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Roasted Mushroom Broth

October 13, 2017

Use this warm, earthy, and savory roasted mushroom broth for your favorite mushroom soups, stews, risottos, and pilafs!

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” I received a copy of Broth & Stock for review purposes in compensation for this post. Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family. 

Healing, comforting, warming broth

Years ago it was one of the first things I learned how to cook. I was 23 and barely knew my way around the kitchen. That’s how most in my convenience food generation grew up, after all. But a health crisis in my early 20’s catapulted this kitchen novice into figuring out how to cook food that wasn’t from a box, and it changed my life forever.

Everything I was reading about healing using “real food” pointed toward broth. I tend to be one of those “jump in with both feet” kind of people, and within a week I purchased my first stock pot and began teaching myself how to cook.

Broth is so much more than food

What I ended up learning during those years of teaching myself how to cook was that cooking was so much more than just making food. Something about it made my heart more full. It didn’t just satisfy my stomach, it satisfied my soul.

Deep? Maybe. But I allowed the art of cooking engross me, and I fell in love with making myself food that had love and thought put into it. At the age of 23, I was learning where my food actually came from and that connection to the food we eat is so powerful.

Broth & Stock

I share my story because simple broth making was what made me fall in love with cooking. It opened my eyes to the importance of feeding myself well, and knowing where my food came from – something that I literally did not know, or give any thought to until I was 23.

And that is why I’m not sure that I have been more excited to share a cookbook with you than Broth & Stock by Jenny McGruther from the Nourished Kitchen! I know what learning how to make beautiful stocks and broths did for me, and it is literally the driving force behind the passion and purpose of this blog.

A whole cookbook about…broth?!

Yessss! Because broth is so much more than you think! In only the way Jenny does best, you will learn the differences between various broths and stocks, and how to use them best to make their flavors shine. From a variety of land and sea animal stocks and broths, to different vegetable broths, Broth & Stock has opened my horizons from using the same broth for every recipe I make.

Broth & Stock is also so much more than learning how to make beautiful, healing broth – the recipes in the second half of the book using those healing broths have been such a joy to bring to my kitchen. Being the novice, untrained cook that I am, I have learned so much from Jenny over the years how to bring out depths of flavor in meals using various herbs, spices, broths, wines, and seasonings. Or just leaving simplicity alone, and savoring the true flavor of something by not complicating it. The recipe for pho in the book is the best I have ever made, and the family favorite so far has been the Cream of Chicken Soup with Parsley & Chives. Everyone around the table had 2nd and 3rd bowl-fulls!

Roasted Mushroom Broth

I’ve been adding certain healing mushrooms to my bone broth making for extra medicinal benefits for the last few years, but I had never thought to make a broth with mushrooms alone – and boy have I been missing out! The earthy, savory flavor from the roasted mushroom infused broth is like nothing I have ever tasted before.

Here is an excerpt from Broth & Stock about the Roasted Mushroom Broth:

Roasting strengthens the flavor of mushrooms, amplifying the savory and almost meaty base notes that can give soups a unique foundational richness. Those savory flavors serve as a good match for meat and whole grains. Use this broth as a base for mushroom soups and stews or in risottos and pilafs. Using a wide variety of mushrooms will improve this broth’s flavor and complexity. I often use the stems and trimmings of wild mushrooms left over from foraging, as they give the broth a remarkable depth of flavor; however, using the button or cremini mushrooms easily available year-round in most grocery stores also yields a lovely broth, as roasting improves their flavor. You don’t need to take the peel off the onion, as it produces a lovely color, just split the onion in half and drop it in the pot. –“Broth and Stock”

Reprinted with permission from Broth & Stock from the Nourished Kitchen, written and photographed by Jennifer McGruther, 2016. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

