This page has moved to a new address.

Immune Health

An Aussie Mum's Guide To Eco Friendly Babies: Immune Health

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Immune Health

Summer is at it's tail end and even though the weather hasn't really started to change, there is already the usual change of season bugs doing the rounds.  I have friends and customers with chest infections and nasty colds, hitting grown ups, kids and babies alike.

Here are some tips on keeping your family as healthy as possible:

If you are tired, run down, exhausted or not sleeping it can play havoc with your immunity.  Get plenty of R&R (ok, easier said than done) and make sure the kids aren't run ragged with late nights and extra-curricular activities.  If you have a young bub who is still up at night a lot, try to nap during the day.  Put housework on the back burner, take time out to read or have a cup of tea (there are great immune boosting tea's like echinacea available at your health food store).

Ok, we all know to wash our hands before touching our face or someone else when we have a cold.  Don't go overboard though- overuse of hand sanitisers and antibacterial products can be detrimental to our health.  Use natural, non-aerosol cleaners and soaps that are as chemical free as possible.

A healthy diet leads to a healthy body.  Getting sufficient protein, zinc, vitamin A and C and ensuring you aren't lacking in essential nutrients is, of course, vital to ensuring a strong immune system.  Plenty of greens, citrus fruits and berries, meat or vegetarian protein, natural yoghurt (these contain good bacteria- more on this later) and hot spicy foods all help to boost our bodies natural defences.

For Babies and Children
If your little one is starting day care or seems to be coming down with a few bugs, there are things you can do.  Of course, breastfeeding will make sure your baby has the best start possible.  You can mix breastmilk with a probiotic powder like Inner Health for Kids or Kids Immune Booster to boost the immune system either to prevent or treat colds and viruses.  Probiotics are like little soldiers that live in the gut and fight off bad bacteria that causes anything from immune deficiency and cold or flu, to digestive disorders and fungal overgrowth.  I have my son on probiotics as he has just started day care (we started supplementing a few weeks before he started there).  It's as simple as mixing the powder into his expressed breast milk.  You can just give it in a bottle or for kids who don't take bottles, use an eye dropper or medicine syringe.  The guys who make Inner Health have a great hotline you can call (1800 777 648). They have Naturopaths on staff to answer questions- I've spoken to someone who worked in their call centre and they've heard some pretty amazing feedback.

There are homeopathic medicines like Brauer's Kids Cold and Flu, the All Natural Kids range or those specifically formulated for your child by a homeopath.  To treat illness, the Blackmores Celloids range can be used from birth but needs to be prescribed by a Naturopath, who can also recommend probiotics for kids under 3 months and specific herbal remedies.

For older kids, you could use the Fusion Cold Flu Cough or for longer term illness or general immune debility, Astra 8.  These formulas are based on Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).  They are safe from 6 years of age and I have found them incredibly effective.  The tablets are made from a dehydrated liquid so they not only absorb very well, they can be easily dissolved in water (though they don't taste too great).  These two particular formulas are available in liquid form as well.  The philosophy behind TCM is very holistic, so the products made by Fusion always seem to work quickly and effectively but also have a long term effect on the body.  I have used many of their products and would recommend them to anybody.

You can also get Echinacea liquids for kids, or Olive Leaf Extract.  Both are great for increasing immunity and getting rid of bugs.

If a sick child also has loss of appetite, it's really not a problem for a day or two. If it's dragging on or you are worried about nutritional intake, you can add superfoods to their diet (spirulina, wheatgrass, proteins or vege powders).  There is a great products called Natural High Kids Smoovie, it contains a huge range of nutrients and tastes great (it's my favourite shake!)

For Mum and Dad
Even though parental health can tend to take a back seat when there is a baby in the house it's important not to neglect yourself.  Getting sick not only creates illness that can be passed on, it's very hard to take care of a small child when you are ill.  All of the recommendations above can be used for grown ups- I would particularly recommend the Fusion products and a course of Inner Health.  A Zinc supplement probably wouldn't go astray (you can have your Zinc levels tested at most health food stores) and vitamin C will boost your immunity and help symptomatic relief.  Try to get a low acid C with Bioflavonoids (these are naturally occurring compounds found with Vitamin C in nature- they have a similar effect on the body and help the C to do it's job more efficiently).  Echinacea tablets or liquid will help too- most of the research done using the correct dosage and concentration has shown good results.  Nearly all of these suggestions except the Chinese herbs can be used while pregnant, though check any supplements with a herbalist or naturopath first, just in case.  I found the Blackmores Celloids to be lifesavers while pregnant!

Above all, get plenty of rest, eat well and minimise stress where possible!


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home