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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Everybody is Sick!

I came across this article tonight and thought it was especially pertinant since it seems like everybody's kids are sick right now!  We have been doing just this, including the honey and Ava LOVES the taste of it!

It’s winter - a time for beautiful snowfalls, cozy sweaters, soup for dinner… and a variety of winter illnesses. On average, children catch between three and eight colds per year, most of them during the fall and winter months. Amy Marlow, RD and HAPPYFAMILY’s Nutrition Advisor, offers some tips to help boost your family’s immunity this winter.
  1. Serve superfoods. Make every meal count with superfoods that are packed with nutrients like kale, yogurt, blueberries, and Salba. Avoid overly processed foods with lots of calories but very little nutrition as these will fill up your child and leave no room for nutrient-rich health foods.
  2. Season with onions and garlic. By adding onions and garlic to your toddler’s meals, you’ll be serving up quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent upper respiratory infections. Also, garlic’s antimicrobial effects against gastrointestinal bacteria and viruses help to prevent diarrhea. Introducing these flavors early helps to shape your baby’s tastes for great-tasting healthy foods.
  3. Give a boost with probiotics. Many nasty invaders in our bodies enter through the lining of the stomach. Strengthen your child’s defenses with probiotics – “friendly” bacteria that naturally help the body fend off infection and stay in balance. Probiotics are naturally found in yogurt and fermented foods like kimchi, kefir, and sauerkraut. Also look for foods that are fortified with additional probiotics (like HAPPYBELLIES cereals).
  4. Get enough zinc. This mineral plays an important role in the formation of white blood cells, which fight infection. The best dietary source is beef, but if your family doesn’t eat red meat, you can find zinc in yogurt, green peas, dark leafy greens, and broccoli.
  5. When colds strike, open the pantry, not the medicine cabinet. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, non-prescription cold and cough medications are no longer recommended for children under age 4 because of the risk of serious side effects. Luckily, there’s an equally effective remedy in your pantry: honey. Rich in antioxidants, the thick syrupy texture helps to dissolve mucus in the throat and is very soothing. Studies also found it to quiet children’s coughs as effectively, if not better, than medications. (Note: never feed honey to a baby under age 1).
What’s your favorite natural way to keep your family healthy this winter? We’d love to hear from you!

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Amy Marlow MPH, RD, CDN and Nutrition Advisor for HAPPYFAMILY Amy is a registered dietitian (RD) and New York State certified nutritionist. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition and Dietetics and a Master of Public Health degree. In addition to her work with HAPPYFAMILY, Amy currently helps manage a Fortune 100 company's employee wellness program and sits on the Board of the Greater New York Dietetic Association. She is a published health writer and has presented on a variety of nutrition and health topics. Amy is the proud mother of Noah and Alana. Full bio.

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