It’s that time of year again when kids come home from school with the latest cold & flu virus.  As a parent and a Chinese Medicine practitioner, I have learned important ways of keeping my kids from getting sick.  Prevention is the key.  At home, I ensure proper hand washing, plenty of sleep and proper nutrition.

One of the best ways to ensure a healthy immune system is by monitoring what goes into the body and what comes out.

By watching a child’s diet, I’m keeping an eye out for excessive intake of the following foods:

1) Sugary foods (Candy, desserts, soda pop etc)
2) Greasy and fatty foods (potato chips, fried foods, junk food)
3) Meat, Dairy and eggs are very rich foods that can be hard to digest if given in excess
4) Raw or chilled foods (ice cold drinks, raw vegetables)

These foods in excess create such an imbalance in the digestive system, which then weakens the immune system. (Most of my patients understand this connection as I talk about this all the time!) I do encourage a diet high in complex carbohydrates such as lightly steamed or stir fried vegetables,and small amounts of meat and dairy.  

By watching a child’s bowel movements (stools), i’m observing the following:
1) If the child has loose stools,  it is often a sign of eating too much sugar and sweets.  Keep an eye especially on ice cream!  This combination of sweet, dairy and cold is delicious, but can really stress a young person’s digestive system according to Chinese medicine.  
2) Constipation could be a lack of hydration or a lack of fiber.  Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine also teaches that constipation can be due to excessive heat in the digestive system.  

Kids have amazing vitality!  They aren’t often sick, unless something is out of balance.  Come talk to one of the Naturopaths at Brio to learn how to keep your child healthy all winter long.