Keeping your family healthy all year long is no easy task! Everyone has his or her own quirks and habits, making control an impossible feat. What I CAN promise you, though, is Positive Prevention that will boost the immune system in the process. So, let’s take this first by the forest – tips you can use all year long, and then the trees – specifics under each topic that you can employ immediately for sustained results. In the first half of this series, we will discuss the essentials of proper and restful sleep as well as balanced nutrition for even the pickiest eaters. Keeping those bodies rested and fueled is the best offense against any threats that may come along throughout the year.
We all know how important sleep is for everyone, but for kids, it is even more so. I know it’s easier said than done when one of your kiddos is a night owl and the other is an early bird, when one lives to nap and the other can’t be bothered to sit still. Making it even more difficult is that kiddos don’t know how to wind themselves down and instead may become more hyper the more tired that they are. Helping their circadian rhythms with an evening routine supported by high-quality essential oils can be the key to restful slumber.
The National Sleep Foundation recently established a panel of experts to review the needed amounts of sleep for different age groups, which also takes into consideration differences within each category depending on personal lifestyle and body composition. Here are the recommended “sleep windows” for kids of all ages:
|Age||Recommended||No less than||No more than|
|14-17 hours||11 hours||19 hours|
|12-15 hours||10 hours||18 hours|
|11-14 hours||9 hours||16 hours|
|10-13 hours||8 hours||14 hours|
|9-11 hours||7 hours||12 hours|
|8-10 hours||6 hours||11 hours|
So, turn off those screens an hour before bedtime, put them in a relaxing bath or shower, have some quiet meditation or prayer time, and darken the room as much as possible!
THE NEXT STEP
One of the best oils to support sleep in children is Lavender. Diffusing it 30 minutes before bedtime, adding it to homemade body wash and lotion, or simply using it in a diluted rollerball on the bottoms of their feet or up and down the spine before bedtime can help to bring immediate calm. It doesn’t work for every kid, but I have seen amazing results for many! If Lavender doesn’t work for yours, try Roman Chamomile! It has a smoother scent with the same great calming effects and is just as safe for infants as Lavender. Older kiddos may prefer the muskier scent of Vetiver to the floral Lavender, but all three oils work wonders for calming and relaxation before bed.
Here is a great recipe for Calming Balm that can be used as a massaging balm for kids (and adults!) of any age!
ALL-NATURAL CALMING BALM
¼ c. shea butter
¼ c. coconut oil
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. castor oil
15 drops essential oils – Lavender or Roman Chamomile (or equal amount of both!)
In a hot water bath, place a glass jar with all ingredients except the essential oils. Stir or swirl until melted. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add essential oils, swirl, and then pour into a glass jar with a lid. A dab will go a long way!
Balancing out the tops needs for growing bodies is Nutrition. Adults sometimes wish they had developed better eating habits when they were kids, so give your littles the gift of a variable palate. Expose them to a variety of healthy foods and teach them about portion control early on. Serving meals family style so that they can portion out their own meal, but also instilling a rule that they eat what they take teaches valuable lessons about trying new things, appropriate sizes of foods, and prohibiting wasteful habits. I know too many moms who don’t eat dinner with their families because they are making separate meals for each child or up-and-down so many times granting special requests that they are stuck with cold leftovers from their child’s uneaten plates. Give them the gift of good habits
THE NEXT STEP
Because all kiddos go through stages where they only want to eat certain foods, it is important to have secret weapons in your back pocket. Sustaining the vitamins and minerals that their growing bodies need requires planning and some stealth. If you can’t get the actual fruits and veggies into them the old-fashioned way, try smoothies or fruit ice cream!
FRUIT ICE CREAM
1 cup frozen fruit
1-2 Tbsp. water, fruit juice, or milk
In a food processor, blender, or Ninja prep, add the ingredients and pulse approximately 10 times. Then blend until it is a smooth “ice cream” mixture. Serve for any meal or snack…your kids will go bonkers if you have this for breakfast!
Another great tip for getting in their daily regimen of nutrients, keeping their bodies and minds supported, and keeping their…ahem…bowels moving lies in a little dōTERRA magic! Here are three products specifically designed to keep kids super supported all year round.
Think of your favorite children’s vitamin…and then add to it the power of CPTG essential oils, Omega-3’s, superfoods, antioxidants, and brain and immune support. Plus, this chewable maxes out the daily recommended values of all essential vitamins and minerals for kiddos free of dyes, synthetic flavors, or added sweeteners. And in case you’re an adult who doesn’t like to swallow pills, these can work for you as well!
Paired to work synergistically with the a2z Chewables, this powerful supplement takes the worry from moms and dads with picky eaters. Packed with a punch of Omega-3 fatty acids, EPA, and DHA, IQ Mega adds a Wild Orange flavor to normally-fishy oil. Moms can sprinkle some on a nut butter sandwich or quickly drip into a morning smoothie or yogurt to get this daily dose of amazing power into their kids each day.
PB+ Assist® Jr.
Listening to the concerns of their WA parents, dōTERRA recently developed a powdered probiotic supplement that tastes amazing! Kids with tummy issues of any kind will love taking this powdered probiotic loaded with 5 billion live cells of 6 strains of friendly flora specially selected for littles. And even more fun, you can mix this sachet of powder with water, yogurt, smoothies, or other foods to make it go down a bit easier!
THE BOTTOM LINE
Thought these two areas may be the most difficult for many mamas out there, Smart Moms know that proper sleep and a balanced nutritional plan gives their family the foundation that it needs to move forward each day. In the second and final part of this series on Kids & Family, we will add on two more steps to the foundation of proper health all year long – Exercise and Immune Support. Be sure to read on to learn how essential oils can continue to support your family year round.
Eager to buy your own essential oils or dōTERRA products to give your family extra support all year long? Click HERE to learn more about ordering and joining my Terra Tribe!