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Just Ask Aggie!

jaaWhen a child starts to come down with a cold or flu, what's the first natural remedy to reach for?

With back-to-school season in full swing, many parents naturally start to think more about children's health this time of year. For flu-like symptoms such as a fever, body-aches and a cough, Elderberry concentrate is one of my favourite early infection treatments. This tasty product can be taken three to four times a day. Elderberry has antiviral and anti-inflammatory effects and does not interact with any medications, so it is a safe first-line therapy for colds or the flu.

I also recommend Sambucus for kids. Keep it in your home year-round. It's a great general cold treatment that has been shown to help shorten the duration of colds. You can even give it to your kids if there are other sick children in the classroom. Simply follow the label directions.

Oscillococcium is a homeopathic product with a strange name (o-sill-o-cox-see-num). It is non-drowsy and easy to take, but must be taken at onset of your child's symptoms as it won't help much if you give it later on. Colloidal Silver is a powerful germ fighter and an effective weapon against hundreds of pathogens that infect humans. Lots of people use it every year.

What are some of the best ways to enhance children's immune function?

The following are a few ways to promote strong immunity in kids and help protect them from colds and flu:

Hand washing: This works even better if the surfaces you and your child are touching are clean.

Sugar and dairy foods: I have repeatedly found that sugar can promote mucus production, which in turn creates a hospitable environment for bacteria to grow. Dairy foods can also trigger mucus production in some children, particularly those prone to sinus or ear infections. Eliminating or at least limiting the use of these foods helps to decrease mucus secretions, so germs are less likely to take hold.

Movement: Inactivity decreases the immune response, and physical activity invigorates it. Getting kids up and around during the school day and engaging in a sport or movement art after school helps bolster immunity.

What other nutrients are important for cold and flu prevention in kids?

A good children's multiple vitamin is also essential along with the daily use of EFAs for kids.

One of the most important aspects of giving children a multiple vitamin is finding one they will take. Use a form – powder, chewable, liquid or the (growing in popularity) gummies – that is palatable. This way you ensure that their "take your vitamins" experience is more pleasant. A multi won't help sitting in the bottle.

Specific nutrients to focus on in a multiple vitamin for your child include Vitamin A or Beta Carotene, Vitamin C and Zinc, as these are necessary for good immune function. The requirements for these nutrients vary by age.

A lot of children eat too many carb-rich foods, which can cause mucus accumulation and increase susceptibility to infections. The solution? Try feeding your children a diet higher in protein. This will help build a strong immune system because the immune system uses protein to create antibodies.

Before I close, let's just agree that "healthy" isn't a goal, it's a way of living. So every time we eat or drink, we are either feeding disease or fighting it.

Disclaimer: WE DO NOT OFFER MEDICAL ADVICE or prescribe any treatments. My advice should never replace the advice of your healthcare professional.

 

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