Today’s guest post is from Christine Matheson, ND all about how to keep your kids well!
In the fall and winter months, children’s bodies are adjusting to a change in routine, change of seasons, being exposed to a host of colds/flus and each child needs support to transition through their unique emotional milestones. Naturopathic medicine can provide safe and natural solutions for parents and children, here are a few “easy as A-B-C” tips to consider:
A: To enhance a child’s energy level and encourage mental focus
- Aim for a consistent sleep routine (even on the weekends) and encourage naps or “quiet time” on days when your child seems a little more tired
- Ensure there is variety of whole grains, proteins, and plenty of fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet including in snacks sent to school
- With the support of an ND, consider giving your child an age appropriate multivitamin and pure fish oil supplement to give their brain and body a boost
B: To bolster a child’s immune system with the aim of decreasing the frequency and intensity of colds/flus or infections
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Monitor how much water your child is drinking to make sure it is optimal. Minimize or avoid too many juices (always dilute).
- Again, healthy sleep routines are essential for immune support.
- With the support of an ND, ensure your child is getting enough variety of protein sources as this is essential for immune function, consider giving your child an age appropriate dose of Vitamin D, Vitamin C and probiotic (“friendly bacteria”) supplements to support the function of their growing immune system. Also discuss the benefits of castor oil packs.
- If your child is ill, give them sufficient time at home to heal before returning to school
C: To strengthen a child’s nervous system in order to minimize stress
- Children experience stress too and cultivating relaxation strategies early on in their life is truly a gift you can give them. Teaching your child deep breathing techniques, visualization skills and encouraging regular exercise all aid in releasing mental and physical stress.
- Remember as the parent, you can set the tone and you are the role model so if you are stressed it can be a perfect teaching moment for them to see you find a positive solution.
- Learn some basic massage therapy techniques so that you can give your child a relaxing rub from time to time.
- With the support of an ND, consider giving your child herbal teas such as chamomile and/or lemon balm and an appropriate flower essence which can bring emotional balance. An interactive project for parent and child could be to make small herbal pillows (for instance filled with lavender) to create a positive and calming association with sleep.
Finally make sure to emphasize FUN and include LAUGHTER in whatever you do to support your child’s health as it will make it more pleasant for all of you!
Guest post by Dr. Christine Matheson, ND