5.0 from 16 reviews
Roasted Mushroom Broth
  • 3⁄4 pound mixed mushrooms or mushroom stems, chopped into 1⁄2-inch pieces
  • 1 yellow onion, skin on and halved crosswise
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 quarts cold water or Chicken Bone Broth
  • 1⁄4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 sprigs thyme
  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Arrange the mushrooms in a single layer on a baking sheet. Nestle the onion halves into the mushrooms, sprinkle the smashed garlic over, and drizzle with the olive oil. Roast for 20 minutes in the heated oven.
  3. Remove the sheet from the oven and drop the roasted mushrooms and onions into a heavy stockpot. Pour in the broth and wine. Slip the sprigs of thyme into the pot and then bring it all to a simmer over medium-high heat. Continue simmering, covered, for about 30 minutes.
  4. Strain the broth through a fine-mesh sieve, then use a wide-mouthed funnel to pour it into two 1-quart jars, sealing the lids tightly. Cook with the broth right away or store it in the refrigerator for no more than 5 days. Alternatively, you can freeze the broth for upto 6 months, making sure to allow plenty of headspace if you're using glass jars.

Cold & Flu Season Dinner Ideas Healthy Kids and Teens Lunch Ideas Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips school lunches Soup

Gluten Free Ginger and Leek Chicken Noodle Soup :: Grain Free Options

March 17, 2017

Give that bowl of classic chicken noodle soup a ginger and leek flavor upgrade!

Gluten Free Ginger and Leek Chicken Noodle Soup :: Grain Free OptionsProduct links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

One last warm, wintry soup for the season, ok?!

I’m staring out the window at more snow falling. On March 17…

It’s pretty safe to say I’m over it, but for the moment I’ll embrace the last of winter hanging on…as long as I have a warm bowl of soup like this to cheer me up!

Gluten Free Ginger and Leek Chicken Noodle Soup :: Grain Free OptionsA chicken noodle soup make-over

My kids rarely tire of classic chicken noodle soup – in fact 9 times out of 10 when one of my girls requests soup, chicken noodle is definitely her jam. She asked for it a few weeks back and I decided to change things up a little bit. We were getting over a bit of a cold and I had some ginger to use up from making our cold busting ginger tea. It made simply the most amazing noodle soup we’ve had in a long time!

Gluten Free Ginger and Leek Chicken Noodle Soup :: Grain Free OptionsAn early taste of spring!

We needed a bit of cheering up after fighting our cold, and the brightly colored rainbow carrots and fresh green leeks seemed like just the ticket – and made the perfect swap for the typical carrot and onion. Since I wanted the ginger flavor to shine, the leeks were a lighter background onion flavor, and the pretty yellow carrots were a hit with the kids.

Gluten Free Ginger and Leek Chicken Noodle SoupWhether you have special diet needs or not, we’ve got a noodle for that!

Gluten Free Options ::

Grain Free Options (Use a spirilizer, Y Peeler, or Julienne Peeler to make these veggie noodles! Also, back off on the bone broth by a couple cups and make a tapioca starch or cassava flour slurry to make the broth smooth and have the starchy feeling of noodles) ::

  • Zucchini Noodles
  • Sweet Potato Noodles
  • Butternut Squash Noodles
  • Golden Beet Noodles
  • Parsnip Noodles
  • Carrot Noodles

If you are not on a special diet, and can handle the gluten, I recommend using a wheat based noodle using Einkorn flour for best digestion.

Gluten Free Ginger and Leek Chicken Noodle Soup :: Grain Free OptionsDon’t forget to pack the leftovers for school!

And work too! My husband loves his travel crockpot to warm up soup right at his desk without ruining all of the nutrients in the bone broth in a microwave. He keeps the base at work and just brings the liner home to clean and fill back up. You can read more about the thermoses I like to use for the girls at school here – they keep the soup very warm all the way to lunchtime!

Gluten Free Ginger and Leek Chicken Noodle Soup :: Grain Free OptionsHere’s to happy spring thoughts coming our way!

