Herbs For Back To School

Summer will be over and kids will go back in school.  Important topics include what is good for appealing nutritious lunches and how to keep kids healthy.  I see these as directly related topics. The answer is organic food–protein, quality oils, veggies, fruit–and adequate sleep. These are the cornerstones of prevention.

If you observe your child coming home tired with dark circles under their eyes, or being unusually irritable, act before the first sneeze. One of the first principles to reverse the common cold (viral) is to “relieve the surface,” i.e., induce perspiration. Easy to do with hot soup, hot tea, and a hot bath or shower, or even exercising until perspiration appears. Vitamin C and L. acidophilus are useful.  Anti-X, a decoction of anti-viral herbs, focuses on the upper-respiratory system and is appropriate for all stages of cold and flu including sneezing, muscle aches, sinus involvement, headaches and mucous.  If your child has a tendency toward sore throats, you may make a cup of Traditional Medicinals’ Throat Coat tea or use Chinese Cold & Flu. For coughing, tea of lemon and honey and Elderberry Plus is very soothing and palatable. If the infection slips by you and gets to the bronchi or lower, Deep Lung is helpful.

In the Fall, it’s hard to anticipate the weather except by dressing in layers; a turtleneck and hooded jacket for early and late in the day and a short sleeved tee shirt underneath for midday heat. Now if kids will only remember to not leave their jacket at school!

Now for the big assignment:  school lunches. Creativity, enthusiasm, variety, and kid participation in the decision-making and preparation process will pay off. Drinks are the biggest source of sugar in lunches. Read the ingredients and make sure you’re not buying the one that says: water, sugar, concentrate.

Another guideline that worked in our family for sandwiches is the ‘five veggie rule’.  That means I needed to add at least 5 veggies to the sandwich. For example, your kid may like lettuce, sprouts, mashed avocado (in place of mayo), or blending a variety of greens into the bread spread such as cilantro, basil, parsley, avocado, or dill, and adding a little yoghurt or mayo to the green mix. Mincing colored peppers, olives, jicama, pickles, radish, and thinly sliced cucumbers or even steamed veggies also work well.

Making homemade organic beef, turkey, or salmon jerky really captures children’s interest and is easy and inexpensive. Bags of mixed raw or lightly toasted nuts, coconut strips, currants, raisins, and a variety of seeds are eagerly accepted. Fresh fruit–a kiwi, apple, pear or tangerine, whole or cut into pieces quenches thirst and satisfies the sweet tooth. Include herbs as a part of your life-style to prepare your kids for school.

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