Dinner (not really) @ 226 - Sick Kid Diet
I really try to stay away from the doctor. I realize this might be controversial to say, but I don't totally trust the health care industry with the wellness of my family. It's certainly not the doctors themselves, I'm sure they got into the field with the best of intentions. It's the money that fuels the industry, with all its tom-foolery, out right deception, and greediness, that I don't trust. I also don't like medicine for my babes, at all.
Of course we visited the doctor when Reed fell into an uncovered register vent and slit her shin open to a tune of seventeen stitches. It was a positive experience because our pediatrician could be the most helpful man, ever. We also went when Beckett was five months old and we were convinced that he had Sleep Apnea, because he would wake himself in the middle of the night with an inability to breath. The "professionals" found nothing wrong in the test results. It was not such a positive experience. Because the symptoms continued into his tenth month. On the bright(er), the test tech geeks did get to see my engorged boobs every few hours, for 12 hours, as I was still nursing. It was a joy, really.
We have made quite a routine of treating the symptoms of an encroaching cold, naturally. So much so, that I went on a small tirade and threw away all the over-the-counter junk that Parents magazines said were necessities in the medicine cabinet. That happened a few years ago and the cabinet remains void of any child specific grape flavored goo and the such. I really do believe our bodies can do it themselves, if we feed them properly. I've done a little bit of research, read a few books, and articles, seen a couple of documentaries regarding natural healing, and am hoping to learn much more in the future. This, however, does not make me an expert. But, neither of my children have been to the doctor for sickness in the past two and a half years. A pretty good record for weathering the erratic Ohio winters, as baby-toddlers.
As I was sitting with a group of friends the other day, two sisters jovially mocked their father for giving them a book for Christmas regarding the natural healing process. When I said, "I don't give my kids medicines.", the record sort of stopped and the there were a few crickets. Then she asked me, "Well, what do you give them?" and like the charismatic, persuasive person that I am, I froze. And didn't give her much of an answer at all. I think it sounded like I was the maniacal, rough and ready, tough it out you pansies, I don't give a stink if you're feverish, suck it up type mom. If there is that type of mom out there, I hope to never meet her. I am not that mom, for reals.
So, I thought I would share with you some treatment tips that we use when we see a stuffy nose or hear the first cough. I will avoid any obvious tips like, wash hands regularly because I am confident that the mothers that are reading this are not idiots. Although, if you want to see signs like that, visit your local doctors office. These tips will mostly be about nutrition, or what you put into your body, naturally. I am not speaking, errr typing authoritatively, I am just telling you what has worked for us, in an effort to help YOU!
*Take immediate action. Upon the first signs of a creeping sickness, I go into mega-healing mode, attempting to treat the sickness before it ever really becomes one. Most of the time, I am successful. Pay attention to your child's behavior and note any sluggishness, stuffiness, unusual coughs, or overall fussiness.
*Remove dairy and other greasy forms of fat. If the child is stuffy, and has Post Nasal Drip and drainage, dairy and greasy foods can often cause an upset stomach, and even pukies, which is no fun. Plus, dairy offers no nutritional benefits known to help the common cold. (think: no pizza, steak, macaroni and cheese, etc.)
*Look to clear liquids. You want to prevent dehydration and maximize the digestion of the healing fruits and vegetables. We stick to water and decaffeinated tea. If they want something warm, I recommend low sodium vegetable broth, homemade or store bought.
*Stay away from sugar. My mom used to make me hot Tang or Sprite for my "clear liquid." Though they both taste like my childhood, they have a decent amount of sugar and a laundry list of artificial ingredients. We try to stay away from sugar for the duration of the sickness.
*Push honey. I realize this sort of contradicts the last tip, but honey has so many healing benefits, you should really take advantage of it. We add a huge tablespoon to the kids' teas and they even get a spoonful before going to bed because it is the best known natural cough suppressant.
*Stay away from the popular sick foods. I know, as a good mama, we often look to our past to find the answers to current kid problems. But, times have changed, and canned Chicken Noodle Soup has no nutritional benefits. Moreover, the sodium content is nearly incomprehensible, which will actually serve to dehydrate your child. Again, stick to low sodium vegetable broth, homemade or store bought.
*Think RAW. One of the best ways to get the maximum nutritional benefits from your produce is to eat them raw. If it is appealing to the sick child, salad, apples, oranges, bananas, grapefruit, dark greens are all good ways to pack in the nutrients. I make a "Vita C Salad" for my sick family. And I will write-up the recipe in tomorrow's post.
*Push those smoothies. One of the easiest ways to sell raw food to a sick child, is via SMOOTHIE! Okay, they're not the Popsicles that soothed soar throats of yorn, that are artificially flavored and colored and full of sugar. But, believe me, your kids will (and probably already do) suck them down. If you use frozen fruits, they're super easy for mama to whip up in the morning and serve many times throughout the day. Depending on the produce, you can incorporate an awesome amount of vitamins, fiber, and other cold-fighting nutrients. I will include some of my favorites in tomorrow's post. Just remember, to stay away from the dairy when making these cold-combating treats. That creaminess can be achieved through banana and avocado, both of which have major health benefits. On a side note, Trader Joe's sells frozen mango puree (pictured below) in packets of four. They're under two dollars, with one ingredient: mango, which is bursting with Vitamin C. So, I always have one in the freezer for when I'm not motivated to make smoothies, or just want to add to the smoothie. I just pull out however many I need, let them rest on the counter for about twenty to thirty minutes, cut the top and let the kids squirt them into their mouths. I mean, even sick kids should be able to have a little fun. Right?
Pottery Barn Euro Sham-Cape-Wearing-Lamp Shade-Crown-Wearing-Super-Heroes-Tomorrow!*
*I say that like you would want this sort of silliness happening at your house.
Stay healthy, lovelies!