10 Ways To Keep Your Kids Healthy At School |
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10 Ways To Keep Your Kids Healthy At School

heather2 October 12, 2016

By Heather Harris and Rustina Anderson, Contributing Writers

Once the school year starts, it won’t be long before the sniffles and coughs start as well. We’ve got you covered with these herbal ways to keep your kids healthy at school.

School will be back in full swing soon. Whether your kids are in public school, private school, or in a homeschool co-op class, they are going to come in contact with other kids and germs. Kids are notorious for not washing their hands thoroughly as well as sharing drinks, snacks and toys. Germs are going to be shared easily.

You are going to need a way to help combat the colds, flu, and random coughs they bring home. Along with proper rest, whole foods, and diligent hand washing, let’s explore some herbal methods to assist keeping your kids healthy at school. 

Here are some ways to help keep your kids healthy when they go back to school. 

#1: Herbal Tinctures

First, let’s talk about tinctures.  Most commonly for kids, teas or a tastier glycerite version is used. However, many herbs will do best releasing their medicinal properties in a tincture form – that means it is with an alcohol base. If your kids are not as thrilled with the taste, it can be hidden in a cup of water, juice (real grape juice hides it really well), or tea. 

Learn more about how to make tinctures (and some recipes): How and Why We Use Tinctures.  Most are made with alcohol, but they can also be made with glycerin: How to Make a Glycerin Tincture

Herbs to Use in Tinctures

Adaptogen herbs are great ways to help your or your kid’s rest to heal best. These types of herbs help your body adapt its response to stress allowing a calmer, less stressed mood and body. They also support your immune system, allowing it to fight against invading germs in a stronger manner.

The most common adaptogens are:

Using herbs for immune support is a great way to get extra nutrients as well as the specific properties to help with recovering from an illness. 

Here is an Immune Supporting Tincture Recipe:

  1. In a jar put:
    1. 1 part Echinacea
    2. 2 parts Elderflower
    3. 1 part Astragalus Root
    4. 2 parts Lemon Balm

Directions:

  1. Fill to the top of the jar with an alcohol such as vodka or cane alcohol.
  2. Place a lid on the jar.
  3. Let sit for 4-6 weeks in a dark location.
  4. Strain the now infused alcohol into a clean bottle or jar.
  5. Label with the herb name(s), date, and type of alcohol used.

#2: Syrups

You can help support your immune system and deal with cold symptoms with a homemade syrup.  My favorite is to make syrup for kids to “help the medicine go down.” 

To make a syrup:

  1. Add the herbs to 4 cups of water. 
  2. Simmer on the stove until the water is reduced to 2 cups. 
  3. Drain the herbs in a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much of the water as possible. 
  4. Add 1 cup of honey to the infused water and stir. 
  5. Label and date with the ingredients used and store in the fridge. 

Using honey for younger ages is a hot topic, have you looked into it? Why Babies CAN Eat Honey (Sometimes)

To use the syrup:

  • Start with 1-2 teaspoons 2x a day for children and 1 Tablespoon 2x a day for adults. 
  • You can take the syrup up to 4x a day, depending on symptoms.

Herbs to Use in Syrups

Syrups are especially helpful for sore throats and coughs. Here are some great herbs to help relieve throat and cough symptoms: 

  • Wild Cherry Bark 
    • With its anti-inflammatory properties, it helps to reduce cold, fever, and sore throat symptoms.(source)  
    • In small amounts when cooked or dried, it is safe for ages 2 and up. 
    • Have extra Wild Cherry Bark afterwards? Try this lozenge recipe!
    • 50 grams Wild Cherry Bark is recommended for a syrup.
  • Marshmallow Root 
    • Emollient properties, smoothing and softening, soothe a sore throat.(source
    • Safe for ages 1 and up. 
    • 25 grams Marshmallow Root is recommended for a syrup.

An Immune Supporting and Soothing Syrup

  1. Mix the following herbs in about 4 cups of water
    1. 3 parts Elderberry
    2. 2 parts Wild Cherry Bark
    3. 1 part Mullein Leaf
  2. Simmer until water is reduced by half 
  3. Steep for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
  4. Drain the herbs in a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much of the water as possible. 
  5. Add 1 cup of honey to the infused water and stir. 
  6. Label and date with the ingredients used and store in the fridge. 

Here is a great article with more syrup recipes and ideas: 5 Syrups for your Medicine Cabinet

#3: Wash Hands Often

Wash hands thoroughly! Use a gentle soap with the warmest water your skin is comfortable with and keep your hands moving in the running water for 30 seconds at least.

#4: Exercise

Exercise regularly. Aiming for 30 minutes of even gentle exercise a day will help your body especially to properly burn energy sources and with lymphatic drainage reducing inflammation.

#5: Manage Stress Effectively

Stress management. This is an important life skill to learn. It is also so important for our hormone balance! Learn more in the What No One Wants to Tell You about Hormone Balance

Tips for stress management:

  • Deep breathing
  • Take time for hobbies
  • Set boundaries
  • Stay connected with friends
  • Hugging

#6: Real Food Diet

Choose healthy foods. Ditch the sugars and all the heavily processed junk “food.” Eat whole foods and a big variety of them! 

