The natural way to a strong and healthy child is a healthy, strong immune system. Your child's immune system is their bodies defence system against infection & disease, and immunity is having the ability to fight off infection.

Children are more susceptible to illnesses and infections when young, as their immune system is not considered fully mature until around 14 years of age.

So what can we do to naturally nurture our children's developing immune system's?

In order to develop and thrive, children's immune system's need to be nourished by the essential nutrients it requires to function effectively. These are Vitamin A, B-Vitamins, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Selenium & Zinc.

All of these nutrients will be provided if your child has a diet made up of fruits, vegetables, lean meats/legumes, fish, wholegrains, nuts and seeds.  However your child's immune system will be weakened by excessive salt, sugar and saturated fats. A diet high in these substances may also lead to an increased  risk of illness later in life.

Also have a quick read through 'Back to Basics' for some ideas to rid chemicals from your lives, as the accumulative effect of these can impact your health and the health of your children, in the long term.

Every child is born with a certain level of immunity, which has been inherited from the mother, via the placenta during pregnancy, and then through the nourishing act of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is the best protection against illness a mother can provide for their offspring. See the blog post 'Breast is Best'.

From birth onwards your child's immune system is strengthened by the exposure to a variety of different infections. So the immune system fights these germs by creating antibodies to attack them.  The amazing thing about our immune system is that whenever it fights off an infection, it stores this information, so that it can remember and protect your child against it the next time it appears. So while the immune system is developing, it gains strength after each and every encounter with infections.

So how does this work with artificial immunity created by immunisations? 

Vaccination is based on the theory that immunity can be artifically created. So injecting babies and children with so-called harmless versions of a disease to stimulate the child's body to fight them off. So tiny babies of eight weeks old are been given a concoction of injections which not only have the ready-made antibodies, but also a variety of chemical fillers, that are a having disasterous effects in susceptible children.
 
This is a highly emotive subject. If you get the opportunity to watch The Greater Good, a documentary about the dangers of vaccinations, it could be the most important thing you watch in regard to the health of your child.
This link below will give you an overiew of the Greater Good and the themes of the documentary.
 http://youtu.be/8NHIDEqydS8 
 
An interesting fact is that some children still seem to be getting these illnesses regardless of the vaccinations. For example, the prevalence of whooping cough in our region has been blamed on parents of children who choose not to vaccinate. However the majority of the children with the illness HAD been vaccinated! Both my children have had whooping cough and their immune systems effectively fought it off and they have been extremely strong and healthy ever since, with only mild colds and fevers. 

Our bodies have an amazing ability to heal themselves, given the essential nutrients they need to function at an optimal level. So how is it that Doctors who have trained in the field of medicine, continue to prescribe antibiotics for viral conditions?
 
Antibiotics do have an important role to play in fighting bacterial infections. However most illnesses that children are exposed to in their early years are viral, ie colds, coughs, chicken pox etc. When your children contract these viral conditions, they need rest, lots of nurturing and nourishment to support their bodies natural immune system to do it's job. Every infection helps your child's immune system get stronger.

I have written an article on Naturally, Nurturing Colds, with love, rest and nourishing nutrition. Both my children have never needed antibiotics, as I am very vigilant about their diets, especially when they have an illness , so they won't develop into a bacterial infection.

Below are a list of foods that are packed full of immune-boosting nutrients that will help to protect your child from disease.

Avocado       Beetroot        Lettuce    Capsicum    Tomato  Cucumber  
Watercress   Carrot           Broccoli         Onion      Parsnip  
BokChoi    Cabbage          Sweet Potato    Kale       Cauliflower               
Shiitake Mushroom    Kale              Spinach         Peas     Flaxseed Oil  
Corn      Butternut Squash    Zucchini    Pumpkin     Nori     Miso 
Apricot    Berries     Blackcurrants     Cherries     Sultanas
Nectarine   Grapes          Watermelon  Coconut        Apple     Olives
Banana     Lemon           Pear        Orange        Pink Grapefruit
Melons    Guava    Kiwifruit        Mango        Paw Paw     Pineapple        Dates         Dried Apricot    Almonds    Cashews    Linseed       Pinenuts
Pumpkin Seeds    Sesame Seeds    Sprouted Seeds    Sunflower Seeds
Walnuts    Brazil Nuts    Pecans    Brown Rice    Amaranth    Barley
Buckwheat    Millet    Popcorn       Quinoa        Wheatgerm    Wholewheat
Oats    Chicken    Turkey    Cod    Anchovy    Eggs    Salmon    Yoghurt
Butter beans    Chickpeas    Lentils    Soya Bean    Chilli    Cinnamon    
Cloves    Coriander    Ginger    Manuka Honey    Mint    Molasses    
Parsley    Rosemary    Thyme    Tumeric    Garlic    Cumin

This list can obviously be added to of course .....
Wherever possible, the majority of our diet is made up of certified organic and local products. The benefits of pesticide and GM free foods are immense and our environment is suffering from the endless spraying and disconnection and manipulation of nature.

Every product we buy has consequences.... for example we can buy some seeds manipulated from Monsanto or we can support a local certified organic seed saver... the choice is always ours.....we can be the change: one purchase at a time.

We also supplement our diets with a probiotic superfood 'Inliven'.
To watch a short video on the benefits of this amazing product scroll down to the end of this post. 

As a mother, I care passionately about my children's health. My two children have had colds, viruses and digestive upsets, but as I mentioned earlier, have never needed antibiotics.

I am often told how lucky I am to have such strong and healthy children and yes I feel fortunate. However I also know that healthy, strong children do not just magically appear. I was mindful of everything I put near my body, prior to conception, all through pregnancy and while I was breastfeeding and now I make sure my children have a healthy and varied diet to enhance their health and strengthen their developing immune systems.

We can all help our children develop strong immune systems, by making conscious, informed choices regarding nutrition,  antibiotics and vaccinations. Medical professionals and doctors have a role to play in our lives, however do not only look to them in regard to our children's health, let's do our own research and make informed choices! Nature possesses a bountiful array of nutrients that support and strengthen our children's bodies. It is our responsiblity as  parent's  to nurture and nourish our children to optimal health.

kJ 



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