How Can I keep My Kids Healthy This Winter?
I hope this newsletter finds everyone healthy and
well! Cold and flu season is nearly upon us,
and I’ve been asked
what steps we can take to keep our children,
and ourselves, healthy this winter. This is especially pressing on
my mind as my 10-month
old daughter, Kenzi, has just developed her second
runny nose and cold!
I invite you to attend one of our upcoming
classes on cold/flu prevention and treatment and
take the opportunity to learn, and personally
ask our practitioners questions, about how to help
your child through this cold/flu season. These
classes will go much more in depth than I can in
this brief article, but I hope that this
will provide a good start to a healthy winter
for your whole family! Dr. Sandy
Newmark and Kandice Stellmon, nutrition consultant,
will offer this class on Saturday, November 6.
Dr. Donna Ruiz and Kandice Stellmon will offer
this class again on Saturday, December 11. Please
use the following link to see the full
details about these classes on our website:
Get Your Child Through the Cold and Flu Season...Naturally!
Commonsense Measures to Prevent Cold/Flu
Of course, there are several commonsense measures
which most of you are likely already doing to prevent cold/flu. But
just as a reminder:
Nutritional Supplements to Boost the Immune System
- Wash those hands frequently, especially before eating or touching
- Stay well-hydrated.
- Eat lots of colorful fruits and vegetables. These are full
of antioxidants which will destroy the free radicals that weaken our
- Avoid simple sugars and processed/junk food. Did you know
that your blood shows lab evidence of a lowered immune system within
30 minutes of eating simple sugars (like glucose, refined sugar, and
fructose), and causes a 50% reduction in your white blood cells' abilities
to kill germs? This effect was most noticeable 2 hours after ingestion,
but was still present 5 hours later! Maybe that’s why your child
always seems to get sick after those birthday parties replete with
birthday cake and juice or soda. Conversely, keeping blood sugar levels
healthy has been shown to enhance immune system activity.
- Get fresh air and moderate daily exercise. Moderate exercise
can boost the production of macrophages, the kind of white blood cells
that “eat” bacteria and viruses. However, intense exercise
can actually temporarily decrease immune function – so don’t
- Get adequate sleep. An increase in sleep actually increases
the number of your white blood cells. On the
other hand, loss of sleep even for a few hours at night, increases
inflammation in our body which
makes us more susceptible to developing a cold
- Minimize stress. Emotional stress creates a physiological
stress on our bodies that lowers our immune defenses and makes us more
vulnerable to illness. Stress has been shown to lower our white blood
cells' abilities to kill germs, and actually create more inflammation
that may make us feel even sicker. No, it’s not just in your
Apart from these measures, there are a variety
of nutritional supplements that can further boost the immune system
and give your child’s body that extra defense to more effectively
ward off and fight colds and flus. The dosages that I mention are only
intended as general guides, and may vary according to each child’s
unique needs. We encourage you to make an appointment with one of our
pediatricians to discuss an individualized immune support plan with
specific dosage recommendations for your child:
What Can You Do If Your Child has the Cold/Flu?
of course! While not specifically shown to prevent
cold and flu, omega-3 essential fatty acids have a host of immune benefits
too long to list!
A study published last year showed a drastic
reduction in fever and upper respiratory symptoms in children who
took a probiotic with a specific combination of Lactobacillus and
Bifidobacterium daily throughout the cold and flu season. This combination
is found in Metagenics Ultra Flora Plus. The recommended dosage
for children and adults is ¼ tsp or 1 capsule 2x/day.
Vitamin C -
The studies looking at vitamin C for cold/flu
prevention have mixed results, but the bottom line is that vitamin
C is a powerful antioxidant which assists our ability to ward off
and deal with infection. I have been using Metagenics Ultra-Potent
C because it has added ingredients such as lysine and glutathione
which assist in fighting viruses. In general, I recommend Vitamin
C 500mg 2x/day.
Vitamin D3 -
There is speculation that rates of illness
increase over the winter because of the widespread deficiency of
Vitamin D. Studies have shown that people supplemented with adequate
levels of Vitamin D3 during the cold and flu season had significantly
lower rates of infection. Vitamin D3 actually increases our body’s
production of cathelicidin, an antimicrobial compound. The Vitamin
D Council recommends a maintenance dosage for children of 1000IU
of Vitamin D3 per 25 pounds of body weight (the dosage may be higher
in people with Vitamin D deficiency, which is epidemic and can be
measured through an easy bloodtest).
