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Social Kids – Supporting Social Development in Children

Some children are naturally social, and others struggle with finding their place in social circles.  As parents we can support even the most timid child to learn positive social skills that can last a lifetime.  Below are ten tips to support social development in children.

1. Allow Your Child to Have Influence in Your Family

Give your child a voice in your house and she will have an easier time speaking up in other situations. The best way to foster this in your family is by active listening. Give your child your full, undivided attention and weigh carefully what it is that they are saying. Even young children want to know that their feelings are important and are being heard. Children of all ages begin to recognize that they can earn certain rights and privileges if they do what is expected of them. They thrive when they have a perception of power, some ability to shape their life.

Friendship_social2. Focus on the Positive

Too often parents look at parenting as correcting undesirable behaviours, and their parenting styles dissolve into complaining, nagging and reacting. If you focus on fostering and developing the positive behaviours in your child, then the negative behaviours won’t be so overwhelming. Use positive reinforcement to encourage positive behaviours in your child. Reward positive behaviours by giving them something they value – some one-on-one time doing a favourite activity, computer and television privileges, a play date with a friend, etc. Try to avoid using sweet treats (such as candy and chocolates) as a reward – this reinforces unhealthy eating behaviours as a reward for good work – an issue that often persists into adulthood.

 3. Set a Social Example

Children who struggle with socializing are often children of poor socializers. Be sure to be a good role model for your child – talk to other parents at the park, invite friends (with or without children) over for lunch, tell your children about the fun things you like to do with your friends. This technique is known as modeling. Your child’s most influential role model is their same-sex parent. Let them observe you making friends with others and they will begin to recognize the techniques and consequences of this behaviour and begin to try the techniques themselves.

4. Engage in Your Child’s Life Outside the Home

Most parents find that the way their child behaves at home can be completely different to the way they behave at school or day care. Engage the other adults whom your child sees on a regular basis – teachers, care givers, sports coaches, and parents of other children. These people are the best resource you have for monitoring and changing your child’s behaviour outside the home.

5. Give Your Child Space to Grow

It can be tempting as a parent to be overly involved in the activities of our child. While it is important to be involved it is equally important to give your child space to try out some of their new socialization skills. Children are going to fall down, they are going to make mistakes. Children need to learn what this is like, so they can adapt when it happens and grow as people. If you are always hovering over your child, you rob them of a sense of self-mastery, a sense of accomplishment and competency.

soccer_social6. Enroll Your Child in Group Extracurricular Activities

While activities such as piano or language lessons are important in building skills and competency, enrolling your child in a group activity will allow them to meet other children their age and practice socializing in a low-risk setting. Select diverse activities (not too many at once) and allow your child to find what they enjoy doing while making friends. Examples of group activities include: soccer, swimming, baseball, dance, martial arts, reading groups, cub scouts/ girl guides, art or pottery classes, and more.

7. Host Playdates

Most people feel more confident in familiar settings. If you want to support your child in building friendships be prepared to invite friends over. Keep playdates small – start with just one child – and short – one to two hours is plenty for most children. Have suggestions for fun activities and be prepared to get the ball rolling, but then step back and watch your child play with their friend. At the end of the playdate have a conversation with your child about they fun things he did with his friend, encouraging children to share their feelings with you will make it easier for them to share their feelings with others. If possible, try to arrange regular playdates with the same children – and when they are ready they will want to go have a playdate at their friend’s house as well.

Together time_social8. Be Your Child’s Friend

Get down to your child’s level and play with them like a friend. Not only will this be fun for both you and your child, but you will learn a great deal about your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Studies have suggested that parents of the most socially successful children laugh and smile often, avoid criticizing their child during play time, are responsive to their child’s ideas and aren’t too directive.

9. Don’t Push

As much as we want our children to be happy and well liked by their peers, pushing them into making friends can easily backfire. Some children need more time and need to take more gradual steps towards building friendships. Support your children, but don’t push them. Help them develop social skills such as empathy, problem-solving, co-operation, sharing, negotiation and communication skills.

10. Be Patient!

No skill is learned overnight!  Be patient with this process and know that once your child learns positive social skills they will be able to use them for the rest of their lifetime.

