Raising healthy kids is the Topic of the Day every day lately, isn't it?
When our oldest two were little tykes they were So Often ill. Around ages 6 and 4, sometime in the year 2000, they became healthy.
I know, it could be that their immune systems finally became strong,
but get this: Our younger two, born in 2000 and 2003, have never had
a sickness even worthy of a doctor visit. And our older two have never
needed to see a doctor since 2000, either, except for a broken bone and
poison ivy up the nose (sorry).
While they do catch the occasional virus that floats around, these kids rebound
within a day or two, without medicine.
So…why are these kids so healthy now?
I wish I could put my finger smack on the One Reason so I could help other parents out. I'd probably become a millionaire in the process, helping my hard-working man out.
So although I can't tell you the One Thing that worked, I'll give you a list of things that changed around 2000, when the kids became Super Duper Healthy. Pick one, if you can, or all, and see if your crew starts fighting mean piggy and non-piggy viruses, too:
- we quit buying soft drinks at home (they'd still – and do – get one at a party or while eating out sometimes, but the consumption went way down by cutting it out at home)
- increased our water drinking – by a huge amount! They can have only one glass of milk and one of juice each day. For the rest of the day, water is it.
- the kids get a lot of outdoor time – sunshine and fresh air and dirt. They may not go out every day, but it adds up to several hours each week. Sunshine = Vitamin D. Dirt = microbes that keep your gut healthy (sorry, that's kind of gross)
- we started homeschooling the kids. They still share classes, go on field trips, take lessons, so there is no lack of contact with other children, but their contact is never in a small classroom indoors with a couple dozen kids the same age.
- we switched to mostly natural, sometimes organic products. We are Not Rich, so we are not purists in this(or any) area. We can't always justify the extra cost of organic apples or a cow from the local pasture, but we do at least stay away from:
- hydrogenated oils
- weird words on labels that we can't pronounce
- high fructose corn syrup (Halloween candy excluded. You know.)
- high-sugar foods. No more Little Debbie snacks in the house, no more sugary cereal (one box for the birthday kid, though!), no more junkier-than-not snacks
- when they don't feel well, these things have cured them above any medicine we used to pump into their little bodies:
- sunshine/fresh air
- herbal salves or essential oils (I really should blog about this someday – it's just some hocus-pocus stuff I make that is as simple, honestly, as making a pitcher of sweet tea)
- occasionally, we'll use something all-natural (homeopathic) that we purchase (I'm looking forward to trying out Boiron – there's a $1 off coupon, here)
- we stopped going to the doctor as much (in 9 years, they've gone for one broken elbow and 2 poison ivy cases that were so bad they were threatening breathing – yes, I think that kid finally learned not to touch it!)
- we stopped taking medicine from a bottle. We would, if we needed to, but haven't actually had a need for it, since essential oils work so well (I really should blog about this)
- we don't buy chemical cleaners. In the bathroom (sink, toilet), I wipe daily with antibacterial wipes. I guess those might be "chemical," but they don't spray chemicals around, making us breathe that (cancer-causing?) stuff. On the floors, I've tried essential oils + water or Clorox's natural products + water. I also went through a bleach phase, but that was smelly. So was the vinegar phase. On the windows, I just use water and one of those micro fiber terry cloths. In the bathtub and shower, I'll use essential oils + water or Clorox's natural brand + water and scrub it good with a scrunchie. It's amazing how clean a house can be with just plain old water, really. Or, water and a little soap.
- we get a lot of rest. We don't overschedule our days. We don't set the alarm clocks daily. And if anyone feels sluggish or gets a tickle in the throat, that person is encouraged to go take a nap.
That's what's working for us, but I'd love to hear from you, too…
Do you have healthy kids, too? Please share what you do.