Zinc is required for the normal functioning
of white blood cells. Supplementing with just 15mg of zinc per day
can improve the ability of our immune cells to ward off infection.
This is a natural sugar derived from the bark
of the larch tree that enhances “natural killer cell” and
macrophage activity – these cells are part of our first line
of defense against any invading organism. We
carry the Vital Nutrients arabinogalactan powder,
and generally recommend ½-1 tsp 2x/day.
A recent study found that a preparation of
echinacea, propolis, and vitamin C remarkably reduced the episodes
of illness and fever when given daily during a 12-week winter period.
This preparation is found in Ortho Molecular Products “Imu-Max”,
with the dosage studied at 1 tsp 2x/day for children ages 1-3 years
and 1.5 tsp 2x/day for children ages 4-5 years. (A word of caution:
echinacea should not be used daily for very prolonged periods, and
should not be used in individuals with autoimmune disease).
Found in mushrooms like maitake, shiitake,
and reishi, beta-glucans stimulate the immune system, increase antibody
production, and enhance our white blood cells' capacity to engulf
and destroy germs. Daily beta-glucan intake has been shown to remarkably
reduce the frequency of cold and flu and reduce the incidence of
fever and severity of illness. So what can you do if you or your
child just isn’t that into mushrooms? Thorne has a great product
called Myco-Immune, with a recommended dosage of ½ tsp 2-3x/day.
This herb, traditionally used in Chinese medicine
for immune support, has been found to boost
antibody production, improve natural killer
cell and macrophage activity, and have antimicrobial
properties. The typical dosage for prevention
during the winter is 250-500mg/day for children
and 1 gram/day for adults. While great
as a preventive measure, astragalus is generally
not given to children when they have a fever – according to
Traditional Chinese Medicine, “hot” conditions
like fever maybe worsened by astragalus.
and/or Mucococcinum -
These are homeopathic medicines that may help
to prevent influenza infection. I take one
of these each per week for cold/flu prevention and give the same
to my daughter. I also
give my daughter 1 SyImmune before or right
after any known “germfest” – i.e.,
birthday parties or plane travel.
Xlear nasal spray -
I am religious about irrigating my nasal passages
with Xlear nasal spray at the end of every day, and after any potential
exposure (work, school, playgroups, plane travel, etc.). This is
a saline nasal spray with xylitol and grapefruit seed extract, both
of which have antimicrobial properties. You cannot overdo it, and
will not get “addicted” to it. Other options for nasal
irrigation are a regular saline spray or neti pot. Apart from regular
hand washing, I believe that daily and frequent nasal irrigation
is one of the MOST important things that we can do to prevent influenza
and other viral infections. This is because after exposure to a
virus, the virus tries to invade and multiply in your nasal passages
for at least 1-2 days before you develop any symptoms. Nasal irrigation
can wash away viral particles before they have the opportunity to
take hold, and thereby prevent many infections from happening in
the first place!
I have found that starting various homeopathic
and herbal medicines at the very
beginning of my cold/flu symptoms can
significantly shorten the duration and severity of illness and even
knock it out of my system within a day or two. This is what I take and
recommend for my whole family at the start of a cold/flu:
Specific homeopathic medicines, such as homeopathic Aconitum Napellus,
Belladonna, Ferrum Phosphoricum, Gelsemium, Bryonia,
and Pulsatilla, to name a few, can also be very
helpful for cold and flu. The particular
homeopathic medicine(s) used will depend on the
specific symptoms that are being experienced by
your child. An individualized treatment plan
can be best determined by a thorough exam and sick
visit with one of our pediatricians.
This is a Chinese herbal formula by Kan Herbs.
It works GREAT for cold/flu, fever, even allergies! Add Chest Relief
if there is a cough or other formulas depending on the specific
Elderberry syrup -
Elderberry has been found to prevent invasion
by viruses and bacteria, and also improve cough. During last year’s
swine flu scare, I reported that a study found
that elderberry has the ability to inhibit H1N1 infection in vitro.
of the study note that “the H1N1 inhibition activities of
the elderberry flavonoids compare favorably to the known anti-influenza
activities of Oseltamivir (Tamiflu).”
This is a combination of echinacea, wild indigo,
and thuja. Esberitox has been found to reduce the duration of colds/flus
and increase natural killer cell and macrophage activity. The recommended
dosage is 1 tab 3x/day for children ages 2-5 years, 2 tabs 3x/day
for children ages 6-12 years, and 3 tabs 3x/day for children over
12 years and adults.
