First, I have something silly to mention, and then I'll get more serious. This has bothered me for a while, and every time I see it I think about mentioning it on my blog, and well, today is the day. Do you ever buy chocolate chips cookie dough in the little tube? There are two main brands available, probably at every large chain across the country: Pillsbury and Nestle. I used to buy Pillsbury, and not sure exactly why, but maybe it has always been cheaper or something, who knows? But one day...I noticed on the label...that it says, "Chocolate Chip FLAVORED." I thought that was strange, and then read the ingredients. Sure enough, the chips in Pillsbury's Chocolate Chip Cookie dough are not chocolate. They do boast that the cookies contain "real cocoa," while Nestle boasts that their cookies are made with REAL semi-sweet chocolate chips (check it out...it's right there on the label). Maybe this doesn't matter to you, but with the small benefit that chocolate provides to our health, I'm going to get the product with REAL chocolate. Just thought you should know this if you didn't notice it yourself!
On to more serious subjects. The news has really hammered us with stories of the swine flu. No matter what flu hits your area, you want to put up the best defense possible for yourself and your children. Even though my kids stay home, they come into contact with other children (or their germs) during sports, playing outside, church, and the stores. So no matter what your situation, unless you are hibernating this winter, you need to take precautions to keep your kids healthy. How do you do this?
1. Boost immunity. Provide a healthy diet for your children that does not contain soda pop, excessive sweets, artificial sweeteners, and artificial colors. Add more fruits and veggies, fresh water, and good, healthy meats (not hotdogs, lunch meat, or "chicken" nuggets). Give a daily multivitamin.
2. Increase Vitamin D intake. Multivitamins will often contain Vitamin D, but not enough for winter months (or even summer months for most people). Here is a great article (with links to other articles) about the role of Vitamin D in flu prevention.
3. Wash your hands. Here is more information about the flu with a link to a great hand wipe recipe that you can make at home. Many hand sanitizers on the market contain ingredients that you would want to avoid, and they are immune to viruses in the first place. So a good hand washing after being around people or visiting stores is your best bet, or using our hand wipe recipe that IS anti-viral.
If your child does come down with the flu, using high doses of Vitamin C is very valuable to aiding and hastening his recovery. Here is a great article about a man on his death bed who received IV Vitamin C to save his life. I have done this with my own son when he ran a very high fever a few years ago. I did not know what was wrong with him, but with Vitamin C, it doesn't matter. Whether it's bacterial or viral, Vitamin C will help. Within two days he was 100% better. The best way to know that your child has reached saturation levels is by watching his bowels. If he starts getting cramping or loose stools, give less C. I gave my son a 500 mg chewable every hour. He was 4 or 5 at the time. (No, I'm not a doctor...but search for this stuff on the internet and you will find lots more info on this!)
Another thing all parents should know is that all kids need saturated fats in their diets. Dieting parents often feed their kids the same foods they eat, causing a lack of saturated fat in their kids' diets. And by the way, parents need saturated fat as well! If you saw how thin I was and I told you how much saturated fat I consume daily you would either pass out or beat me up. The problem is that we have been told over and over that fat makes us fat. It does not. Read about saturated fat and all its benefits. And give that kid some whole milk!
By the way, to get the best sources of saturated fats, your best bet is to find a local supplier of grass fed cows where you can get beef, whole raw milk, yogurt, cheese, eggs, etc. We have been getting our products from a local farm for a couple of years now and we drink raw milk every day (that means unpasteurized, and not homogenized). You can find a source of these healthy products near you at www.realmilk.com .
Well, I guess that's all for now. Here's hoping you have a healthy fall and winter, and that something you read here helps you accomplish that!