It’s so important to have clean, filtered water available for our children at all times. It would be ideal to have a full home water filter but that can be pretty pricey. What I do is take 5, 5-gallon jugs to Whole foods and fill them for about .50 cents a gallon. I use my bottled water for drinking, cooking and sprouting. I try to have little water bottles for each kiddo in the car, by their beds, and at the table during meals. It was so hard to get my older kids off of juice. I would just dilute, dilute till I literally had a splash a juice with a whole glass of water. Whatever it takes to keep the kids hydrated without all the junk and extra sugar they don’t need. We do not want all the chemicals and contaminants that are in the tap water. Period.
As much as possible. Especially with meat, dairy and produce. Meat and dairy are filled with antibiotics, hormones and GMO’s. It gets pricey so we find ways to stretch our meals like soups, stir fry and tacos with lots of fixings. Produce is pretty easy to do affordably. Costco and other markets have good deals on organic produce. Of course, supporting your local farmers markets and fruit stands. Also, take a look at the dirty dozen list and the clean list to get an idea of what foods are safe to purchase non-organic. We just want to limit exposure to fertilizers, pesticides and GMO’s. Plus organic food usually has higher nutritional value due to soil conditions.
Add Probiotics and Fish Oil
I am sure you have heard that beneficial bacteria from probiotics help maintain a healthy digestive tract. Some strains help boost the immune system and decrease inflammation. It is good to have different kinds of probiotic strains. Our favourites our kimchi, yogurt and kefir. I have a bottle of probiotic powder I keep in the fridge and put a little scoop in their smoothies in the morning. I have definitely noticed better health since taking the probiotic myself. Fish oil will provide omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3’s are an important component of cell membranes and have anti-inflammatory effects in the body. The long-chain Omega-3 fatty acids are most important and are known as EPA and DHA. It is essential to use high-quality fish oil that has safety testing to ensure there are no contaminants such as mercury or other dangerous chemicals. I used to mix it in juice now the kids just take it off the spoon.
Make Bone Broth
It is highly nutritious and heals the gut. Bone broth is a source of gelatin, which may break down into collagen in the body. I started making bone broth about 5 years ago after reading the GAPS diet book. One of my kiddos was diagnosed with Autism and had lots of gut issues. We all did. I started making bone broth and it has become a weekly staple. I actually put it in thermoses for my families lunch. I like to make chicken because it is the most affordable. I now add chicken feet and it makes it so gelatinous. I also add raw ginger and garlic at the end of cooking for extra immune support. Add in a bit of rice noodles and kids love it!
Stop Letting Kids Choose What They Want To Eat
Now I know that sounds mean and horrible but this was a game changer in my house. Especially regarding kids with special needs. There was a point where my daughter would only eat like 5 things and they were all gluten and dairy foods. I started slowly by replacing her favourite foods with healthier options and once she got a little older we went hardcore. I got so sick of being away from home and she wouldn’t eat anything but junk. I was also tired of making 2 or 3 different dinners. We started enforcing that everyone would eat together as a family and eat the same thing. I also brought in the help of ABA therapist to help introduce vegetables to my kiddo. It was a group effort. Meal times were stressful and not fun. I am a firm believer in enjoying meal time and being peaceful while eating. It was everything but peaceful but it worked. My children now eat what I make. They eat vegetables! It was the best thing I did. My children were so deficient in so many vitamins and minerals that you can only get from food. I feel like I had to be a mean mom for a minute but they will have a lifetime of healthy eating habits because of it.
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