The fluctuating temperatures of Fall and Winter add complexity to an already stressful season when it can be a challenge to not only stay healthy ourselves, but keep our children and family healthy as well. If we aren’t coming down with something, our kids are. Children are more susceptible to these changes as their immune systems are still developing and often provide an extra special challenge, dietarily.
Of course it’s easy to say, feed them well, and keep them off ice cream and sweets for better health and immunity, but it’s understanding the reasons behind these recommendations can be life-altering to their development and overall immunity. Annemarie Colbin, Ph.D., a.k.a., the “mother” of whole food nutrition, perhaps best known for her first book, Food and Healing, and founder of The Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts, has been on the forefront of educating the masses on how to eat for health. Dr. Colbin is providing us with her best insight to not only keeping our children healthy through the fall and winter, but immunity high, year-round. Here are her tips for keeping kid’s immunity high all year long…
If you can possibly raise them without milk products, you will prevent the most common mucus conditions, especially colds and ear infections. Milk is a great mucus producer; bacteria love living in it, and casein, the protein in milk, is commonly used in laboratories to set up bacterial cultures. Cheese is just as much of a problem, and yogurt is little better.
It’s not because of the fat – in fact, butter does not bring on infections, according to my observations – it is the protein and the calcium, which in cow’s milk are intended to help baby cows become big cows (or steer), and are excessive for humans.
Don’t reward them with sugar
If you can avoid giving your kids sugared foods – including sugared breakfast cereals, cookies, cake, candy, and ice cream – you will allow their immune systems to do a better job of keeping them healthy. Sugar is known to depress the immune system, and what is worse, it is really addictive. According to a recent study at the University of Bordeaux, France, it appears to be more addictive than cocaine.
I know that we tend to reward the children with sweet goodies, but that habit is perhaps best reconsidered – crayons, balloons, comic books or nuts and raisins might be a better idea for rewards.
Give them lots of protein
To keep the kids healthy, they also need to eat sufficient protein (some in each meal, such as fish, chicken, meats, or beans and legumes), with lots of vegetables both cooked and raw, as well as good quality fats (extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, organic butter).
Make sure they get plenty of rest
Most importantly, they need enough sleep and rest, which will allow their bodies and their brains to recuperate and restore, as well as grow. Lack of sleep is one of the major causes of stress and illness.