We only get one body as let’s face it our kids learn from us so the habits we have will help set them up for success or not.

Our kids look at us, mimic us. If you are asking them to create habits but they didn’t see you doing them daily they will question why? Why should I? You are not? 

We begin and end our life with a breath So when we are talking about health we should all start with breathing and eating.

When we breastfeed our kids it helps to grow their maxilla wider the longer they nurse the better their airway development. Not all moms can breastfeed so a location consultant can help find the right bottle that mimics nursing for your child. Using a pacifier, thumb sucking finder sucking can negate the good breastfeeding offers.

Transitioning to a myo munchee at the age of 6 months helps build the facial muscles and set your little one  up with good habits like chewing nasal breath and correct swallowing.  

We are meant to breath through our nose and have our tongue up before the agricultural; revolution . We chewed 4 hours a day, had room for all our teeth and not many cavities. Today it is a very  different story. Our kids are not breathing, sleeping, having speech and behavior issues, will need braces, their wisdom teeth out or both.

Mostly because there is no room for their tongue because we do not look at how kids are breathing until there is a problem.  

 There has been a lot of talk about tongue ties and proper treatment, when we had dula or midwives they would take their finger nail and release the frenulum under the baby tongue before they handed the infant to the new mom to feed. No one was the wise back then if an infant did not latch they died there was no other option. 

We do not give much thought to who our kids are breathing , eating and chewing. We give them softer, more processed food so they don’t choke. Chewing and gagging when they are growing is how they figure out how to use their tongue. When the tongue does not rest on the roof they have not developed the suck swallow breath from nursing now th4ey are going to have an issue chewing swallowing and breathing. Guess what is going to happen they are going to become a picky eater, a noisy eater, an open mouth eater. You are going to yell at them to close their mouths and sit still. Eat all the food on their plate. But the fight or flight response is telling them don’t eat what is going on, make you gag and choke. 

So now they have aversions to certain tasks and texture and then combine foods like a sandwich or pizza they must chew and swallow all that and as they chew it changes consistency they want to spit it out. I was one of those Moms that yelled at my daughter. My sister yelled at her daughter to chew it up straight with your mouth closed, don’t spit that out. A tongue tie is hereditary 

How do you know if you have a tongue restriction? Open your mouth as wide as you can reach your tongue to the roof of your mouth. If you have to close to reach, you strain or you just can’t reach, there may be a problem.  There are 4 different classes not all need to be released and everything depends on function: how are you or your child functioning? You may want to have an evaluation done by a myofunctional therapist, an airway dentist, speech pathologist, and a pediatrician. The problem is that my providers will tell you the kids will outgrow it. Because they don’t know what they do not know. You can look and say yes it is restricted or not it looks ok but that is not the only factor. How are they functioning, chewing, speaking, sleeping? How are they breathing? Are they wetting the bed, walking on their toes, having night terrors? Not all restrictions need to be released and not all providers will release it enough. You should no0t have a release without myofunctional therapy  none unless they are an infant should ever be released without therapy before and after because it will reattach.  You may need to have it done again or instages  we want to avoid having to have it done twice, it created scar tissue.

How are you breathing? 

Through your mouth or your nose? How are your kids breathing?

Our mouth is a warning sign our nose filters the air we breathe in. It keeps us healthy. When we breathe through our mouth we are not healthy.

That goes for our kids. When we breathe through our nose it warms,  filters,  humidifies and gives us nitric oxide co2 exchange. When we mouth breathe we are in fight or flight, it affects sleep, behavior, focus and mood. Think about how you feel when you are sleep deprived. How is your child going to know they have a lack of sleep? Mouth breathing at night can lead to bedwetting, night terrors, not wanting to wake up, dark circles under the eyes, dry lips , cavities, the list goes on. 

I recommend seeing if your child can even breathe through their nose? Can they hold water in their mouth for two minutes using only the nose to breathe if not see an ENT. Get the tonsils and adenoids checked.

If they can start with nasal hygiene and keep the nose clear. Especially before bed.