Disclaimer

The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider. Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

Keeping Kids Healthy

Immune support for childrenIt’s back-to-school time again!  An exciting time for parents and kids – and the viruses and bacteria that are heading back to school with them!  For many kids back-to-school means back to runny noses, sneezing, coughing, colds and flus.  And for parents it means sick kids, missed work days – and likely coughs and colds of their own!  But fear not fellow parents, below are my top ten tips for boosting your child’s immune system for back-to-school!

1.    Get a good night sleep

During sleep our immune system is busy producing immune cells that help us to fight off the bugs that lead to colds and flu.  With the change in sleep schedules at back-to-school time a lot of kids aren’t getting the sleep they need.  School-aged children and teens need around 10 hours of sleep per night – so get them to bed on time!

 2.    Teach proper hand washing

Encourage your kids to wash their hands thoroughly several times per day.  Most kids wash their hands for less than 10 seconds but it takes 20 seconds to effectively clean hands.  Avoid using antibacterial soaps – most colds are caused by viruses, not bacteria.  Regular soap is as effective at killing germs as antibacterial soap and doesn’t lead to the development of antibacterial-resistant bacteria strains.

 3.    Cover your cough properly!

As kids we were taught to cough or sneeze into our hands – but times have changed!  When you cough or sneeze into your hand you then transmit viruses and bacteria to everything you touch – door knobs, stair rails, other people.  Teach your kids to cough or sneeze into their elbow – this is known around our house as the “vampire cough” technique.  It’s one of the most effective ways to stop the spread of germs, and my kids think it’s hilarious!

 Oranges for immune health4.    Feed your immune system

Eating a diet rich in immune-boosting nutrients is one of the best ways to keep our kids (and ourselves!) healthy during back-to-school.  Orange, red, yellow and dark-green fruits and vegetables contain vitamin C, beta carotene and other antioxidants and phytonutrients necessary for proper function of our immune system.  Beans, lean meats and whole grains are a source of zinc, which is necessary for growth and immune function.

 5.    Skip the sweets

Refined sugars – found in candies, cakes, muffins, chocolates and sweetened beverages – decreases the function of your immune system for up to six hours after eating it.  That’s a whole day of school!  So skip the sugary school snacks and encourage your kids to eat fruits, vegetables and healthy snacks instead.

 6.    Take your vitamin D

If you live in Canada you need to take a vitamin D supplement through the fall and winter.  All of us – mothers, fathers, grandparents and kids need to take our vitamin D.  In Canada we don’t get enough sunlight between October and April to make vitamin D, resulting in widespread deficiency.  And since we need vitamin D to make antimicrobial peptides – our body’s natural antibiotics – it is no surprise that cold and flu season starts just as our vitamin D levels fall.  Doses are based on body weight – around 800IU for children and around 2000IU for adults.

 7.    Battle bad bugs with good ones

Probiotics are good bacteria that live in our digestive tracts but they are good for more than healthy digestion.  Research shows that probiotics improve the function of the immune system by decreasing numbers of bad bacteria, enhancing function of immune cells and strengthens the mucosal lining of our gut.  Adults and children who take probiotics take less sick days and children have fewer incidences of ear infections, strep throat and colds.

 8.    Treat a cold early

When your kids come home with the first signs of a cold or flu, don’t hesitate to start treating them before it gets worse!  There are a wide variety of herbal medicines, nutrients and supplements that are fantastic for boosting your child’s immune system at the first sign of sickness.  Elderberry, vitamin C, Echinacea, goldenseal, astragalus – and many other – options are available through your Naturopathic Doctor.

 9.    Stay hydratedsleeping kid

Drinking water and clear fluids keeps you hydrated and prevents viruses and bacteria from adhering to the lining of your nose and throat.  During back-to-school season I also suggest parents, kids and teachers drink herbal teas to enhance their immune function.  At both my clinic locations you can purchase the Immuni-Tea I formulated for my own family – a delicious blend of Echinacea, elderberry, ginger, astragalus and other herbs to enhance immune function and keep your whole family healthy!

 10. Keep your sick kids home

Stop the spread of germs and keep sick kids home.  Your child will get well faster with rest and appropriate care, rather than going to school and getting more rundown and exposed to more viruses and bacteria.

Disclaimer

The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only.  It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider.  Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

Tea for Fever in Children

 

Fever is a natural defence mechanism that our body uses to fight off viral and bacterial infections.  Increasing the body’s temperature allows our immune system to function optimally and makes it difficult for viruses and bacteria to replicate.

