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Especially when your kids are young, you want to comfort them through colds and flu. Sometimes you need an herbal remedy. Other times you just need wholesome entertainment to distract them (and comfort yourself!). Reducing stress helps the body to heal itself! What follow are soothing remedies: both natural remedies that bring comfort and healing AND calm entertainment options we found to be wholesome and good.
Comfort Remedies and Healing Solutions
The following drinks and snacks help to soothe, while also tasting good. The remedies that follow the food recipes have helped our family over the years by providing comfort and healing.
THINGS TO SUCK
THINGS TO CHEW
I have personally seen huge transformations in my kids when they are sick and I give them a salt bath: more energy and 50% improvement of symptoms.
DIY Garlic Oil recipe, if you’d like to make your own
Tea Tree Oil~ This method is newer to me and works so well! Soak diluted (always dilute!) tea tree oil (olive oil + tea tree oil) on one side of a cotton ball. Put wet side gently into child’s ear, with dry side sticking out. Allow child to nap or go to sleep for the night, laying on their side, so sore ear is facing up and tea tree is slowing draining into ear. This works very quickly (1-2 days, or overnight) at making ear infections go away. (source)
Thyme Oil (This is one of my favorites for chest colds. If you’re concerned about the tiny bit of alcohol in tinctures, you can add this to hot water to help it dissipate.)
Nothing works like Steam Tents, with kid-friendly essential oils added in, for chest congestion, coughs, ear aches, nasal congestion: anything ear, nose, throat or chest.
Read about several natural remedies (like garlic, echinacea and vitamin C) here, from my friend Nurse Sarah.
Raw honey works so well! (But it does sting.) Learn how here.
TV IDEAS (ON YOUR COMPUTER)
We read a lot of books, and love them so much! But sometimes sick kids get too tired to read! And moms and dads get tired too. Watching a show can actually help a child relax, allowing their body to heal.
But it’s easy to run out of great programming: TV shows, movies on Netflix, old videos. We love the older Disney classics like Mary Poppins and Swiss Family Robinson, as well as incomparable masterpieces like The Sound of Music. But for common fare, we’re picky, especially when our kids are quite young! And if they’ve already watched a movie, it’s nice to change things up!
That said, a few years ago we figured out a new approach, when one of our kids had a long flu-bug and needed diverting, and we didn’t want them watching lots of movies. We typed into our computer search engine topics like these (that our own kids are interested in):
- best ballet clips Russian ballet
- how to build a log home video
- how to make a pelt video
- blacksmithing basics, forge video
What resulted from the searches were these great videos!:
One disclaimer: These kinds of videos on YouTube usually have brief ads you can skip beforehand. But YouTube can show inappropriate or scary images when you least expect it. I always stay with my kids when we’re watching shows or finding a new one.
- Great Russian Nutcracker scenes~ These are transporting! Any sick kid or tired mom is immediately uplifted and distracted with the magic of this music and the dancers. The videos are each quite short but there are SO MANY that you can see most of the ballet if you watch them all. Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake, the whole 2 hour performance can be found here, with excellent quality dancers.
- Building a Log Home~ This one is made for little ones, cute music with an upbeat tempo. The video is only about 6 minutes. If your kids are older or precocious in their interest in this topic, here is our favorite log home making video. It is 25 minutes long and it is fabulous. Surprisingly, this video is in Finnish; what a beautiful language! The footage is, as my 5 year old said, “so cool, so cool.” This is how log homes were first made. They even show horses pulling the logs out of the forest after being felled. So special!!
- A Pathfinder video about how to skin a squirrel and prepare it for drying, this almost 15 minute video had both my sons (ages 5 and 11) enthralled and very focused.
- This young man from Great Britain is inspiring and his work had even my husband very excited. Here he forges a horse head bottle opener, which again got all three of my “boys” quite animated. (Reminder: Cue up the video first, before showing your child, as sometimes the ads before the videos are scary or inappropriate.)
We were pleased to find short, medium and long videos with quality information that both entertained and educated.
There will always be times for Netflix or old videos. There will always be great classics to watch again. But when you’re coming up dry and don’t want to fill your kids’ minds with nonsense that isn’t remotely edifying or educational, YouTube provides some good alternatives.
Opposed to all screen time or looking for alternatives that promote independent play and interactive imaginative play? Here’s a great article about how to create spaces that foster this, even for sick kids. The author also reminds us to get books on CD from the library! This has been a great option for our family over the years!
I’m sure you can find lots more videos in the areas of your own kids’ interests. If you do, comment below and share your favorites! Also, which cold and flu remedies do you find to be the most helpful?