Under the Radar Ways to Supercharge a Kid’s Immune System
Trumbull, Connecticut. March 16, 2020 – With schools closing “indefinitely” and grocery shelves becoming bare, we all are anxious to see how this plays out and when it will be over. As parents we have a responsibility to keep our kids calm about the situation, keep their immune systems strong, and use preventative ways to kill viruses that our kids come in contact with. Karen Barski, 25 year RN; Reiki Master IIII; Wellness Coach; and Holistic Mom, offers 10 under-the-radar ways to supercharge your kid’s immune system. Best part, adults can use these tips too!
“I’m a mother of five and have kept my kids off antibiotics for 8 years using the below immune-boosting practices that quite frankly are still under the radar and not mainstream – but should be. I even shrunk my own adrenal tumor by half using holistic remedies leaving my doctors in awe. We are true believers and practitioners that the best pharmacy is our very own kitchen…and garden,” says Karen Barski, Founder of Zenergy Center and the Woombie Baby Swaddle.
For Kids (preschool kids and older)
A smoothie a day keeps the doctor away
Move over apples, smoothies are taking your place. “All kids should have a smoothie right when they wake up – this superfood immunity boost goes right into your cells since your stomach is empty. The body has been sleeping all night and is not digesting any food which means it has more time to do what it should – keep your organs clean, healthy, and functioning at its highest level to prevent sickness and disease,” says Barski.
Here’s a go-to recipe your kids will love (enough for 2-3 people):
1 Cup Organic Frozen Mixed Berries
1 Banana for natural sweetness
2-3 Scoops of Vanilla Protein Powder (we choose dairy free, plant-based)
2-3 Tablespoons Chia Seeds or Chia/Flax Blend
2-3 big handfuls of greens like kale or spinach (or we like to use Earthbound Organics “Power Greens” from Costco which has a mix of baby spinach, baby kale, and baby swiss chard – 1.5 lbs for under $7!)
1.5 Cups of Water or Almond/Soy/Nut Milk (avoid dairy)
Here’s another “green” smoothie but looks purple so kids love it (2 serving sizes):
1 Whole Lemon peeled (seeds and all!)
1 Tsp of fresh ginger (1/3 size of your thumb)
1 Cup leafy greens (kale or spinach)
1 Cup Coconut Water
1 Small Celery Stalk
½ Cup Frozen Berries
½ Banana (can be frozen too)
Used for 6000 years, essential oils are a form of alternative medicine using plant extracts to promote health and well being. They can be applied to the skin or used through aromatherapy. Here are some best essential oil tips for kids:
- Essential oils should be used on kids 3 years and older topically (in a carrier oil like jojoba). Essential oils can even be diffused in infant nursery from birth and beyond but put it on the other side of the room and dilute it a bit more.
#3 Prevent Spreading Germs
Talk to your kids about sneezing / coughing etiquette such as coughing into your elbow/arm and never your hands and throwing away used tissues then immediately washing your hands or using sanitizer (hand washing is best).
When your child comes home from school, a playdate, or anywhere public where they touched things (sat in a seat, shopping cart, etc.) do this routine:
- Shoes off at the door.
- Clothes off at the door.
- Wash hands with soap for 20 seconds – sing the ABCs.
- Avoid sugar and junk for all snacks – soda is liquid poison. Fresh fruit, veggies, and healthy snacks like chickpea puffs, granola, and trailmix.
- For adults – take off shoes, wash hands, and wipe down your cell phone as well as your car steering wheel next time you drive.
Antioxidant-rich Elderberry is a shiny purple berry from the European Elderberry tree and has been used for generations to treat a wide variety of ailments. It’s best known here in the States to help strengthen kids’ immune systems and help fight the flu (studies have proven that it shortens the duration of sick time by 2-3 days).
You can give kids a small daily dose of Elderberry during flu season to boost your child’s immune system as a preventative measure or can be given when your child gets sick.
“There are many ways to take Elderberry, but the easiest for littler kids is to get the concentrated dropper and add to water. I add to my kid’s school water bottle and he drinks it during the day without tasting anything but water; however, it does have a good taste since it’s a berry,” adds Barski.
Always ask your doctor before taking Elderberry since kids with autoimmune disorders should not take it.
“Vitamins and probiotics are important to keep your kiddos strong and healthy. We use the Olly + Probiotic Gummy Vitamins. One a day up to age 4 and then it’s two a day.
“We also give our kids extra Vitamin D – the Vitamin D gummies are great and they also have drops which can be added to water without making it taste different.
“Vitamin C is very important – we like the Vitamin C powder packs. At the first sign of getting sick, mix with water and enjoy. They have Vitamin C chewables too. Our bodies can absorb up to 1000 mg of Vitamin C a day so start in small doses multiple times a day – 250 mg doses for kids,” adds Barski
“We cannot expect our bodies to stay healthy and fight off germs if we are not fueling it properly. It’s like putting diesel gas in a regular car,” adds Barski.
Foods to Build up a Great Immune System:
- Kiwis are a magical fruit! The golden kiwis have double the vitamin C compared to a green kiwi and are delicious and sweet. One kiwi has almost double the vitamin C as an orange. Eat three golden kiwis and that’s nearly 300 mg of Vitamin C.
- “Garlic is a superfood! We feed our horses some garlic with their feed and not one bug or fly gets on them. It’s incredible. Garlic contains compounds that help the immune system fight germs. Studies have shown that garlic reduces the risk of becoming sick in the first place if eaten often or daily, as well as how long you stay sick. It can also reduce the severity of symptoms,” adds Barski.
Make sure to talk to your Vet before giving animals garlic.
- Sauerkraut and non-dairy Kefir – “While some families prefer Greek yogurt, to get probiotics we eat sauerkraut and non-dairy kefir (since we are dairy-free). These foods help create a healthy gut. When your gut is healthy, your immune system is stronger,” adds Barski.
- Spinach – This leafy green is packed with numerous antioxidants and beta carotene, which may increase the infection-fighting ability of our immune systems. It’s the healthiest when cooked as little as possible to retain its nutrients. “Add fresh to salads, healthy superfood bowls, a sandwich or wrap, and add it to pasta dishes and soups at the last moment for a minute so it wilts then serve,” adds Barski.
Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salt draws out toxins from the body. “Depending on your needs there are several that are recommended including Eucalyptus if you have respiratory cold, but I prefer the original Dr. Teals which is the cheapest at Walmart or Amazon.com. 20 minutes max and drink plenty of water afterwards – this is very important,” says Barski.
You can add essential oils like Lavender or tea bags of Chamomile, Valerian, or Lavender tea to help boost the immune system.
Every day you should get out and walk and/or run around and play with you kids. A Harvard study showed that walking boosts immune function and helps protect you during cold and flu season. Those who walk have 43% fewer sick days compared to those who exercised once a week or less.
“Skip the busy gym to practice social distancing and choose the open air instead. Luckily the weather is becoming warmer so families can enjoy the outdoors. Look up local hiking trails. It’s super fun to explore new trails and be with nature. Pack water and for longer hikes bring some healthy snacks. A picnic is also fun to do,” adds Barski.
Follow the same tips as above plus add in:
1. Intermittent Fasting
The last time you eat should be 7PM at night and then the next morning when you wake have two glasses of water (16 ounces to jump start your body – just think, you just went 8 hours with not one sip of water!) and you can have a cup of coffee (almond milk but no sugar), then an hour later have your Super Greens Protein Smoothie just like the kids have. No solid food until noon time so that means you just fasted from solid food for 17 hours giving your body a chance to clean those organs, detox, and get your body working at its optimal state.