In an adult the level of fever generally corresponds to the severity of the illness causing it.  This is not necessarily the case in children.  In a newborn the body’s temperature control mechanisms are not yet well developed.  As a result signs other than fever (poor appetite, lethargy, irritability, nausea and vomiting) may be earlier indicators of an infection than fever.

Often the best treatment for a fever is NOT to decrease the fever (which is performing an important function in fighting off infection), but instead to optimize the fever with herbal diaphoretics.  Diaphoretics temporarily raise the body temperature, activate the immune system, encourage sweating (which then brings down body temperature), improve circulation, and minimize the symptoms of colds and influenza including sore muscles, chills, congestion, and sore throat.

Fever often leads to dehydration, which makes tea an especially effective treatment because it will not only help you to manage the fever but it will also supply much-needed hydration.

Very high fevers (generally above 103F/ 39.4oC in an adult, above 102F/ 38.8oC in a child, and above 101F/ 38.3oC in an infant) should be treated with appropriate medications (such as children’s acetaminophen or ibuprofen) to decrease fever while using tea as a supportive treatment.  Do not give aspirin to a child with a fever.  Aspirin use in children with viral infections has been linked to development of a serious liver disease known as Reye’s syndrome.

In some cases a feverish child may experience a febrile seizure.  These occur in a very small percentage of children.  They do not appear to be related to the severity of the fever or to the rate at which the temperature rose.  About 50% of children to experience one febrile seizure will go on to have another one.  If your child has a febrile seizure ensure that you have your child examine by a doctor to rule out any underlying conditions or causes.

There are several herbal teas that can be used safely in children with a fever.  These herbs can also be used by adults.  Children should be dosed according to their age.  One teaspoon every 3-4 hours for children under one year of age, 2 teaspoons every 3-4 hours for children 1-2 years of age and children over 2 years of age can have 1/4 cup every 3-4 hours.  Adults can consume one cup every 3-4 hours.

Catnip (Nepeta cataria) Chamomile (Matricaria recutita)
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) Ginger (Zingiber officinalis)
Bayberry (Myrica cerifera) Peppermint (Mentha piperita)
Lime blossom (Tilia europa) Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Remember – a fever is a sign that the immune system is working.  Hydration and herbal teas are often enough to help a child (or adult!) through the symptoms of a fever.  Always monitor the fever and use medications when necessary.  When in doubt, consult a Naturopathic Doctor or Medical Doctor for help.

Disclaimer

The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only.  It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider.  Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

Iron Deficiency in Children

Iron deficiency is the most common nutrient deficiency seen in children.  In adults the causes of iron deficiency tend to be pregnancy and menses (in women) and gastrointestinal bleeding (in men).  In children iron deficiency is most often due to dietary influences.

Dietary Influences on Iron Levels

Lentils are a vegan source of iron

The effects of diet on iron levels are well-known.  Eating a diet low in iron-rich foods will result in iron deficiency in all age groups.  The chart below shows foods that are rich in iron and should be included in a health-promoting diet.  Picky toddlers and school-aged children may develop iron deficiency due to an iron-poor diet.  However, a low iron diet is only one cause of iron deficiency in children.

The most common cause of iron deficiency in younger children (0-24 months) is over-consumption of cow’s milk.  The iron in cow’s milk is much less available for absorption than human milk.  Breastfeeding for the first 12-24months or using formulas fortified with iron are the simplest solutions for iron deficiency in young children.

Due to the high demand of a child’s body for iron (necessary for growth and development) and the possibility for long-term impacts of iron deficiency (poor growth, decreased intelligence and IQ) an iron deficient child must be treated quickly and appropriately.

Other Causes of Iron Deficiency

Malabsorption (the decreased ability to absorb iron from the diet) is a potential cause of iron deficiency in all age groups.  Malabsorption is most commonly seen in people with celiac disease (an inability to tolerate gluten-containing foods – such as wheat, rye, oats, barley, kamut and spelt) or in people with H. pylori colonization in their digestive tracts.  Absorption of iron is also of concern in vegetarians because the phytates in iron-rich plant foods can decrease absorption.

Genetic conditions can also be a potential cause of low iron.  If you have a family history of iron deficiency discuss this with your Naturopathic Doctor.

