Cures in your cupboard

Foods for colds, flu and hay fever: Help prevent these maladies by eating immune system boosting foods. Help minimize their intensity and shorten their duration by including these foods in your child's diet when he is sick:

Chicken soup: a certain protein, which is released when making chicken soup, thins down mucus in the lungs making it easier to expel. Chicken soup is even more effective than hot or cold water in moving mucous. Add as much garlic to the soup as your child can enjoy since garlic contains a compound similar to a well known European lung medication that regulates mucous flow. A slow, continuous intake is most beneficial. For a delicious recipe for Chicken Soup, guaranteed to help you and your kids kick the cold, go to the end of the article.


Hot and spicy food: These may be harder to get down kids, but things like spicy taco sauce and hot mustard act like an expectorant. Eating spicy foods regularly helps thin out secretions of colds, allergies or asthma.

Garlic: Garlic can kill viruses and bacteria responsible for colds and flu.

Liquids: Drink plenty to keep mucous membranes hydrated since viruses thrive in dried out environments.

Foods for constipation: Constipation can be a real source of discomfort for your child, and a source of preoccupation for you. Lots of foods act as natural laxatives.

Fiber: Fiber helps to bulk up the stools and start mobility in the intestine by mechanically stimulating nerve reflexes in the colon wall. (Some medications do the same thing chemically.) Get fiber by eating whole grain foods, especially cereal bran. Other high fiber food include pears, dried fruit, berries, and peas and cooked dry beans. Bran muffins with lots of raisins or prune bits ans sweetened with a little honey are usually well liked by kids. Fiber needs to be added gradually to a child's diet. a large load of fiber, in a clogged system that isn't used to dealing with it can cause major discomfort, and may not cure the problem. Add high fiber foods slowly, perhaps switching first from white bread to whole wheat bread, then adding more fruits and vegetables one serving at a time, or one day changing a snack of peanut butter saltines to apples spread with peanut butter. Look closely at your child's diet to see where there are sources of fiber and where you can add more. Many toddlers shun fresh fruits and vegetables, which are high in fiber, but are big carbohydrate eaters. Therefore, it might not work to try and add fruits and vegetables that they will balk at eating, but instead try switching the grains they eat to whole grains with the bran. That means brown rice instead of white, 100% whole wheat bread instead of white, an wheat bran bagel instead of a plain.


Fruit juice: Particularly apple, pear and grape juice are high in the naturally occurring sugars- fructose and sorbitol. Both are difficult for young intestines to digest so they end up causing gas, loose stools, and often diarrhea if drunk in excess. Add a little of these juices to help with constipation.

Prunes: They have earned their reputation as a natural laxative due to their ability to stimulate the natural contractions of the intestine that are necessary to move waste products through. They somehow also aid in drawing water into the intestine. a glass of room temperature prune juice taken on an empty stomach, early in the morning may just do the trick

Fluids: Include plenty of fluids, especially if you add fiber to the diet because the fiber likes to soak up liquid. Drinking too little fluid is a classic cause of hard stools that are painful to pass. Avoid anything with caffeine like cocoa or soda since caffeine acts as a diuretic.

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