‘Tis the season for sick kids. It seems like it’s one sickness after another this time of year. If one kid’s not sick, the other one is. I am most definitely not an MD (I praise them) but I am a busy Mom who has worked as a professional esthetician and in various healthcare settings the last 12 years. My favorite past-time was working long hours alongside a professional kinesiologist where I inherited a passion for natural healing and learned everything I know about holistic alternatives, or as my grandmother calls them “kitchen cures.”
I have successfully implemented these all-natural hacks with my young children time and time again, they are cost-effective and health-conscious. I really thought we were a healthy family as far as my children getting ill, we rarely went to the doctor, only for routine check-ups, and then my daughter started kindergarten… need I say more.
Load up on raw honey – recent studies show that honey is better than over the counter cough medicine for relieving coughs and helping a sick child sleep better. Health benefits of honey for toddlers and children include sustained energy for a more extended period, supplies vitamins and minerals, aids in healing wounds faster, offers liver protection, controls cough and soothes a sore throat in children.
Give half a teaspoon to children ages 1 to 5 years and one teaspoon to kids ages 6 to 11. But never give honey to babies younger than 1; it can cause a rare and sometimes fatal illness called infant botulism.
Children’s Aspirator aka “Booger Sucker”:
This little miracle device! I highly recommend for every new mom, there is nothing that drives me crazier than a mucusy congested child. Before they could blow their own noses we did whatever we could to keep their nostrils clear and mucus free, we all know this can be quite a task especially chasing a child to wipe their nose for the one-hundredth time. Simple saline and this battery-operated booger sucker aspirator, what we call a “booger sucker”, works wonders!
Warning- I can not stand the sight of what comes out into the little container, my wonderful husband deals with the cleaning part, trust me this thing works!
Diffuser/ Children Friendly Essential Oils:
I never go without my large diffuser all year but especially when the heat is continuously running in the winter months. I keep it going all day and at night in every room spend a lot of time in, and also in the children’s bedrooms. I purchased the larger size diffuser so I don’t have to fill it as often and can rest assured that it will run through the night.
Kid-friendly essential oils to add – chamomile and lavender. Strong essential oils to avoid with young children or dilute extensively – eucalyptus, rosemary, and thieves.
All Natural Immunity Boosters:
I increase my children’s immunity boosters with fresh ingredients and supplements and stock up on essential oils in the winter months. If you have any questions, the friendly staff at The Healthy Place are so knowledgeable and helpful and currently are running a sale 25% off everything.
Bone Broth or Veggie Broth – Broth is proven to be immediately digested by the body as your body absorbs high doses of vital minerals and vitamins. Make a double batch and freeze for the days when you are not feeling so well yourself and need a tasty immune boost. Add extra fresh garlic, which is nature’s antibiotic and immune-boosting powerhouse, we also love garlic added to honey on toast. I add garlic to everything since it has so many amazing properties and it’s cheap.
Other natural immune boosters we love:
Multivitamins and minerals are so crucial in today’s world, with fewer minerals in our farmer’s soil than there has historically been our food contains fewer vitamins and minerals, too.
Vitamin C is a reputable resource to use when we are sick and should be taken daily in your child’s daily supplement but can be increased when your child is not feeling well.
Elderberry is best to take when symptoms first come on. High in antioxidants and full of antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties, elderberry is powerful natural medicine, and we are lucky to have them grow it right here in Wisconsin We eat them straight from our yard in the summer months when elderberries are not in season. You can purchase the yummy purple gummies at The Healthy Place.
Probiotics flora (good bacteria) has its own dedicated area in our refrigerator. When you or your little one’s immune system is not up to par, it means that bacteria in your gut are off-balance, and the harmful bacteria in your body are winning, so you need to add good bacteria to ward off the bad. To boost immune function, try giving your child a high quality probiotic, meaning a flora with a higher dosage of microorganisms or an extra serving of yogurt. The supplements come in easy-open capsules and are tasteless so it’s easy to open and add to drinks and food.
DIY heating pad for aches and pains that kids love:
Fill a sock with uncooked rice and tie shut with a rubber band or string or better yet, if you sew that is the best option. Microwave the sock for one minute or until warm, when it cools off you can stick it in the microwave again, or you can also place it in the freezer and use as an ice pack. I also love to add lavender when microwaved. Placed on an achy area, it is sure to soothe your little one.
All-Natural Easy Vapor Rub:
Making your own vapor rub or bath bombs are easy peasy and sure to clear a stuffy nose or mend an achy back. And the best part, it promotes relaxation even for the preparer, you!