Pelar-what? Also known as Umckaloabo, this
traditional African herb can significantly shorten the duration
and severity of colds, bronchitis, sinusitis, and throat infections.
It has been found to improve macrophage activity, kill bacteria
and viruses, and improve the ability to clear mucous from the lungs.
We carry an alcohol-free syrup of Pelargonium sidoides called ViraClear.
It can also be found over-the-counter as Umcka Syrup by Nature’s
Way. The recommended dosage is ½ tsp 3x/day for children
ages 2-6 years, 1 tsp 3x/day for children ages 6-12 years, and 1.5
tsp 3x/day for children over 12 years and adults.
This is a homeopathic flu remedy. The recommended
dosage is 1 vial 3x/day for 1 day, preferably at the onset of flu
or SyInfect -
These are also homeopathic remedies used for
any acute infection or fever. The general dosage is 1 tablet every
2-3 hours during the first 1-2 days of illness.
- Increased Vitamin C.
- Increased nasal irrigation with Xlear nasal spray.
When Should My Child See the Doctor?
In general, if you or your child has come down
with a cold or flu, it is best to stay at home and rest, and avoid contact
with others. You should, however, seek medical attention for your child
if he/she has:
We wish everyone a healthy winter season. Eat your fruits and veggies,
get plenty of rest and exercise, and most of all – stay well!
- Fever for more than 3-4 days
- Confusion, excessive drowsiness
- Inconsolability, excessive irritability
- Difficulty breathing
- Severe or persistent vomiting
- Dehydration (no urine for more than 6-8 hours)
Dr. Song and all of us at Whole Child Wellness
Nutrition Consultation November Special
$150 for a nutrition consultation (regularly priced
Do you have questions about your family’s diet, or just want
to know how well you or your children are eating?
Schedule a nutrition consultation with Kandice
Stellmon, our Certified
to find out!
Kandice sees children and adults!
While the rest of the practitioners in our office
are Pediatricians who only treat children, Kandice
sees patients of all ages for nutritional consultations.
During a 1-hour session, Kandice will analyze
you or your child’s diet using
a 3-day diet record to determine whether you are
receiving adequate macronutrients (carbohydrates,
proteins, fats), and micronutrients (vitamins and
minerals). You will leave your appointment with effective
strategies and receive delicious recipes and menu
ideas to enhance your diet and ensure that your
nutritional needs are being optimally met.
Kids and nutrition
Whether you are addressing a specific health concern
or simply want to make certain your child is getting
the nutrients his or her growing body needs, a
nutrition consultation is one of the best
things you can do for your child. From birth through
adolescence your child’s nutritional needs are always changing.
Many childhood health problems can be prevented
or addressed with a nourishing diet. Eczema,
food allergies, obesity, failure to thrive, behavioral
issues, developmental delays, digestive disorders,
eating disorders and acne are just some
of the health concerns that can be addressed through
diet. Nutrition consultations can also address
issues surrounding picky eaters and are
great for parents who want to help build healthy
eating habits early on. Prenatal appointments are
also available for Mothers-to-Be!
Adults and nutrition
Nutrition is a key component to adult health and
well being. Many chronic health issues can be prevented, supported,
and often alleviated via dietary intervention. Conditions such as Obesity,
High Cholesterol, High Blood Pressure, Diabetes Type II and other blood
sugar issues can often be completely reversed simply with dietary changes.
Nutrition also plays a key role in reducing painful inflammation that
is associated with so many of today’s chronic illnesses such as
arthritis, asthma and autoimmune disease. For those of us who just feel ‘tired
and stressed all the time’, a nutrition consultation is a perfect
place to start feeling better and more energized. Food is powerful and
can positively affect our health from the inside out!
An initial nutrition consultation or follow-up may include some, or all, of the following services depending on each individualís needs:
To book a nutrition consultation appointment
with Kandice, please call our reception at 650-595-KIDS
(5437) or email
Be sure to mention this offer when booking your
- Computerized Dietary Assessment based on 3 days of your diet
- A customized diet tailored to your specific health needs
- Supplement and herbal recommendations
- Lifestyle & exercise recommendations, including stress management
- Functional nutritional testing
- Menu planning, optimal food choices and shopping lists
- Delicious recipes for you to try at home, including many yummy allergen-free recipes!