Symptoms of Iron Deficiency

The symptoms of iron deficiency in adults and children are similar:

  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Pale skin
  • Sore tongue
  • Dark coloured stools
  • Pica (the desire to eat non-food substances – most commonly ice or dirt)

Food Sources of Iron

Animal Sources(meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy) Plant Sources(legumes, nuts, grains, vegetables, fruit)
Excellent sources (containing at least 3.5mg of iron per serving)
  • Pork, chicken or beef liver
  • Beef kidney or beef heart
  • Clams, canned
  • Oysters, canned
  • Iron-fortified breakfast cereal (1 cup)
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Soybeans, white beans
  • Firm tofu
  • Lentils
  • Chickpeas
Good sources (containing 2.1 -3.4mg of iron per serving
  • Beef
  • Shrimp
  • Sardines
  • Pasta (1 cup)
  • Kidney, navy, pinto beans
  • Baked potato with skin on
  • Cooked spinach (1/2 cup)
Fair sources (containing 0.7 – 2.0mg of iron per serving)
  • Pork, ham, chicken, turkey, lamb
  • Crab, salmon, tuna
  • Eggs (2 large)

*Meat portions are 100g/ 3oz – approximately the size of a deck of cards

  • Split peas (3/4 cup)
  • Dried fruit – raisins, figs, dates (1/4 cup)
  • Almonds, cashews, mixed nuts (1/4 cup)

Treating Iron Deficiency in Children

Iron supplements are the most common cause of accidental poisoning in children so great care must be taken in the dosing and storage of iron supplements.  Before prescribing iron supplements a blood test must be done to confirm low iron levels.  Once iron deficiency has been established your Naturopathic Doctor will prescribe an iron supplement appropriate for your child’s needs.  Dosage of iron is determined by weight and the recommended dose must not be exceeded.

Iron dosage: 2mg/ kg body weight per day

Iron supplements are best absorbed on an empty stomach, but this may cause stomach upset in some children.  If that is the case, take the iron with food.  Taking iron with vitamin C or with an acidic meal (containing lemon juice or vinegar) will increase absorption.

Supplemental iron should be taken for three months, at which time blood tests should be repeated to check iron status.  Iron supplements should be continued for 3 months beyond the point where iron levels are found to be sufficient in order to replenish iron stores.

Disclaimer

The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only. It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider. Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

Four Steps to Selecting Safe Baby Care Products

As parents we want to be sure we are making safe choices for our children.  With marketing claims like “natural”, “mild”, and “gentle” it can be hard to decide which products truly are safe for our little ones.  Every week three-quarters of children are exposed to allergens, neurotoxins, and harmful chemicals in their body care products.

By following the four steps listed you can be sure you are making the best choices for your family.

Four Steps to Selecting Safe Baby Care Products

Step One – Simplify!  Use fewer products.

Most adults use as many as ten personal care products each day.  The number we use with our children can be just as high.  Diapers, wipes, body wash, shampoo, soap, lotions, bubble baths, diaper creams and more are applied to our babies’ skin each day.  Minimize the potential for chemical exposure by eliminating products that aren’t necessary.

Suggestions: Use warm water on a washable cloth to wipe baby’s bum after diaper changes.  Use one product as a shampoo/soap/body wash.  Don’t use bubble bath with young children.

Step Two – Less is More – Use products with fewer ingredients and no fragrance.

The fewer ingredients the more natural the product”.

It’s a general rule and in many cases it is true.  The longer the ingredient list the more preservatives, dyes, emollients and other chemicals the product contains.  There are exceptions to this rule of course, some botanical products use many different plant extracts in their formulas.  But a quick glance at the length of the product label can provide valuable information.

It is also important to choose products that are free of synthetic dyes and fragrances.  Synthetic dyes and fragrances are often composed of several harmful chemicals but due to product labeling laws do not need to be listed separately.  Avoid exposing your child to these chemicals by selecting products that are fragrance and dye free.

Step Three – Read Labels… and Know What Ingredients to Look For.