    • Warm wash cloth – You can use a warm wash rag and place it on the nose to loosen anything in there and have them blow cleaning the nose out before bed
  • Xlear nasal spray – One of the MOST preventive things you can do is to irrigate your and your children’s nasal passages with Xlear nasal spray at the end of every day, and after any potential exposure (work, school, playgroups, plane travel, etc.). This is a saline nasal spray with xylitol and grapefruit seed extract, both of which have antimicrobial properties. You will not get “addicted” to it. Other options for nasal irrigation are a regular saline spray, Neti pot, and other sinus rinses. I believe daily and frequent nasal irrigation is one of the MOST important things that we can do to prevent illness and other infections besides hand washing. This is because your nose filters the air you breathe. After exposure to a virus, it invades and multiplies in your nasal passages for at least 1-2 days before you develop any symptoms. Nasal irrigation can wash away viral particles before they have the opportunity to take hold,and make you ill hence preventing many infections from happening in the first place!
  • Wash those hands frequently – especially before eating or touching your face. Do your best to keep fingers out of mouths and noses!
  • Stay well-hydratedDrink water, coconut water, herbal teas, and bone broth. No soda or sugary drinks! How much water do you need? Divide your body weight in half and drink that number in ounces! 
  • Get adequate sleep An increase in sleep actually increases the number of your white blood cells. On the other hand, loss of sleep even for a few hours at night, increases inflammation in our body which makes us more susceptible to catching the flu and having more severe symptoms. So make sure your whole family is getting enough zzzz’s. 
  • An apple-a-day keeps the doctor away  Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. They are full of antioxidants which will destroy the free radicals that weaken our immune system and are responsible for making us feel sick when we catch a bug. Each color provides different antioxidant power – so be sure to eat a rainbow everyday!
  • Drink your bone broth Bone broth has amazing immune-supporting properties. Not only is it delicious, it’s oh-so-nutritious! to get started making your own! Instead of throwing them in the compost bin, use your chicken or turkey bones and simmer!
  • Eat fermented foods. The probiotics contained in fermented foods have tremendous immune boosting powers. In fact, the fermented cabbage, kimchi, was found to have significant effects in preventing and fighting the H1N1 influenza virus! Here are other examples of yummy fermented foods to try – sauerkraut, pickles (try “real” pickles without added vinegar like Bubbies), miso (who doesn’t like miso soup? Make it with homemade bone broth for an even more powerful immune punch!), kefir (a delicious yogurt-like drink that can be made with coconut if you are dairy-intolerant), and kombucha (a tangy fermented tea – my personal favorite is GT’s Guava Goddess).
  • Avoid simple sugars and processed/junk food. Did you know that your blood shows lab evidence of a lowered immune system within 30 minutes of eating simple sugars (like glucose, refined sugar, and fructose), and causes a 50% reduction in your white blood cells’ abilities to kill germs? White blood cells are our “army” cells that fight off germs.  This effect is most noticeable 2 hours after ingestion, but is still present 5 hours later! Maybe that’s why your child always seems to get sick after those birthday parties full of birthday cake, juice and soda. On the other hand, keeping blood sugar levels healthy has been shown to improve immune system activity.
  • Get fresh air and moderate daily exercise. Moderate exercise can boost the production of macrophages, the kind of white blood cells that “eat” bacteria and viruses. However, intense exercise can actually temporarily decrease immune function – so don’t overdo it!
Nutritional supplements to boost your child’s immune system

Apart from these common sense measures, there are a variety of nutritional supplements that can further boost the immune system and give your child’s body that extra defense to more effectively ward off and fight colds and flus. Some of my favorite include:

  • Fish oil – of course! While not specifically shown to prevent cold and flu, omega-3 essential fatty acids have a host of immune benefits too long to list!
  • Probiotics – One study showed a dramatic reduction in fever and upper respiratory symptoms in children who took a probiotic with a specific combination of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium daily  it will also help balance the pH. if your child’s palate hasn’t expanded yet to include a lot of fermented foods, be sure to give her a probiotic supplement to keep her mouth, gut and immune system healthy!
  • I love BURST chewable probiotics.
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which assists our ability to ward off infection. In general, it is recommend Vitamin C 500mg 1-2x/day.
  • Vitamin D – the “sunshine” vitamin – is literally my favorite vitamin in the whole wide world (although technically it’s actually a hormone, not a vitamin). And now, the world is finally giving vitamin D the place in the sun it deserves.  Vitamin D deficiency, is epidemic and can be measured through an easy bloodtest). **Vitamin D3 needs k to absorded
  • Zinc – Zinc is required for the normal functioning of white blood cells. Supplementing with just 15mg of zinc per day in adults has been found to improve our immune cells’ ability to ward off infection.

There you have it! Some tools you need to keep you and your family healthy. Do you need to do each and every one of these things everyday? No! But do what you can, and what feels right for you and your family, and you’re well on your way to a healthy!

Feel free to share this post with anyone who wants to know the steps they can take to keep their family as healthy as possible  Thank you for allowing me to take this journey with you to optimal health to help your whole family thrive!

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