Need some food tips? Check out these PDFs and articles:

If your kiddos are interested in learning more about nutrition and food choices, consider looking at this curriculum Real Food, Real Nutrition.

#7: Get Quality Sleep

Get a good night’s sleep. This is important for so many reasons, including our body’s ability to function well within the immune system. A couple nights of poor sleep can make our immune system weaker.

Tips to enjoy a good night of sleep:

  • All the practices from this list can help!
  • Turn off screens for an hour or two, at least, before bedtime.
  • Consider mineral or vitamin deficiencies: Check out The Secret to a Good Night’s Sleep guide to learn which ones.

Looking for more ideas? Check out this Back to School Guide!

 

#8: Quality Supplements

We love DIY options, but we also know there isn’t always time to make them or gather all the needed ingredients. It is important to get herbal remedies from a place you can trust not to compromise on ingredients or safety. Kate, the founder of both Earthley AND Modern Alternative Mama, has got you covered! Here are some of the top recommended Back to School Immune System and Nutrition Support Supplements.

Immune System Support Supplements

Elderberry Elixir for Kids

Benefits:

  • Supports respiratory health
  • Helps with cold and flu symptoms 
  • Calms allergies and allergic responses 
  • Antibacterial & Anti-viral properties
  • Rich in Antioxidants & vitamin C

Feel Better Fast

Benefits:

  • Promotes immune health
  • Soothes upset tummies
  • Helps with minor pain
  • Helps to ease congestion and coughs
  • Helps with cold and flu symptoms
  • Supports respiratory health
  • Supports digestive health
  • Anti-inflammatory properties

Immune Aid (Whole foods Vitamin C)

Benefits:

  • Promotes immune health
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Anti-aging properties
  • Supports the immune system
  • Supports healthy energy levels
  • Supports heart health
  • Helps with dry, itchy, and acne-prone skin

Good Night Lotion

Benefits:

  • Rich in magnesium
  • Promotes restful sleep
  • Promotes normal sleep cycles
  • Improves symptoms of:
    • insomnia, migraine headaches, diabetes, asthma, depression, restless leg syndrome, anxiety, stress, PMS. chronic pain, neurological disorders, and more
  • Supports healthy blood sugar levels
  • Supports heart health
  • Supports digestive health
  • Supports the immune system
  • Supports detox
  • Supports healthy pregnancy
  • Helps with minor pain
  • Supports healthy, pain free growth and repair of tissues

Cough Be Gone

Benefits: 

  • Helps relieve coughs
  • Helps relieve sore throat
  • Helps loosen and remove excess mucus
  • Helps relieve congestion
  • Supports respiratory health
  • Promotes lung health
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Anti-inflammatory properties

Sinus Saver

Benefits:

  • Immune modulator
  • Calms allergies and allergic responses 
  • Helps with occasional coughs
  • Helps reduce sniffles
  • Helps with pain relief
  • Protects and supports the liver
  • Supports respiratory health
  • Supports healthy blood pressure
  • Properties of 
    • Anti-inflammatory
    • Antihistamine
    • Anti-fungal
    • Antioxidant
  • Rich in vitamin C

Breathe Well Salve

Benefits: 

  • Helps with minor pain
  • Helps with chest congestion
  • Helps with occasional coughs 
  • Supports a healthy inflammatory response
  • Supports respiratory health 
  • Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties 
  • Rich in antioxidants 

#9: Nutritional Support Supplements 

Nourish Me Naturally 

Benefits:

  • High, natural sources of vitamins and minerals
  • Promotes heart health
  • Promotes brain and memory health (nootropic)
  • Promotes gut health
  • Supports the immune system
  • Supports liver health
  • Supports kidney health
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Antibacterial properties
  • Supports thyroid health
  • Supports digestive health
  • Supports urinary tract health
  • Supports gallbladder health
  • Supports healthy blood sugar levels
  • Supports metabolic health
  • Supports healthy energy levels
  • Supports respiratory health
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Rich in anthocyanins
  • Rich in vitamin C and B vitamins

Greens Powder 

Benefits:

  • High in vitamin and mineral content (vitamin A, B-complex, C, E, K1 and omega-3 fatty acids)
  • Supports a healthy stress response
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Antioxidant properties
  • Can reduce symptoms of stress, anxiety, and depression
  • Can improve sexual health
  • Protects liver health
  • Supports healthy blood sugar and cholesterol
  • Supports thyroid health
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Promotes brain health and cognitive function
  • Promotes healthy metabolism
  • Promotes healthy blood sugar levels
  • Promotes brain health
  • Promotes gut health
  • May reduce the risk of cancer

Cocoa Calm

Benefits:

  • Prebiotic – promotes good gut health
  • Relieves stress and promotes calmer mood
  • Promotes heart health
  • Promotes brain health
  • Reduces systemic inflammation
  • Supports a healthy immune system
  • Balances blood sugar levels
  • Helps with recovery time after exercise

Super Foods Powder 

Benefits:

  • Rich in naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Supports gut health
  • Supports immune health
  • Promotes natural energy levels
  • Helps with hormone balance

#10: Drink Clean Water

Finally, the simplest (yet important) option — water!  Kids should stay well hydrated, and the best way is to drink clean, filtered water.  Learn about water filtration here: Which Water Filtration System is Best?

What are some things you do to keep your kids healthy at school?

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heather2
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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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