More important than the length of an ingredient list, knowing what ingredients to avoid is paramount to protecting your child from exposure to potentially harmful chemicals.  The following is a brief list of ingredients to avoid:

Benzyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol Skin irritants and potential neurotoxicity concerns
BHA Found in diaper cream.  Banned in other countries because it can cause skin depigmentation
Boric Acid and Sodium Borate Found in diaper cream.  Industry authorities caution against use on infant or damaged skin
2-Bromo-2-Nitropropane-1,3-Diol (or Bronopol) Found in baby wipes.  Allergen and irritant that can form cancer-causing contaminants
Ceteareth and PEG compounds Petrochemicals that may contain cancer-causing impurities
DMDM Hydantoin Allergen and irritant that can form cancer-causing contaminants
Dyes Some are linked to cancer and are banned outside the U.S.
Fragrance Allergens that may contain neurotoxic or hormone-disrupting chemicals
Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate Chemically similar to neurotoxic pesticides
Methylchloroisothiazolinone and methylisothiazolinone Allergens with neurotoxic concerns
Oxybenzone Found in sunscreens.  In sunlight, can produce allergy- and cancer-causing chemicals
Parabens Hormone-disrupting chemicals with potential cancer concerns
Triethanolamine Allergen and irritant that can form cancer-causing contaminants
Triclosan Linked to thyroid disruption, produces toxic byproducts in tap water

Additionally, a 2009 study found formaldehyde or 1,4-dioxane in a large percentage of tested baby products.  Both formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane were found in 17 out of 28 tested products (61%).  Formaldehyde and 1,4-dioxane are known carcinogens; formaldehyde can also cause skin rashes in some children.  These chemicals are not listed on product labels because they are contaminants, not ingredients.

Formaldehyde contaminates personal care products when preservatives release formaldehyde over time in the container.  Common ingredients likely to cause formaldehyde contamination include: quaternium-15, DMDM hydantoin, imidazolidinyl urea and diazolidinyl urea.

1,4-dioxane is a byproduct of a chemical processing technique called ethoxylation.  Manufactures can easily remove the toxic byproduct, but are not required by law to do so.  Common ingredients likely to be contaminated with 1,4-dioxane include: PEG-100 stearate, sodium laureth sulfate, polyethylene and ceteareth-20.

Step Four – Make a List and Check It Twice.

Having a list of ingredients to avoid, and bringing it with you when selecting new baby care products is the easiest way to be sure you are making a healthy choice.

The Environmental Working Group has made this even simpler by providing parents with two phenomenal resources.  One is the Safety Guide to Children’s Personal Care Products which includes a printable pocket reference guide.

Skin Deep is also from the EWG and offers a searchable cosmetic safety database with toxicity ratings for thousands of individual products and brands.  It is an invaluable resource.  I recommend double checking any product on the Skin Deep website before purchasing it.

Making the best choices for your children doesn’t have to be difficult.  By utilizing the four steps highlighted in this article and accessing the resources offered by groups such as the Environmental Working Group, you can be confident you are using products that live up to the highest standards – your standards.

Disclaimer

The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only.  It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider.  Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

References:

No More Toxic Tub.  March 2009.  Campaign for Safe Cosmetics.  Available at http://safecosmetics.org/downloads/NoMoreToxicTub_Mar09Report.pdf

Safety Guide to Children’s Personal Care Products. Environmental Working Group Report.  Available at http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/special/parentsguide/summary.php

Parent’s Buying Guide: Safety Guide to Children’s Personal Care Products.  Environmental Working Group.  Available at http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/special/parentsguide/index.php?bybrand=1

Ingredients to Avoid: Safety Guide to Children’s Personal Care Products. Environmental Working Group.  Available at http://www.cosmeticsdatabase.com/special/parentsguide/ingredients.php

Tea for Tots

Sharing the Joy of Tea with Kids

There are few topics that I like to talk about more than tea.  I love tea.  I love the flavour of tea, the diverse kinds of tea, the ritual of making tea and the warm, calm feeling that I get when I settle in with a cup of tea.  Tea is also one of my favourite ways of prescribing botanicals (plant based medicines) for adults and children alike.

While I would not recommend giving a child a cup of orange pekoe, chai or English breakfast tea (all of which contain caffeine!) there are an abundance of other kinds of tea that are perfect for children.

Preparing Tea for Kids

Making a cup of tea for a child is very similar to preparing it for an adult, with a couple of simple adjustments.

  • Children often prefer a weaker tea.  Adults should steep tea for between 4 and 6 minutes (depending on the type of tea and personal preference).  For children steep the tea for only 2 to 4 minutes.  If the tea is too strong, add extra water to dilute the strength (this is also a good way to quickly cool the tea!).
  • The temperature of tea to be served to a child should be considerably cooler.  I suggest serving children’s tea chilled, at room temperature or lukewarm (the same temperature used for baby bottles or formula – around 26-36oC).

