Cures in your cupboard

Foods for diarrhea: Many causes exist for diarrhea in little ones. It can be a passing GI bug, stress, or an allergic reaction to a food. Chronic diarrhea can be an indication of a serious problem, or it may just be that your child is drinking too much apple juice. For that occasional bout the foods you choose to eat or not eat can effect its severity and duration. (Infants with diarrhea should be treated differently than older children and adults because their chances of loosing too much fluid and becoming dehydrated are greater.)


For older children the following suggestions may help:

Starch bland foods: Bananas, rice, applesauce and toast (the BRAT diet) is a common recommendation. They are foods that tend to appeal to children, even when they are sick, and so it encourages them to keep eating. Small frequent meals are more easily tolerated. Keep away from foods that are bulky or gaseous such as bean or onions.

Fluids: Avoid soda, fruit juices, sweetened fruit drinks or sports drinks. Most are too high in sugar, which tends to pull water out of the body and into the GI tract. Diet drinks are also a poor choice since they offer no replacement nutrients for those lost from the diarrhea. The same is true for tap water. The best fluid is a cloudy, starchy one. a thick soup, like potato soup or a thin rice cereal (porridge) are good antidiarrheal remedies. Avoid milk, especially if your child is lactose intolerant.

Yogurt: This is a good choice to help prevent diarrhea because some diarrhea causing bacteria are inhibited by it. Also, because yogurt produces lactic acid in the intestine, making it harder for offending bacteria to survive, yogurt may help your child recover from diarrhea. (Lactose intolerant kids can still eat yogurt since the bacteria in the yogurt have digested most of the lactose.)

Foods for nausea: Several studies have shown ginger to help prevent and reduce nausea. Gingersnaps, ginger ale, and ginger tea may help alleviate mild nausea Take some along on long car trips for your motion sick child, or on the boat in case of sea sickness. One of the benefits of using ginger as an anti-nausea cure is its lack of side effects that many over the counter drugs have. Slowly drinking clear fluids, an ounce at a time is helpful. Avoid juices, especially citrus juices since the acid in them will aggravate the stomach. Instead, try diluted sports drinks or broth


Foods for cancer: Most cancers take a long time to develop and don't manifest themselves until adulthood. The lifelong eating habits you help your child establish now can help protect him later on in avoiding this disease. An estimated 50% or more of cancers are thought to be diet related, and many foods have been proven to aid in cancer prevention. In a nutshell, the foods to include in your child's diet are those foods high in fiber, low in fat, and rich in anti-oxidants (vitamins E, C, and beta-carotene). Be sure to choose lots of citrus fruits, dark green and deep yellow vegetables and fruits. Serve plenty of onions and lots of garlic. Make cabbage a regular. Eat fatty fish like mackerel and salmon for their omega-3 fatty acids. Include soybeans and yogurt in quantity. Minimize the consumption of high fat foods, meats, and traditional vegetable oils such as corn oil. Choose olive, flaxseed or canola oil.

Each day brings new evidence of the pharmaceutical value of food. In some cases the studies just give validity to those things we felt all along to work. Others are opening new ways to naturally treat illnesses and keep us healthy.

Over the Counter Chicken Soup

  • 3 tbsps. olive oil
  • 1 whole clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
  • 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 large chopped onions
  • 2 stalks chopped celery
  • 4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 3 to 4 quarts of chicken broth (canned or homemade)
  • dash of cayenne pepper or more to taste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil.
  2. Add the garlic, onion, celery and chicken and saute for 5 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add broth, carrots, and potatoes.
  4. Bring to a boil.
  5. Simmer until vegetables are cooked, about 20 minutes.
  6. Add cayenne pepper and salt and pepper to taste part way through the cooking process to allow flavors to mingle.

The spicier you make the soup, the more apt it is to stimulate mucous secretions and help you clear your head.

To Your Health!

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