For me, diet and lifestyle are the best ways to safeguard and promote health under most circumstances. Real, whole food has proven in studies again and again that is truly medicinal and optimizing our family´s diet should be the number one priority.
When things get tough, we can also use supplementation to optimize immunity and prevent illness of any kind, especially viruses and pathogenic bacteria (Hello COVID-19!). Some supplements can be helpful no doubt (others not so sure), but I prefer whole-food solutions whenever possible. This is definitely the best for babies and very young children.
Here are the top ways we can keep our kids healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond…
1. Vitamin D3 (or maybe not?)
Think healing mushrooms that have been used for generations to support health, boost the immune system and fight disease. Think reishi, chaga, shiitake and maitake. You can definitely use some of these mushrooms in your meals, but chaga for example doesn’t belong to this category; best case scenario is to drink it as a tea (it’s an earthly delight in my opinion but not everyone agrees…). Perhaps the most reasonable way to give a good variety of medicinal mushrooms to your kids is with a supplement. There are great products of powdered mushrooms in capsules. My picky daughter was actually licking the brown powder of one such supplement from the plate I put it in without any complaints about the flavor. She was just glad her tongue was getting brown… oh my…! The powder can be easily hidden in food too with minimal effect on flavor.
Another great and super yummy way to put mushrooms in your family´s diet is mushroom chocolate! Four Sigmatics has created a fantastic chocolate bar which contain 10 immune boosting & absolutely medicinal mushrooms your kids need and will love. Dark chocolate is also a rich source of magnesium, so you really get a double whammy with this one. This is the kind of healing stuff you REALLY want in your life, whether we go through a pandemic or not. Also, their hot cacao mix with reishi (aka “the mushroom of immortality”) is a wonderful option.
Minerals are quite in vogue right now. We talked about magnesium already, but I forgot mention that it participates in more than 300 biochemical reactions in our body, so it’s pretty important in general, not just to up vitamin D status. The problem is that most people are deficient in it and as we age, we lose even more Mg.
Zinc and selenium are also vital for immune functions. Zinc specifically is very well known in the scientific literature for increasing our ability to fight off different kinds of infections AND it has been found to block replication of SARS, MERS (both COVID cousins) and flu viruses.
Medicinal bone broth is a beautiful addition to your family’s meals. I have used it extensively to help my daughter with the dramatic demineralization she was experiencing in her teeth. You can make your own or buy readymade broth from a reputable company like Kettle and Fire.
Great supplements for trace minerals:
Anderson´s Sea M.D.
ConcenTrace Mineral drops
Life extending and epic antioxidant, vitamin C is a master vitamin to take on a daily basis, especially during flu season. Linus Pauling (2x Nobel Laureate) was taking grand doses (several grams) every day. Natural is better. Acerola, camu camu and rose hips are the richest sources of vitamin C. Red peppers are awesome too. If in need, opt for a supplement that provides the necessary amounts for each age group (see below). Please don’t take seriously the 50-80mg of vitamin C that most multivitamin supplements contain – it’s a joke.
Keep in mind that China officially recommends using large doses of intravenous vitamin C for treating critical cases of COVID-19 patients (10x more effective when delivered like that) because it’s just SO effective against viruses and supports our biology on SO many levels. Their clinical experience is priceless and we can be smart to use this epic antioxidant proactively every.single.day.
Metagenics Ultra Potent-C (chewables, tablets or powder)
Designs for Health (Liposomal Vitamin C or C+ Biofizz powder)
Innate Response, Vitamin C – 400
Pure Synergy, Pure Radiance C
Amafruits, Frozen Acerola puree
Suggested daily doses for kids, according to my favorite holistic pediatrician Dr. Elisa Song:
1-5 years: 125 – 250mg
6-12 years: 250 – 500mg
13-18 years: 500 – 1000mg
19+years: 500 – 100mg
5. B-complex vitamins
This is a large group of really important nutrients. Many of them work synergistically with each other and some minerals.
You can totally get the full range of B vitamins with the following 3 magical whole foods: pollen, liver and rice bran. The first and last ones are super easy to add/hide in your kids’ meals, if necessary. Liver is a bit more challenging; I had great success mixing small (and sometimes not so small) quantities of pureed liver in the meatball mix. Nobody ever realized anything! Just increase accordingly spices (oregano works really well) and onion to mask the liver flavor.