Our children's health is usually more important than our own. When they suffer, we suffer. There is a lot of misinformation that exists about how to keep children healthy. And remember, the remedies for them often work for us as adults.
Breastfeeding is the best source of nutrition for any baby. There is no close second to this but sometimes breastfeeding is not an option. When you have to use a baby formula, find a few different brands that the baby seems to tolerate well and then rotate them each feeding. This will reduce colic and digestive disturbances that are common with bottle-fed babies. A baby should not have solid food of any kind before 6 months of age. Their digestive system is not ready for it, and solid foods introduced too early may cause food sensitivities later on.
At 6 months you can start them on organic veggie baby foods. Starting the 7th or 8th month, use the organic meat, rice cereals and fruit. Go easy on the fruits so that you don't "sugarize" their palate. In other words, get them used to the real taste of grains and veggies and not the sweetness of fruit puree. Cow's milk should to be avoided completely but soy and rice milk is okay. Fruit juice is another food that is not good for kids. If you insist on giving your child fruit juice, wait until they are at least a year old and then dilute it down drastically so it is mostly water. If your kid becomes constipated, mix a little olive oil with his or her food or formula. If constipation lasts longer than 2 days, you can use a glycerin suppository to get things rolling again. If you're breastfeeding and the baby gets constipated, consume more essential fats in your diet and drink at least a gallon of water each day.
Colds, ear infections, strep throat and swollen tonsils may be common in kids but they are not normal. The latest medical research shows that only 1 ear infection in 10 responds to antibiotics and that most resolve by themselves. Instead of antibiotics, we recommend you make a mixture of 1/2 olive oil and 1/2 tea tree oil in a dropper bottle and place a few drops in the ears as needed to control the pain. You should also treat the infection internally with herbs like Goldenseal, Echinacea and Coptis. We can test the child to determine which one is correct. These same herbs are helpful for many childhood ailments. Start the herbal treatment at the first sign of symptoms so as to knock them out faster. A fever should never be suppressed as it is the body's natural way to fight infection. Keep the child warm and well hydrated and the fever will not get too high. Give them the herbs every hour and the infection will be gone quickly.
Rashes, eczema, psoriasis,
bright red cheeks, "goopy eyes" and runny noses are all caused by
internal problems. Other than falling on the pavement, skin problems are caused
by an internal infection or imbalance. Creams and salves will hide the problem
but usually won't fix it. If your child has bright red cheeks, it is not a healthy
glow but usually a reaction to some food they are eating. A runny nose that
produces clear thin mucous could be an allergy to food or something in the environment.
This can easily be fixed. Skin rashes, of any intensity, are caused by an infection
in the body. We can sort this out and treat the underlying cause so that it
doesn't have to be a chronic problem.
Few of us have time in our schedule to stay home with sick children and it certainly is no fun for them to not feel good. Giving the kids a good multivitamin and at least a quart of water every day will help strengthen their immune system. Sugar and junk food have been shown in clinical studies to immediately suppress the immune system. When your child starts to get sick, stop the sugar and start the herbs or homeopathic remedies immediately. They can be well again in hours not days or weeks.
Also see Acute Illnesses info letter.
Info Letters page