As a parent of two young girls I worry about what medications they take, and side effects they may have. The large recall of Tylenol pain relievers and Benadryl allergy products, seen here in a USA Today article, makes you wonder how safe is any medication we give our kids. If possible I like to use natural foods and household items to treat simple, common ailments children get frequently. Here are ten everyday foods you can use to keep our children healthier in a more natural way.
1) Honey – A seen here in a Mayo Clinic article honey has been found to help relieve a cough and sore throat in children. This common ailment usually bothers most children at least once every winter. In a study of children two years and older honey reduced nighttime coughing, and let them sleep better. It showed the honey was as effective as dextromethorphan, commonly found in cough medicines. Warm tea mixed with a little honey works well to calm a sore throat. Just remember due to a small risk of infant botulism doctors always recommend you never give honey to a child under a year old.
2) Papaya – Papaya fruit contains Vitamin C and flavonoids to help rashes from spreading and causing an infection. The fruit also acts as a natural antihistamine to reduce swelling.
3) Chicken Soup– Many often wonders why it customary to eat chicken noodle soup when you are not feeling well. On the top ten foods list that can help cure common ailments in children chicken noodle soup is probably the most well known. Parents all over the world give it to their children when they have a cold. There is actually a good reason for doing this. The compounds in chicken soup lessens the inflammation caused by cold symptoms. A wonderful natural way to help your child be able to breathe better when sick with a cold.
4) Cloves – I remember when I was twelve years old and one night in terrible pain from a toothache. Since my grandmother was not able to get me to a dentist in the middle of the night she had me put a whole clove on it. I remember it did not taste yummy, but this common food did help to cure my pain. A very common ailment in children and also very troubling. Cloves contain eugenol a natural antiseptic that can be released by lightly chewing on the clove where the tooth pain is, or you can just apply it directly to the tooth.
5) Cheese – Most children love to eat it, this popular food can help cure the common ailments children have with their teeth. Eating cheese can boot pH levels to protect the teeth from cavities. Cheese also contains casein which combines with the calcium in the cheese to help fill in cracks in the teeth.
6) Poultry– A common ailment among many children are difficulty relaxing and falling asleep, we know how wound up children can be at bedtime. Chicken, and turkey contains an amino acid called tryptophan which helps produce serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that helps relax you and regulate your sleep cycles. That explains why everyone in your family wants to take a nap after eating Thanksgiving dinner.
7) Flaxseed – Taking flaxseed on a regular basis has been known to help children retain attention better. Number seven on my top ten list can be found at your health food stores and ground up and added to yogurt or oatmeal. In many grocery stores you can now find health bars and cereals containing it. A natural way to help your child be calmer and attentive is very appealing to most parents. Hyperactivity is a very common childhood ailment, most have some degree of it at one time or another.
8) Beef Tenderloin– This food in the top ten list is great for treating the common childhood problem of acne. Beef tenderloin is full of Vitamin B and Zinc. These two nutrients have the ability to combat unwanted blemishes. My tween daughter has recently started having this ailment and I am making more meals like stew using beef tenderloin. This way we can try to treat it without prescription medication if possible.
9) Shrimp – Many parents are not aware that shrimp is rich in copper and omega-3 fatty acids, both can be a natural headache reliever. Some children may not be too keen on eating shrimp, living in Texas right on the Gulf coast we are raised eating shrimp and other seafood. Preparing them fried almost like chicken nuggets are a way to prepare them that most children will like. Just be cautious about not feeding it to your children if they are very young or you may suspect they have a food allergy. Shellfish is one of the top ten allergy foods so always be careful.
10) Sweet Potatoes– For year many parents have used sweet potatoes to treat the side affects of chicken pox. As a child I suffered from three small outbreaks of chicken pox, I still remember how painful and itchy it was. The side affects of this common childhood ailment can help be reduced by eating sweet potatoes. This natural delicious food is full of Vitamin C, beta-carotene and flavonoids that helps heal skin tissue, stimulate the immune system and even keep fevers down.
These are just a few of the foods parents can use to help their children feel better when they get one of these common childhood ailments. Instead of always heading straight for the medicine cabinet you might want to try a natural way to help them feel better. If you have any questions about treatments for your sick child always consult their doctor first. Remember these are just to give relief for simple, common ailments if you child is extremely ill be sure you seek medical treatment immediately.
Mayo Clinic – www.mayoclinic.com/health/honey/AN01799
USA Today – www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2010-01-15-tylenol-recall-expands_N.htm