I had some great questions from parents following the winter wellness post regarding what can be used safely for children and breast feeding mums so here are some winter wellness tips for the mini humans.
Photo by Michael Podger via unsplash
As well as being important for the normal functioning of the immune system, vitamin D helps keep teethe, bones and muscles healthy so it is just as important for kids. Based on government recommended guidelines (www.nhs.uk/news/food-and-diet/the-new-guidelines-on-vitamin-d-what-you-need-to-know/), children from 1 year and up should have 10 micrograms of supplementation. Babies under 1 year old should receive 8.50-10 micrograms, unless on a fortified milk formula. There are a wide variety of flavoured drops, sprays and tablets available to use for children.
Echinacea is used extensively in Germany and a study in 2006 found it to be safe during pregnancy and breast-feeding so is generally considered safe for use with children. There is some debate over how Echinacea works and whether it should be used with autoimmune disease such as rheumatoid arthritis. Unless under the guidance of a trained complementary therapist, it is advisable to avoid use if there is a family history of these types of conditions or if your child is undergoing investigations for health related disorders. Also, some people have allergies to the plant family (Asteracea) but this includes daisies and chamomile so most people are aware of this.
Garlic is safe to take whilst breastfeeding as long as it is not in excessive amounts, the recommended one clove a day should be fine. Raw garlic should not be given to children as it can cause some discomfort similar to eating chilli (plus it’s a bit of an acquired taste!). Using garlic in your cooking is a good substitute.
Fruit and vegetables for fussy eaters
For healthy immune systems it is vital that children are receiving sufficient vitamins and minerals from a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. Hard fruit and stone fruit can be cooked on a low heat with a little water and sweetener (like honey, maple syrup or agave) to make delicious home made sauces for little ones that don’t want to eat something that resembles the real thing. Cook and blend vegetables, which can then be added to sauces and pies in disguise.
The home brewed herbal tea recipe in my last post is safe for children provided they do not have any allergies to the ingredients. It is recommended that honey not be given to children under the age of 1 due to potentially harmful bacteria (https://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/Pages/foods-to-avoid-baby.aspx) but the tea can be sweetened with agave, maple syrup, stevia and other sweetener substitutes. It is advisable to keep the addition of sweeteners to a minimum that still makes the tea appealing. For older children, the added benefit of honey is that it may help soothe a night time cough and aid with sleeping (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3601686/).
Thyme and liquorice syrup
This syrup is one of my favourite remedies for children (and fussy adults!). The wonderful combination of thyme and liquorice provides anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, anti-viral and soothing properties. It also can help thin mucus, making it easier to deal with a productive cough.
If you would like more information on any of the above, feel free to contact me or book an appointment.
Information provided on this website should not be regarded as a substitute for medical advice or treatment. If you have concerns about your child’s health, seek medical attention.
If you have any specific medical conditions or are taking prescription medication, it is always advisable to discuss with your doctor, pharmacist or a trained medical herbalist before taking any supplements or herbal treatments.