Fall is upon us. The leaves are changing, the mornings are cooler, and our kids have turned into little coughing snot machines.
Every year as kids return to school, simple proximity creates a high likelihood for shared colds, flus and infections, and that’s one form of sharing we definitely don’t encourage. So how can we reduce the high probability that our beautiful children will bring home a digusting bug?
1. Old fashioned cod liver oil — If you were around 40 or more years ago, you probably got a dose of this nutrient-dense disgustingness. And guess what? It was good for you. Cod liver oil (I recommend Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil) is chock full of immune-strengthening Vitamin A, Vitamin D and anti-inflammatory fatty acids. It is available in capsule form for best compliance, although a small percentage of kids I’ve worked with actually like the taste.
2. Vitamin C — And I’m not talking ascorbic acid, usually derived from GMO corn in China. I’m talking real food Vitamin C. Acerola berry, camu camu, amalaki, rose hips … all of these are tart powders available at most health foods stores and can easily be hidden in a delicious drink of fresh lemon, local honey and warm water. Lemonade, in this case, is a health food.
3. Zinc — High-quality red meats, almonds, pumpkin seeds and oysters are the foods highest in zinc. While most kids aren’t asking for oysters Rockefeller for dinner, most do like the taste of a big juicy hamburger or a handful of almonds. Buy organic, grass-fed meats and look for refrigerated almonds. Frequent ingestion of conventional meat is a flu virus waiting to happen. Supplemental zinc is great for a quick fix — look for amino acid chelates of zinc and take with food to avoid an upset tummy.
4. Old-fashioned chicken soup — Again, your mom and grandmother were on to something. Nowadays, research has shown that chicken soup actually does have a medicinal effect. And making it is easy-peasy. Buy whole organic chicken (many farms in the area raise great chickens). Place in crock pot. Cover with water. Boil for a few hours. Add carrots, celery, onion and salt. Eat.
5. Avoid sugar like the plague that it is. This one has gained popularity over the past few years. Sugar considerably weakens the immune system’s ability to ward off invaders. So stick with apples, berries or raw, local honey as alternatives to your kids’ favorite candy. It might save you a trip to the pediatrician this school year.
Victoria LaFont is a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and certified GAPS Practitioner, through the Nutritional Therapy Association, She can be contacted at http://victorialafont.com.