to build your toddler's immunity

July 03, 2015 0 Comments

By Valeria Ramirez

This is our first daycare winter, and to be honest I came completely unprepared. I write from my sick bed, struck down with yet another virus that has mutated from a runny toddler nose, incubated by warm loving hugs, into a monster cold that can strike down even the toughest of mummies. Having a kid in daycare, or interacting with any kids really, exposes you to a host of runny noses, constant colds, ear infections, tummy bugs, hand foot and mouth disease, conjunctivitis, and god knows what else!

I remember before I had Orlando, I used to look at kids with snotty noses and think what is wrong with their parents, can't they just clean it up. Now I have "THAT KID" and no matter how many times we wipe, the number 11s dripping form his nose prevail.

Going to the GP usually results in two answers, rest or antibiotics. So what's a mother to do? Time to get back to basics and look at boosting his defenses as naturally as we possibly can.

1. It starts with food

Eating a diet full of additives, sugar and preservatives than a little body can handle will impair your child's immune system, making them more prone to getting sick. Sugar, in particular, has been shown in many clinical trials to suppress their immunity. As hard as it can be, try to limit your child's overall intake of additives, sugar, and allergens. Any snack that comes in a packet is generally made up of all of the above. Instead start focusing on plenty of fresh veggies, whole fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, eggs, and meat. You're probably reading this and rolling your eyes. Don't give up, it's your responsibility as a parent to think of creative ways to get your kids to eat better. Make it look fun, try new seasonings and flavours, but a new dinner set that they can choose for themselves, and get them to cook with you. Giving the ownership and control over what they put in their bodies will honestly help them eat better.

2. P is for probiotics

Having a healthy digestive tract means better food digestion, elimination of toxins and defense against invading bacteria and viruses. Antibiotics, a poor diet as well as other factors can disrupt their internal eco system exposing them to a whole heap of nasties. Head to your local naturopath and ask for a kid friendly probiotic supplement containing lactobacillus and bifidobacteria. It's hard to get enough of the good stuff from diet alone, especially for children. Most kiddie yoghurts are filled with sugar, which is counterproductive as it feeds bad bacteria.

3. Chill out

I remember the first time Orlando said "Mummy Busy". It killed me because he was repeating something his father said to him earlier, asking him to leave me alone because I was trying to get something done to a deadline. This followed by him prying the phone out of my hands and hiding it somewhere, or biting me to get m attention. It got my attention, because not long after that he god his first major ear infection. Kids respond to stress the same day we do. Unfortunately our lives seem to get busier every every year, rather than more relaxing, well at least at our house anyway. I've noticed a pattern too, whenever I'm stressed, Orlando feels it and starts acting out, throwing tantrums, eating and sleeping poorly. When their cortisol and adrenaline levels go up, their immune system goes down, making them an open target for a daycare bug invasion.

Make more time for downtime. We've had to cut back on the amount of activities we were previously signed up for, just to chill and play in the park or at home. Try to be present when you're around your kids. Put the phone away. Be there rather than worrying about bills, work and run ins with work colleagues. Your kids feel your energy, and if you're frazzled, chances are your kids will follow suit.

4. Get the right advice

I can't stress the value of getting to a naturopath. It's sometimes very hard to get all the right vitamins and nutrients into your toddler's diet, that's when supplementation can help. If you can't afford to see a Naturopath that Endeavour College runs Well Nation Clinics throughout the week which only cost $15. Check out  their website for booking and more info.

5. Give essential oils a go

I didn't really believe in the power of essential oils, until I tried them for myself. I bought a doTERRA  home essentials pack and have been topping up with the following oils ever since. I love doTERRA essential oils in particular because they known for their quality and purity, they are CPTG (Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade), and harvested in regions where each plant is indigenous and thrives best.

I could write about this all day but let's get to the point. 

At first sign of a runny nose or cough, we usually manage to stop it in it's tracks before it gets worse. This goes for the whole family. My husband used to be prone to getting sick every time he travels, however since we started using oils, he has had far less colds and his recover time has been much much faster.

My go to oils for cold and flus are:

On guard - The combination of Wild Orange, Clove, Cinnamon, Eucalyptus, and Rosemary makes this oil not only smell amazing but my go to essential oil for immune support. It is a non-toxic and superb way to support the immune system. I dilute it with some fractionated coconut oil and rub it on the soles of his feet when he goes to sleep or add a few drops to our oil diffuser.  Hubby adds a drop to a glass of water.

Easy Air -  Known as "Breathe" in the US and Easy Air in Australia, this blend has proven to alleviate respiratory discomfort. Featuring Lemon, Peppermint, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Melissa and now Cardamom essential oils, this proprietary blend is known to cleanse and soothe the airways, and can easily be applied topically to the chest, back, or bottom of feet. I like to again dilute it with fractionated coconut oil when applying it on Orlando or just diffuse it in his little diffuser that i have in his room.

If you would like to know more about doTERRA please feel free to contact me or purchase your oils here.

If you want to save serious $$$ however, the best BEST option would be to sign up to become a Wellness Advocate. You don’t have to sell anything to be a wellness advocate, but if ever do want to you can and start to earning some money too. Use 1520823 as your enroller ID when you fill out the form.

Here is what you get when you sign up:

  • You save 25% off retail
  • Loyalty Rewards which gives you free product credits if you purchase every month. In fact you can eventually get back 30% of the prices you pay each month towards free essential oils
  • To sign up it costs $35 for the membership fee unless you buy a starter kit that has the fee included. This is what I did when I signed up.

Would love your tips on keeping your kids healthy. Leave your tips below.

Image: Pinterest.com

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