After you have kids, you get to experience what a fun time it is trying to get quality foods into them. There are definitely some unicorn children that love to eat their veggies, but mine are definitely not unicorns. I have one sensory kid who refuses to even look at the majority of foods. He’s not a fan of fruits or vegetables. Mostly just carbs. That can make a food-loving mama craaazzzyyy. So supplementing his diet is essential to ensure that his bones don’t crumble into ash and blow away. We consider ourselves to be fairly crunchy people. Crunchy meaning we choose products that naturally boost our immune system. Buddy refuses to eat anything that resembles medicine… or vegetables… bananas… or smoothies. I have to be creative when it comes to getting healthy things into him, including supplements. We mix things into “chocolate milk.” We blend veggies into spaghetti sauce. And mix Vitamin D drops with maple syrup that go on his pancakes. Popsicles and gummies are also sometimes successful.
Here are some of our tried and true methods of boosting our immune systems, especially during the typical sick seasons.
This one is pretty essential for us. Especially since we live in a swirling vortex of clouds and rain for half the year here in the Pacific Northwest.
Vitamin D improves bone health, reduces the risk of diseases, may help reduce symptoms of depression (which would make sense that people living here experience depression when it is winter/eternally cloudy), improves muscle strength, protects against the common cold, reduce chronic pain and asthma symptons, and a zillion other things. There’s always a may prevent/reduce/protect when it comes to benefits of certain vitamins and nutrients because more studies need to be done. But with all of these, we do our own research and decide that they would be potentially beneficial for our health.
What we use: We like these capsules for adults. And we use these drops for our kids. When we use drops with the kids, we add 1 or 2 DROPS to a drink or on a first bite of food. It is flavorless too, which is a plus.
Fermented Cod Liver Oil.
FCLO is often recommended for tooth healing. It contains Vitamin A and D. Wellness Mama has some great information on FCLO here. It may improve the quality of breast milk, reduce joint stiffness, diabetes, ear aches, depression, bone fractures, and a zillion other things. If I had to recommend just a couple of must have diet supplements it would be FCLO and probiotics.
What we use: Green Pastures is the go-to brand. It really is a class of its own on how it is processed. When I first bought some, I went with the liquid. It wouldn’t be so bad right? When I opened the bottle and got a whiff of it, I died a little inside. It smelled so disgusting. Some say they mix it with orange juice or something like that, but still. It was a total waste. So if you can’t stand the smell, go with the capsules! We like these. They are a bit expensive, but you are paying for quality. And they last awhile.
Take a look at that. Our digestive system is called our second brain. It is the second largest part of our neurological system. We can help take care of it by consuming probiotics. I love Dr. Axe’s article on probiotics found here. Consuming probiotic-rich food and supplements has been proven to improve digestion, reduce cold and flu, prevent urinary tract infections, and eczema. Studies are also being done (noted in his article) that it could treat cavities, Chrone’s, colitis, and manage autism, among other things.
What we use: We like this product.
Multi-vitamins are really up to you. It all depends on what other supplements you are taking, and most importantly, your diet.
What we use: I’ve lacked in diet lately due to busyness and life, so I’ve opted to use a raw food multi-vitamin made by Garden of Life. It’s called Raw One for Women and can be found here. I just bought a bottle at Whole Foods and the Amazon price is a bit cheaper. It also has probiotics in it which is great. Some of the raw food ingredients found in it are all organic apple, carrot, beet, broccoli, spinach, tomato, strawberry, tart cherry, blackberry, green bell pepper, brussel sprouts, blueberry, ginger, and many other ingredients. A food-based multi-vitamin is the way to go.
My kids don’t take a multi-vitamin as of right now. But I’ve found that Pure Encapsulations, found here, are the cleanest kids multi. Those are chewable, but they also have pill form for older kids.
Yum! My oldest won’t eat honey, but the rest of us love it by the spoonful. Honey has been used in Ayurvedic medicine in India for more than 4,000 years. It eases throat irritation and cough, regulates blood sugar, is healing on burns and wounds, is probiotic (in raw honey), improves skin, along with so many other benefits.
What we use: We use this YS Organic Bee Farms certified organic honey. It is SO good. It’s smooth and creamy. And the jar is big! We also use this to add into our homemade elderberry syrup.
Elderberry syrup is the go to for cold and flu prevention and relief. And it tastes delicious! My oldest won’t consume it, so we make gummies. I’ll do a tutorial for how to make your own elderberry syrup gummies soon. One study showed that taking elderberry syrup within the first 48 hours of experience flu-like symptoms, it reduced the illness by up to 4 days. It can also ease a sinus infections and allergies, improve skin, lower blood sugar, and is a natural diuretic.
What we use: In a pinch, we buy pre-made elderberry syrup. It’s a little expensive for a single bottle, especially considering it gets consumed quickly. Black elderberry is best. We use this kind. I’ll do a post on our homemade elderberry syrup. We buy this bag of dried elderberries. You get a whole pound and the bag makes several batches. And we use the honey above, as well as ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and other healing ingredients.
Amazing Grass Green Superfood.
Since my kiddo doesn’t do veggies, we add this chocolate flavored green superfood powder to another chocolate protein mix. We’ve tried just drinking it mixed on its own and it turns the milk or water slightly green and is not a good experience. But mixed with another mix, he doesn’t even notice. We also add probiotics into the chocolate milk. The powder is also gluten-free and vegan, and you can just add it to water if you don’t drink milk. You can find the Amazing Grass Green Superfood here.
Low iron can result in sleepiness, low energy, heavy periods, headaches, and a zillion other issues. Ways that we get more iron are through supplements, or through the materials that we cook with. We use a cast iron skillet when we can. There’s also another super awesome tool that you can use to naturally add more iron to your diet. It’s this Lucky Iron Fish. You can add it into soups or other meals or even boiled in water. They also donate one to a family in need for every purchase!
Lack of magnesium can cause a lot of symptoms like depression, irritability, restless legs, anxiety, lack of sleep, migraines, among other things. Magnesium activitaes 300 enzyme reactions in the body which leads to thousands of biochemical reactions happening daily.
A healthy diet is essential to a healthy body. It seems obvious, but it can be difficult to make sure your body is getting the nutrients that it needs to thrive and survive. Adding picky kids into the mix adds another dimension to the whole thing. They need more nutrients so they can grow, but they are also incredibly picky. We didn’t add all of these things in all at the same time. That would be overwhelming and expensive. We just researched our most immediate needs and addressed those first. We also educated ourselves about nutrition. Deep Nutrition, found here, is a great book to learn more about nutrition. This list is just the tip of the iceberg as far as what choices are out there to add to your diet, whether food or supplement.
What are you favorite ways to supplement your diet?
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