1. Super Diet for Super Strong Immunity
Food plays an extremely important role in fighting the colds and flu. To make sure your child would skip the seasonal flu, or to prevent him from getting a cold, try to follow a diet, rich in vitamins and minerals. If your child is already on a varied diet, offer him lots of fruit and vegetables with every meal, and make sure they are fresh and free of nasty chemicals (by buying organic). If you are still breastfeeding, make changes to your diet, too. Try to serve with every meal as much as possible fruits and vegetables, rich in Vitamin C (kiwi fruit, lemons oranges, peppers, potatoes, blueberries, mangoes), and Vitamin A (sweet potatoes, carrots, pumpkin and butternut squash), as well as foods rich in zinc (turkey, red meat, oily fish, such as salmon, lentils, peas, and grains).
Once your child has a cold or flu, try giving him smaller amounts of food more often. Offer highly nutritious foods such as bananas, mangos, avocados, egg yolks, yogurt, dried fruits, and a spoon of wheatgerm with their breakfast. Try to include garlic in your toddler’s diet or yours, if breastfeeding – garlic has antibacterial and natural antibiotic properties. For babies you could make a “garlic tea” by simply adding finely chopped garlic into boiling water, but don’t give it to your baby; it’s enough if he can smell it.
Keep in mind that milk is mucus formatting, so you may want to exclude milk and milk products (except for a small amount of yogurt) and want to avoid baby coughing and choking on mucus while the child has runny nose, but not longer than a couple of days. Babies under 1 year will still need their usual milk.
Chamomile has anti-inflammatory and calming properties, and is mild and suitable even for small babies over 6 months. Make a herbal infusion by adding ½ teaspoon of the herb to 250ml boiling water, leave for 10 min and give to your kid three times a day.
Thyme is a great herb for the respiratory infections. If your toddler has a sore throat or is coughing, make him a nice thyme tea around 30min before going to bed.
Ginger tea is also good for toddlers with cold or flu (don’t give to babies) as ginger has warming and digestion properties. It helps body to eliminate the toxins quicker, which, on its turn, will help the body to recover.
Echinacea as herbal infusion or in a form of syrup is suitable for children over 2 years old and for short periods only. But this is a great immune remedy, which you may want to consider for older children.
You could add a few drops of lemon to all the herbal teas above, except when you give the tea to a baby under 12 months.
3. Sea salt water
For toddlers you may try to soak their feet in warm water with a handful of sea salts for 10min just before going to bed, then put on socks, and put an additional blanket over him. Check him in 30 min – 1 hour as it will be probably sweating. But this is great, as the body will eliminate the toxins through the sweat. Just wake up your child to change his clothes, remove the additional blanket and wish him good night.
You could also use sea salt water in a form of nasal drops, simply by mixing ¼ teaspoon in small 100ml-bottle with warm-like water, shake well, and place 1-2 drops in each nostrils using a dropper from your local pharmacy.
Massages are excellent cold and flu treatment. By massaging gently your baby or toddler’s back and neck, you will sooth his muscles, and will ease his pain. Massaging his chests will help him if coughing and will warm up the whole body. You may use pure lard or lard mixed with calendula oil (75% lard and 25% calendula oil) when massaging, which will warm the body even more. As massage oil you could also use calendula oil (100ml) with 5 drops lavender oil (do not use more that 5 drops lavender oil for every 100ml calendula oil).
*This massage techniques are not appropriate if the child has a fever or a raised temperature.
If you want to ease your child’s breathing and make sure his throat will not get dry, try humidifying his room by using a cold-mist vaporiser.
5. Extra fluids
Make sure you give plenty of extra fluids to toddler even if toddler refuses to drink fluids when sick with cold or flu. Warm homemade chicken soup (or just the chicken stock for babies 6-10 months) is best, but freshly squeezed fruit and vegetable juices are also good. In general, warm liquids like tea and broth are better, and avoid cold drinks such as cold water or juice.
6. Rest or exercise
Some people recommend lots of rest during cold and flu, others – lots of exercise. The truth is in between. If the child is feeling week and very poor, a good rest will be beneficial. But sometimes children do not feel poor when having a cold – a walk in the park and a dynamic game with your toddler will help him release the toxins from his body, tonus himself and generally feel better.
7. Fresh Air and sunshine
Keep your child warm but make sure he gets enough fresh air. You could either go on short walks if the weather is fine, but if not, keep him inside and open the window every hour for 5-10 min. If the weather is sunny, let your child catch the sunlight – this is a wonderful natural “remedy” for improving the mood and killing the bacteria.
Best essential oils to diffuse for baby cold and flu are lavender, tea tree, pine tree and eucalypt, which you could use in ether massage oils or a vaporiser. Not all of them are suitable for babies, though. For more information please refer to our aromatherapy section.
Please refer to our homeopathy section for further information.