Category Archives: Children’s Health

Naturopathic medicine articles, research, news, and tips on children’s wellness topics including immune support, food allergies, skin rashes, eczema, vaccinations, cold and flu, respiratory disorders, attention deficit, autism, and more.

The Best Kale Chips

By. Dr. Amy Rolfsen ND

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So, we all know that kale is just about one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. It is outrageously nutrient dense, boasting over 200% of your daily vitamin A, 100+% of vitamin C and 600% of your daily vitamin K!! That’s not even mentioning all the other vitamins, nutrients and micro-minerals. If you read the article on eating for your immune system, you’ll realize how important nutrients can be for your immunity.

These chips are a staple in our house. Yes, we do have a lot of kale in our garden. But the main reason I make these all the time is because they are the absolute best way to get my daughter to eat a TON of leafy greens. She loves to help me mix these up, place them on the pans and then, of course, eat them as fast as we take them off the pan. It was actually impossible to get decent pictures of these kale chips because they dissapeared too quickly.

Ingredients

1 large bunch kale (washed and dried)
4 tbsp tahini (sesame butter)
4 tbsp olive oil (3 if your tahini is really runny)
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp sesame oil
3/4 tsp salt

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 280º F
  2. In a small bowl, mix together all the ingredients except for kale
  3. Tear the kale into large chunks, removing the main stalk – place in a large bowl
  4. Pour the sauce over the kale, massage the mixture into the kale until it is well covered and slightly wiltedimg_6929
  5. Place the kale in a single layer on large pans
  6. Place pans in the centre racks of your oven. Bake for ~ 10-15 minutes, checking after 10 minutes. The chips are done when they feel light and brittle but aren’t browned

* Cooking time will vary for based on the type of kale you’ve chosen and how saucy each piece is.

 

ABCs of Children’s Immune Health – By Dr. Julie Durnan ND


One of the most common questions we hear from parents in the clinic is:  “How can I boost my child’s immune system?”.  This is an especially hot topic in the fall so I thought it would be handy to provide patients with a list of our all time favourite immune boosters.
A.  Vitamin A.  Found in organic butter (yes, not margarine!).
B.  Berries.  A diet rich in pigmented berries will provide your growing child with an abundance of antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, and minerals.
C. Vitamin C.  Found in bell peppers, broccoli, brussel sprouts, pineapple, papaya, kiwi, and of course, our favourite kale.
D. That’s Vitamin D.  Supplement children 2000IU to 4000IU per day depending on age and weight.  This vitamin is especially important for us Canadians, particularly those of us who live on the North Shore.
E.  Elderberry Syrup.  A wonderful fruit syrup full of antioxidants and shown to reduce incidence of colds and flus in children who take longterm.
F.  Food colourings and additives.  Avoid them.  If you’re still buying orange cheese or artificially coloured crackers (fishy crackers),  find chemical-free alternatives.
G.  Green leafy veggies.  These contain iron, folic acid, fibre, and minerals.  You can hide them in smoothies or popsicles, steam them and add tamari as a side dish, or serve them raw with other chopped veggies and dip.  Aim for at least one serving per day.
H.  Herbal teas:  Astragalus/Echinacea/Ginger/Garlic botanicals are great teas for boosting children’s immune systems.  Just as effective is adding these to soups, sauces, or stirfries.
I.  Infection. Prevent the spread of infection by washing hands frequently and covering mouth and nose when coughing and sneezing.
J.  Junk food.  Get it out of the house.  Kids are exposed to enough candy and processed foods at school and friends’ parties.  Keep your child’s daily diet free from sugar and processed foods.
K.  Keep their necks warm during cold, damp, windy weather.  According to Chinese medicine theory, when our “wind gates” (located at the back of the neck) are uncovered, they allow viruses to enter and infect the body.  Keep kids cozy with scarves and warm jackets during the fall and winter.
L.  Licorice.  This herb can be a wonderful tonic for the lungs and overall immune health.  It is great for cough and building the immune system.  It can be taken as a tincture/glycerite/syrup/tea.
M.  Multivitamin.  When kids get picky, it’s a good time to introduce a daily multi as an insurance policy that they are getting all they need for optimal immune function.
N. Nutrition. In the face of frequent colds or flus, it’s very important to focus on good solid nutrition and to rule out any food intolerances.
O.  Organic.  Avoid pesticides and herbicides as these contribute to the overall toxic load that can interfere with hormonal function, immune function and growth.
P.  Probiotics.  70% of our immune systems are in our digestive tracts.  Supplement your child with 5 to 40 billion probiotic organisms per day, depending on age.
Q.  Quiet time.  Kids need down time.  Things get busy with school and activities.  Allow for some time to rest and recharge.
R.  Regular meals.  These are the foundation for great eating habits and a wonderful time to catch up with family members  and talk about your day!
S.  Sleep.  Children under the age of 12 need up to 11 hours of sleep per night.  Sleep deprivation can result in lowered immunity.
T.  TV.  Turn it off.
U. Unconditional love.  A five year old once told me the secret to raising healthy children:  “Just love your kids”.  I think she’s got it right.
V.  Veggies. 5 to 10 servings per day. Yes, you heard me correctly!
W.  Water.  Plenty of fluid.  Up to 8 cups per day depending on child’s weight.
X.  Exercise.  Children need a minimum of 60 minutes of activity per day.  We are so fortunate to live here and have so many outdoor activities at our doorstep.  Get out there!
Y.  You need to lead by example.  If your child sees you eating your veggies, taking your required supplements, exercising, and resting as needed, they will learn that this is the norm and it will be much easier for them to develop healthy habits.
Zinc.  Foods such as oysters, cocoa, nuts, wheat germ, pumpkin/squash/watermelon seeds.  Also, zinc lozenges are nice and soothing for sore throats.

And don’t forget to bring your little ones in to the clinic for regular naturopathic check-ups.  We recommend well-child visits once per season to rule out any chronic issues that may be dampening their immune response.  Together, we will keep them vital and strong.  Happy Fall!

 

 

Vaccine Viewpoint – By Dr. Nina Lange ND

One of the topics that we generally cover with parents is the very
controversial subject of vaccinations. It is an area that often is emotional
and difficult for parents as they struggle with what they believe is a
black or white answer : to vaccinate or not to vaccinate?  The problem
lies in the fact that we are inundated with “facts” in the media and
community and these only lead to confusion. Making these choices isn’t
easy but it should be an informed decision. Do as much research as you
need by reading some recommended books and talking to your health
care providers in order to feel comfortable with the choices you make.
Knowing that you are not alone, that there are many parents out there
who are trying to find a plan that feels best to them for their child, is
very important.  We will support you through this process.
It is important to know that whether you choose to vaccinate according
to the CDC schedule, whether you choose to use alternatives such as
homeopathic nosodes, whether you choose to delay or split up the
vaccinations on the schedule or even just select those which you feel are
most important, in all cases the child’s immune system and body should
be supported naturopathically.
What does this mean?  It entails a healthy diet free from processed
foods and foods that might aggravate the immune system,  supplements
for general immune support and  additional pre /post vaccination
support. Although we have some general immune support guidelines
and a naturopathic pre/post vaccine protocol that we recommend, we
always individualize the specific requirements based on the child’s
overall health.
A healthy immune system is necessary whether a person is vaccinated
or not!