Keeping Children Well

Learn about keeping children well in this informative page from Kelly Dorfman, MS, LND, author of Cure Your Child with Food: The Hidden Connection Between Food and Childhood Ailments.

Keep an Eye Out for Symptoms

My daughter’s friend came to spend the weekend.

Afterwards, she told her mom she wanted to take vitamins like Tory because, “she never gets sick”.

In truth, our family rarely gets what is “going around” because we have an effective natural medicine cabinet.

At first sign of illness, we reach for immune support.

Symptoms in Low/Non-Verbal Children

In low-verbal children, the first signs of illness can be hard to recognize.

Sudden changes in behavior (increased aggression or self injurious behavior) are often the initial and sometimes only symptom of sickness or allergies.

Nervous system regulation trouble can distort the expected symptoms of bacteria and virus infestations, such as fever or fatigue.

If a patient in a nursing home suddenly becomes aggressive, the staff know immediately to look for a urinary tract infection.

The behavior, not pain or fever, is the tip-off.

Yeast Symptoms

Yeast symptoms also signal pending illness.

Remember, yeast thrive when the immune system is weakened.

Bad breath (from yeast fermenting carbohydrate) and bowel changes from swelling yeast populations can precede illness.

Other Symptoms

Other symptoms to notice:

  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Grabbing or rubbing the stomach
  • Fingers in ears, nose or eyes
  • Screaming
  • Hands down pants
  • Picking at self

Before initial symptoms become sickness, consider supplements that boost immune functioning.

Below are some general suggestions, not meant to substitute for appropriate medical treatment.

See a professional for specific questions about individual children.

General Support

Vitamin C

Proven to reduce the severity of colds, vitamin C increases the body’s output of white blood cells called lymphocytes.

Lymphocytes are the foot soldiers of the immune system.

Vitamin C is non-toxic because when too much is taken, the body excretes it as diarrhea.

Children over 2 can take 250 mg twice a day when run-down and children 7 and up 500 mg or more, twice a day, depending on age and stomach sensitivity.


Good bacteria are the body’s first defense against invaders.

A layer of bacteria coats all the epithelial surfaces (such as gut and lung linings) in healthy individuals.

Maintaining this population helps repel bad bacteria and keeps the yeast population in control.

Increase good bacteria intake to boost your resistance to illness.

Find refrigerated probiotics in powder or capsules and use at least a few billion per day.

For children under 6, a billion or two bugs per day should suffice.

If a child takes probiotics regularly, increase the amount temporarily when illness threatens.

For more read Beyond Probiotics by Ann Louise Gittleman.


Studies show that garlic, taken in capsules or as food, is effective at reducing yeast populations and improving immune competency.

For children who cannot swallow capsules, serve “therapeutic garlic bread”.

Spread a piece of bread with butter or olive oil, then a layer of crushed garlic (available at the supermarket in jars).

Sprinkle with salt to taste.

Colostrum and Transfer Factor

Both colostrum and transfer factor increase immune functioning in the gut, a major entry point for germs.

Use one or the other as most transfer factor available by mouth is concentrated colostrum.

For young children, 1 capsule 2 to 3 times per day may be enough. Follow bottle instructions.

The Flu


This popular homeopathic remedy is a first-line defense against flu symptoms.

While the instructions suggest ingesting the entire contents of one tube, some people report that 10 -15 granules are enough (offering significant financial savings if used frequently).

Take them 15 minutes away from food or mint-flavored toothpaste use.

Only touch the remedy you will be using.


Yin Chiao

Yin chiao is a traditional Chinese herb formula taken the first 24-48 hours for colds that start as a sore/scratchy throat.

Adults take 10 -20 pellets 3 times per day for a few days at onset of symptoms.

Children over 6 who can swallow pellets can take half that amount.

Beware of buying yin chiao at Chinese grocers.

Herbs imported directly from China can be laced with other medications.

Metagenics has excellent quality control for Chinese herbs.

Keep these supports on hand. As one father said, “We don’t get colds any more since we discovered that Chinese stuff”.

While the cold and flu cannot be cured, they may be able to be prevented.

For more information read Superimmunity for Kids by Leo Galland MD and Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child by Janet Zand, Robert Rountree and Rachel Walton.


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