Vicks Vapor Rub was a staple in our home growing up, and now I know why. But after reading the ingredients, I would rather make my own at home, and it is so easy, and the shelf life lasts forever. Hopefully, the cold and flu won’t strike home this year, but this all-natural vapor rub is so good I apply it to the bottoms of my children’s feet when they are fighting coughs or use after a warm bath for congestion. Everyone knows adequate sleep is essential for feeling your best, and this works to soothe and relax bronchial airways to breathe better and promote sleep.
Kids Homemade Natural Vapor Rub.
½ c olive oil, coconut oil, argan oil.
2-4 drops of eucalyptus oil
4 drops chamomile
Glass Jar an OUI yogurt container or glass baby food jar- use glass.
If you don’t have most of this on hand, I use a dab of argan or coconut oil in my palm with a droplet of essential oil and massage onto my child nightly, this works great too!
Everyone’s favorite detox bath:
We are big on baths – who isn’t?
Well… my husband definitely isn’t… he doesn’t know what he’s missing..
I feel frequent warm baths are a necessity, especially for sick kiddos. Have you ever heard someone say if your child is crying give them a bath? Your toddler is acting out, give them a bath. I believe it’s an old gesture, like the “kitchen cure”, but whenever I would call my grandmother and tell her something about the kids she would always say well, have you tried giving them a bath? Huh? YES, it really does work for us!
I love getting the bathroom as warm as I can and I go a little overboard with “fun” bathtime, which isn’t fun when we don’t have that time, but you can never have too many bath toys. Bath crayons, bubble bath, music, candles, etc, and I also love adding things to the bath like oatmeal, botanical herbs, fresh lavender from our garden, flower petals, coconut milk, the list is endless. Add a few drops of essential oils to the bath and post-bath. Baths always help to relax and, most times, a restful nap and much-needed mommy break!
My baby girl is a bath bomb crazed. She loves making them and using them! Also, as a fun project you can purchase cute molds Bath Bomb Molds or an ice cube tray works too!
My absolute favorite thing to do! My husband (before) kids used to joke that I was part cat because I love to sleeeep and love napssssss. I really miss sleep and naps, but my husband who was raised on a busy farm was raised with the mentality that you’ll sleep when you’re ——-. I honestly can say I have never seen the man take a nap. Someday I am going to make him take a bath and a nap so he knows what he’s been missing!
Everyone knows adequate sleep is essential for feeling your best, it seems even to this day studies show how important sleep and naps are. My children love it when I put warm towels in the dryer and rock them, pretending that they’re new little babies while reading them books and telling them over and over about the day they born. I remember when I was growing up and didn’t feel well, my Mother would change my bedding often, it was the best feeling to crawl into a great smelling, clean bed after a bath when you are feeling helpless and awful. The best way to survive a virus is to sleep through it!
When we’ve tried every Kitchen Cure there is and practiced daily healthy living, we know now more than EVER that the dreaded germs are going to take us down no matter what. Triage Nures are always available by phone 24/7 if you have any questions. Always call if you have any concerns, if you have that gut feeling something isn’t right with your child or your babe has a fever, its time to visit the pros! Like my friend and PA I have had the honor of working with the last seven years says…
“Parents shouldn’t be afraid to treat their children’s fever with medication at home before arriving at the clinic, if your child has a fever, we will believe you.”
– Virginia Wiggins PA- SSM Health Urgent Care, Madison
If your pediatrician suggests acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or antibiotics, you’ll want to make medicine-taking as pleasant as possible. I made this mistake while administering amoxicillin and was projectile vomited on (this Mama don’t do vomit). I had to come up with a solution that was efficient and effective for my fussy child and me since my son is the absolute worst medicine taker of all time! You can try mixing medication into a small amount of soft food, such as Jello, yogurt, pudding — but keep in mind if your child does not finish it, you need to discard the rest of the dose, once it leaves the bottle it is considered contaminated and usually, pharmacists add extra for this reason but if worse comes to worst antibiotics are also available as an injection at your doctors office.
I know this sounds strange, but we do H20 competitions in our house throughout the day! Who can drink the most water etc… we encourage each other and it teaches them just how beneficial water is for our bodies! We always try to make sure our kids are drinking lots when they are sick, but sometimes it is not easy to get a kid who is feeling miserable to keep on top of their fluid intake. This is the most beneficial time to offer homemade fruit smoothies or icy-pops.
Last but not least, Laughter is the best medicine:
Make a fort with lots of blankets, pillows, add twinkle lights and lots of books in front of the TV, cuddle and relax, make it memorable together, there is no better medicine than Mommy’s undivided attention. To glean a few giggles make funny faces with your child, this always triggers laughter with my littles. Snuggling will help your toddlers road to recovery faster, and you’ll both appreciate the closeness.