In a world that often moves at a hectic pace, taking a moment to appreciate the healing properties of the foods we consume can be a game changer for our health. Today, let's delve into the medicinal wonders of some everyday kitchen staples and explore ways to incorporate them into your daily routine.
1. Onions and Garlic: Known for their immune-boosting properties, onions and garlic are culinary powerhouses. Incorporate them into your meals for a flavorful kick and enhanced health benefits. Try a simple sauté of onions and garlic as a base for soups, stews, or mashed potatoes, which most kiddos love! If you have a picky eater, use a smoothie or blender to blend the garlic and onions prior to adding into your recipes. While you are blending, feel free to add carrots, broccoli, bell peppers (high in Vitamin C), or any other veggies you have on hand to sneak in more nutrition.
2. Pepper: Black pepper contains piperine, known for its anti-inflammatory effects, which comes in handy for sinus colds and coughs that are often accompanied by inflammation. Add a dash of black pepper to salads, soups (chicken noodle if you have a cold), or main dishes for a burst of flavor with additional health benefits. You can get away with adding a small amount for kids or teens who do not care for pepper, as even a small amount of something good for the body is better than having none. The black pepper also accompanies the turmeric, which is next on the list, to help with the absorption of the turmeric. *Keep pepper out of reach of children, especially small children. Only add pepper in very minute quantities if cooking for small children or use at your discretion in your meals with what your family prefers and what is safe for your children. Definitely keep out of reach of babies and toddlers.
3. Turmeric: This golden healing herb, with its active compound curcumin, boasts anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Create a golden milk latte with turmeric, ginger, and a touch of honey for a soothing and healthful beverage. For the kiddos, you can add this healthy herb powdered (as a spice) to the meals you are adding your onions, garlic, and black pepper to already. It compliments them well! Turmeric has become a staple seasoning in our home that the kids now automatically add to their dishes with a dash a black pepper. Kid approved when they realize you have already been adding it to meals for quite some time, or better yet, when you teach them why you are adding the herbs and foods to your meals for health reasons.
4. Bone Broth: Gut health affects our immunity. Bone broth is rich in nutrients that support gut health, joint function, and skin elasticity. Make a nourishing soup or sip on warm bone broth for a comforting and healing experience. This is a great option for a soup base for chicken noodle soup when the kids are ill. It is also super beneficial to help the natural gut microbiome keep up and assist to keep immunity elevated so you and your children can ward off those germ bugs.
5. Hydrating Homemade Popsicles: Combat dehydration with homemade popsicles made from pureed fruits like watermelon or strawberries. Add coconut water instead of water to increase electrolytes, which are often lost during illness.
6. Healing Teas: Explore the world of herbal teas for both hydration and healing. Teas that contain chamomile and or marshmallow root are known for their soothing properties and can be enjoyed throughout the day. Adding an elderberry infused honey can help not only boost immunity with it's antioxidant and vitamin C power, but can also sooth coughs and sore throats.
7. Lemon Water: Start your day with a glass of warm lemon water. This simple ritual can aid digestion and provide a dose of vitamin C for immune support. Lemon water is extremely beneficial to help prevent illness, and for a faster recovery.
8. Foods High in Vitamin C: Keep plenty of foods high in this immune building vitamin on hand for you and your kids to snack on daily. Watermelon, strawberries, oranges, mandarins, bell peppers, tomatoes, and even potatoes (sweet ones too!). Always keep fruits and veggies available fresh or frozen to use in smoothies, sorbet, or to warm and add to a bowl of oatmeal. Fruits and veggies also contain fiber, which helps the body with elimination and therefore detoxification.
Remember, the key to using food as medicine lies in consistency. Integrate these medicinal foods into your diet regularly to experience their full benefits.
Your journey to a healthier, more vibrant you begins in the heart of your kitchen.
Cheers to nourishing your body from the inside out and helping your family do things like, prevent illness, recover more quickly, and have more energy!
Feel free to experiment with these ideas, adapt them to your preferences, and savor the journey to a more vibrant, health-conscious lifestyle.
Please feel free to reach out via email if you have questions or need ideas for those picky eaters! I love helping you and your children stay healthy and well! 💜 Jamie
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Jamie Michaels, Natural Wellness Educator & Founder of Children's Wellness Tree
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