Nursing Little Ones Back To Health

When there is someone sick in our home, I have learned that there are multiple types of illness and multiple types of treatments. I keep an assortment of things on hand to help speed healing and ease discomfort.

Bone Broth:

I always cook down poultry bones to create a rich stock. I freeze it in flat plastic freezer bags or pressure can it for later use.

When a child is sick, I warm up the broth with a touch of salt and garlic powder. For a heartier option, I add chicken meat and veggies to turn it into a comforting soup.


While I don’t always keep crackers on hand, I make sure to have them available when a child is suffering from a stomach bug.

Crackers are gentle on a recovering stomach and serve as a bland, easy-to-digest first food. I opt for whole-grain varieties with low sugar content.

Alternatively, rice cakes or dry wholesome cereals can also work well in this situation.

Raw Honey:

For sore throats or coughs, I add honey to tea. Raw honey acts as a natural cough suppressant.

Interestingly, pediatricians often recommend honey over cough medicine due to its effectiveness and lack of frightening side effects.

Raw honey is also rich in antioxidants, which may speed up healing in the body.

Note that honey is not suitable for children under one year old, so alternative methods are necessary for babies recovering from coughs and sore throats.

Yogurt and Kefir:

Probiotics play a vital role in combating bacterial infections. Most ear and sinus infections, as well as stomach bugs, are bacteria-related.

If my child is able to eat, I try to incorporate yogurt or kefir into their diet. These probiotic-rich foods support gut health.

In cases where antibiotics are necessary, I ensure they are taken alongside probiotics to maintain a healthy balance.


  • Chamomile Tea: A soothing choice to calm children and promote restful sleep.
  • Peppermint or Ginger Tea: These teas work wonders for settling upset stomachs.
  • Senna Tea: Helpful for easing constipation.
  • Licorice Root Tea (e.g., Throat Coat): Ideal for soothing sore throats.
  • Milk Thistle Tea: During nursing, I relied on this tea to boost milk supply.


  • Baobab Powder: A potent antioxidant rich in vitamin C. I incorporate it into smoothies and drinks for overall healing support.
  • Matcha Tea Powder: Known for its healing benefits, I mix matcha into smoothies, cold drinks, or warm teas for both myself and my children.


  • Vitamin C Powder: A staple in my home. I blend a small amount with stevia and natural flavoring extracts (like cherry, pineapple, or coconut). Sometimes, I add matcha or baobab powder for an immunity-boosting sip throughout the day.
  • Vitamin D and B: Both of these vitamins build up the immune system and speed up a person’s recovery. I sometimes supplement with them if the illness is severe, like flu.


While I prefer natural remedies, I recognize the value of medicines when needed.

  • Acetaminophen (Dye-Free): My choice for relieving pain without unnecessary additives. The Genexa brand is reliable.
  • Ibuprofen (Dye-Free): If necessary, I use this to address both pain and inflammation.

Both medications are my last resort, especially when a fever becomes concerning or a child experiences noticeable discomfort.

Essential Oils:

In our home, I approach essential oils with great care. Essential oils’ side effects and long-term impact remain insufficiently understood, which prompts me to exercise caution. While I appreciate their potential benefits, I use them only when there’s a specific need. Here’s how I navigate their use:

  • Lavender Oil-A doctor once cautioned me that even lavender oil can mimic estrogen in the human body, similar to soy products and BPA, so I do not add this to baths or diffuse anymore. However, I do use it for a bug bite treatment, or sometimes to help relax neck muscles and reduce headache pain.
  • Eucalyptus for Lung Health: During allergy season, I employ a diffuser with a blend of oils, including eucalyptus. Eucalyptus helps open up the lungs and ease congestion. For severe chest congestion, I opt for a gentle eucalyptus chest rub, sometimes accompanied by hot towels or a heating pad. While opinions on this vary, I find eucalyptus to be effective and personally comfortable for occasional use.
  • Thieves Blend and Airborne Germs: When illness circulates in our home, I’m not opposed to using a blend like Thieves to combat airborne germs. Thieves oil combines various essential oils known for their antimicrobial properties.
  • Tea Tree Oil for Skin Blemishes: Tea tree oil is my go-to for healing skin blemishes. Its antiseptic qualities make it effective for minor wounds and acne. I also find it to be numbing and healing for cold sores. I dab a bit on a cotton swab and hit the cold sore with it. In a day the sore is gone.
  • Peppermint Oil for Nausea: When we travel, I apply peppermint oil to my son’s feet to ease stomach discomfort. It has anti-nausea properties.


When illness strikes, proper hydration becomes paramount. As a mother, I’ve learned the importance of keeping my children well-hydrated during sickness. Here are some strategies I employ:

  • Mineral Salt Water: Instead of reaching for a bottle of Gatorade, I opt for a simple solution: mineral salt in water. This natural alternative provides essential minerals without the added dyes and sugar.
  • Plain Water: Sometimes, the basics work best. Plain water, whether chilled or warm, remains a reliable choice. Staying hydrated with water is fundamental to recovery.
  • Lemon Water: Lemons are detoxifiers and rich in vitamin C. I often make lemonade by squeezing fresh lemon juice into water and adding a touch of Stevia for sweetness. Warm lemon water can also soothe a sick child’s throat.
  • Juice in Moderation: While I’m cautious about juice due to its sugar content, I recognize its benefits. Cranberry and grape juices are nutrient-rich, but I dilute them slightly to reduce the sugar load. Apple and orange juices, when watered down, still provide flavor and vitamin C.
  • Frozen Hydration: Chopped ice is an effective way to keep children hydrated during bouts of vomiting or diarrhea. Natural fruit popsicles also serve as cooling treats that provide slow hydration for kids recovering from upset stomachs or fevers.

Non-Food Treatments:

  • Humidifiers: These devices are the nemesis of cold viruses. They also work wonders for soothing sore throats during the night. I keep a couple of humidifiers—one for each room—especially when multiple children are sick.
  • Steam Showers: When sinuses are congested or throats are sore, steam showers work wonders. I’ve even held my babies in the shower to benefit from the steam.
  • Epsom Salt Baths: For fever relief and overall comfort, I add Epsom salt to warm baths. It helps detoxify the body, absorb magnesium, and soothe body aches.

Rest is crucial for healing. I ensure my children take naps and go to bed early when they’re unwell. The severity of the illness determines the amount of time spent in bed.

What We Avoid

When illness strikes, our home follows specific guidelines to support recovery. Here’s what we avoid:

  • Sugar: Sugar suppresses the immune system and provides fuel for bacteria and viruses (including cancer cells). It also depletes vitamins. To expedite recovery, we minimize sugar intake. However, there are exceptions. Raw honey, despite its fructose content, soothes sore throats and coughs. The benefits often outweigh the risks. Occasionally, we use medicine containing sweeteners or allow crackers, unsweetened juice, or a bit of Gatorade (in cases of severe dehydration). These options contain sugars, but we weigh their immediate benefits against the concerns.
  • Milk: Except for breast milk in nursing babies, we avoid regular milk during illness. Milk doesn’t hydrate the body effectively and can exacerbate fevers. Its lactose content (a form of sugar) doesn’t aid speedy healing.
  • Heavy Foods and Meals: Sick individuals in our home avoid heavy meals. While we invite children to eat with the family during meals (if they’re well enough to sit), we don’t insist they consume what everyone else does. Instead, we allow them to sip on tea, have crackers, and be selective until they’re ready for more substantial food.