Selecting Teas for Your Child

Selecting tea is part of the pleasure of drinking tea.  You can have tea that calms you, tea that wakes you up, tea that soothes a sore throat or an upset tummy, or tea that just tastes good.  You can select tea for your children in much the same way.

Teas for Health

Anxiety – studies show that more and more children are experiencing anxiety, and at younger and younger ages.  If your child has anxiety associated with school, friends, separation or for any other reason try giving them a tea to help calm their nervous system.  Teas for anxiety include chamomile, oat straw, passionflower (for children over four), and skullcap (for children over six).  Prepare a cup of tea and enjoy it together in the evening or before stressful events.

Colic – even young babies can benefit from tea!  A tea made from fennel, chamomile or peppermint can be very helpful in relieving colic in infants.  A breastfeeding mother can drink the tea (1 cup three times per day) or the tea can be diluted and given to the infant with a medicine dropper (1 diluted tsp three times per day).

Constipation – use a flaxseed tea (1 teaspoon flaxseed in 1 litre of water, simmered for 15 minutes) to cook oatmeal.  Prepare the tea and then use the tea instead of water to prepare oatmeal for your child to eat.  Or add ¼ cup of flaxseed tea to 4 ounces of juice and give it to your child once daily.  Constipation should resolve within 24-48 hours.

Coughs – depending on the type of cough there are several options for teas to soothe a coughing child.  For a cough with sore throat, marshmallow root or slippery elm tea can be very soothing.  For cough with congestion, licorice or coltsfoot tea are both effective.
(Note: Do not use for more than 3 days in a row.  Licorice should not be used in children with high blood pressure).
Peppermint tea is a mild cough suppressant and can be used in the evenings to help children with a persistent cough to get some sleep.

Sambucus nigra berriesFever – To decrease chills and increase perspiration (which will shorten the duration and intensity of the fever) try a tea with any of the following ingredients (in equal parts): lemon balm, chamomile, peppermint, licorice and elder flower.  For a child over 2 years of age ½ cup of tea can be given up to four times daily for one day.  Serve this tea as hot as your child can tolerate.
Note: Do not use licorice in a child with high blood pressure.  Fevers are commonly a sign that the body is fighting a viral or bacterial infection.  If your child’s temperature exceeds 102F (38.9oC) consider contacting a qualified healthcare provider for further guidance.

Nausea – ginger tea is very effective in decreasing nausea, vomiting, upset stomach and for soothing the digestive tract.  Giving your child tea when they are nauseous or vomiting also provides much needed hydration.  Use ½ cup of ginger tea, three times per day for the first 24 hours of nausea.  Ginger tea is also very effective for motion sickness.  Try giving your child ginger tea as needed during car trips to treat motion sickness.

Teas for Taste

There are a great variety of herbal teas available that children love.  Try fruit based herbal teas as a delicious and low calorie alternative to fruit juice.  Many of the fruit based teas are delicious served cold as an iced tea.  Some of my family’s favourites are:

Hibiscus flowers give tea a bright pink colour kids love
  • Chocolate mint rooibos – a loose tea, naturally caffeine free and deliciously sweet.  Available at www.steepedandinfused.com.
  • Passion by Tazo tea – hibiscus flower, lemongrass, mango and passion fruit combine to make a sweet, pink-hued tea.  Fantastic as an iced tea.  Available at Starbucks stores or many grocery stores.
  • Raspberry Zinger, True Blueberry and Country Peach Passion – all by Celestial Seasonings are favourites of my 2 year old son.  Simple, sweet, fruity flavours are popular with young children and adults alike.

So go ahead and try serving tea to your child.  There is no reason why a tea party need only be pretend!   You may be surprised at how much your child enjoys the flavours and rituals of tea drinking.

Disclaimer:

The advice provided in this article is for informational purposes only.  It is meant to augment and not replace consultation with a licensed health care provider.  Consultation with a Naturopathic Doctor or other primary care provider is recommended for anyone suffering from a health problem.

Resources:

Hoffman, David.  Medical Herbalism.  2003.
Zand, Janet.  Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child 2nd Ed.  2003.