How to boost your family’s immunity!

It seems where ever you turn someone is getting sick! I hate being sick and one of the saddest things to witness is your child not feeling well. I have researched and studied immunity building for the past three years and so I would love to share some tips that have worked to keep our family healthy.  I have an almost three year old that goes to preschool a few times a week and there has been several warning notices going out to parents that a child at school has come down with___________(fill in the blank: an ear infection, pink eye, hand/foot/mouth disease, flu etc). Thank G-d my son has never been sick and I give most of the credit to our immunity boosting regimen. Here are some ways to build your family’s immunity, especially during the flu season:

  • Take a probiotic!Probiotics are supplements that contain living microorganisms that change the bacterial balance in our bodies. The idea is to boost the kind of helpful bacteria in the body that can destroy harmful bacteria and reduce infection. My son loves the taste of Primadophilus Kids (cherry flavor). In fact, he calls it his “special treat” and I have to always watch to make sure he just takes one, because he would down the whole bottle if he had it his way. I take Inner-Eco Dairy Free Probiotic Kefir which is made from fresh harvested coconut water (I bought it  at WholeFoods).
  •  Prepare freshly squeezed orange juice or  vegetable juices (beets, carrot, ginger, spinach and apple taste great).  These juices provide vitamin C , bioflavonoids, and a lot of other vitamins which are essential for good immunity.  Every morning I juice and give my son 1/2-1 cup to drink with his breakfast!

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  • Take cod liver oil every day, as it contains vitamins A and D and omega 3 essential fatty acids which will reduce infections. My son takes Carlson for Kids Norwegian Cod Liver Oil everyday and loves it. It doesn’t have a fishy taste, he says it taste like lemon.
  •  If you ever feel under the whether or feel you might be getting sick, I highly recommend taking Wish Garden’s Kick Ass Immunity. It is also available in a “Kids” version.  It has elderflower, echinacia and calendula which help boost your immune system. Another great one from Wish Garden to take if your little one does get sick is Wish Garden Cold Season, which soothes sore throats while supporting the upper respiratory track and promoting healthy mucosal tissue.
  •   Stay away from dairy and white sugar, especially if you are sick. Dairy produces mucus and sugar “feeds” the bad bacteria in our gut. Sugar throws the body’s chemistry off balance and depletes your body’s store of vitamins and minerals.During colds, flus and other upper airway infections more phlegm is produced. When you drink milk even more phlegm or thicker phlegm is produced. People with asthma should also avoid dairy products for the same reason.
  • Sleep! I know it is easier said than done…but you and your children need it. Every child is different so what works for one person might not work for another. I think it is crucial to create routines and stick to bed times that make sense for the child. Here is what works for us: We eat dinner around 5:45pm , take a bath, get dressed, read two books, sing a few songs and my son is asleep by 6:30pm (he wakes up at 7:30-8:00am). Now that my daughter is 5 months old we are putting her down in her crib between around 7:30pm.To create a calming environment we put on our favorite children’s lullaby CD “Renee and Jeremy” while we get the kids ready for bed. For the first two years of my son’s life he would fall asleep to this CD and we would just turn it off before we went to bed.
 A great way to stay healthy is to make  your own kefier. Kefir has many benefits including better digestion of fats, proteins and carbohydrates, and has been known for thousands of years for its anti-aging and immune enhancing properties.Kefir is an ancient cultured food rich in amino acids, enzymes, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and B vitamins. My favorite starter kit is by Body Ecology! You can use dairy but I like to make it with coconut. There are several ways to make your own keifer/yogurt but here is the easiest way I have found. Opening a thai young coconut looks a lot harder than it is! Hopefully these pics will show you how easy it is. For this keifer I used 5 coconuts:

Step #1 Cut off top layer of coconut by going around the top part with a knife

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 Here is how it should look when the top layer is off

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Step #2 With the bottom sharp part of the knife, whack a few times (in a circular motion) on the brown part

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Step #3 Place a knife under the cut area and push the knife handle down, popping the top right off

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It is that simple!

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 Pour the coconut water into a blender and scoop out the white flesh inside and add it to the blender

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 Blend! If you are not making kefier and just want an awesome coconut smoothie, add a handful of ice and blend until smooth

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 Pour into bowl and add the kefir starter. Cover and let it sit at room temperature for 24hrs. Refriderate. It will last 3-4 days.

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*I am not a doctor and this is not “medical advice”. Please consult a professional if needed.