Gluten Free Ginger and Leek Chicken Noodle Soup
  • 3 TB friendly fat to cook in such as butter, tallow, coconut oil, or avocado oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (I like to use 1 orange carrot, and 1 yellow carrot for more color)
  • 1 large stalk of celery, diced
  • 2-4 inch knob of ginger, peeled and grated (about 1 TB of grated ginger will leave a very mild ginger flavor and almost no heat. 2 TB of grated ginger will leave more flavorful heat to the soup - we like the heat!)
  • 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 leek, leaves and roots removed, quartered lengthwise, then chopped (soak in a bowl of water and strain to get the sand out)
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped (save some of the green to garnish the top)
  • 2 quarts bone broth (You can use Instant Pot Broth, or here is my slow cooker method)
  • 1½ cups shredded cooked chicken (Use leftovers from your roasted chicken, slow cooker chicken, or Instant Pot chicken)
  • 6oz gluten free noodles
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter in a soup pot over medium heat, and add the carrot and celery. Add a big pinch of sea salt and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes to get the carrots softening.
  2. Add the grated ginger, minced garlic, leeks, and green onion. Cook for another 3-5 minutes over medium heat until fragrant and soft.
  3. Add the bone broth and chicken, turn the heat to high, and bring to a simmer. Add the noodles and cook over medium/high heat until the noodles are cooked to your liking. Sea salt and pepper the soup to your taste.

More real food recipes you might like:

Cold & Flu Season Herbal Recipes Nourishing Staples Real Food Tips

How To Make Elderberry Tincture

November 11, 2016

Learn how to make and use an elderberry tincture to effectively battle viruses and boost the immune system!

How To Make Elderberry Tincture ::Learn how to make and use an elderberry tincture to effectively battle viruses and boost the immune system!

Preface: I am not a medical doctor. Use your own discretion, momma gut instinct, and research to make a decision if the natural remedies discussed in this post are for you. Obviously if you or your child is not responding to natural remedies well, or symptoms become worse, seek medical attention. Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

I will never forget the year I was sold on using elderberries during the fall and winter seasons.

It was my oldest’s first year of preschool. She was 3 1/2. And my goodness the little germy bugs that float around preschool rooms are enough to make your skin crawl! I had used elderberry syrup on and off up until then, but with our new found school schedule, and accompanying germ-fest, I came to heavily rely on the virus fighting capabilities that elderberries brought.

My youngest just happened to get a cold while I was writing this! She's bouncing back fast!

{My youngest just happened to get a cold while I was writing this! She’s bouncing back fast!}

Every week or so there were emails home about croup bugs, hand foot and mouth viruses, flu, strep, and on and on and on….

We rode out that first year of school with just a couple minor colds, and I was sold. Yes there is a whole lot more to kids staying healthy during the school year than just elderberry syrup. But with as young as my first born was, and as unexposed as she had been (no daycare as a baby), it is pretty amazing she came out of that year with just a couple colds!

How To Make Elderberry Tincture ::Learn how to make and use an elderberry tincture to effectively battle viruses and boost the immune system!

Elderberries have been known for centuries for their immune boosting abilities, and have been shown in studies to enhance immune system function for defending and fighting against disease.

Elderberries boost the production of cytokines, which are the body’s “messengers” for immune system defense. They are also filled with antioxidants for reducing inflammation in the body from being sick or under attack.

How To Make Elderberry Tincture ::Learn how to make and use an elderberry tincture to effectively battle viruses and boost the immune system!

While we love our elderberry syrup, making an elderberry tincture just plain saves this busy momma time!

A tincture is simply a liquid extract of whatever herb you are looking to use. The herb components are extracted into alcohol or vegetable glycerine. Because it is so concentrated, the dosages are smaller, and you won’t be in the kitchen simmering elderberry syrup every 2 weeks to keep up with a houseful of school aged children!

How To Make Elderberry Tincture ::Learn how to make and use an elderberry tincture to effectively battle viruses and boost the immune system!

Is it safe for children?

I happen to adore using tinctures for whatever ails my kids! It is so much easier to take than using a tea because the doses are so small and concentrated. The alcohol per dose is very minimal, however if that still doesn’t sit well with you, you can use vegetable glycerin for your tincturing. (I have not used vegetable glycerin for tincturing, so I apologize I don’t have a good source to recommend.)

How To Make Elderberry Tincture ::Learn how to make and use an elderberry tincture to effectively battle viruses and boost the immune system!

Extend the shelf life of your elderberries!

Elderberry syrup lasts in the fridge about 2-3 months. Tinctures last up to 5 years. If you get to the end of the cold and flu season and find yourself with elderberries left, it is best to tincture them up to maintain their potency. I have found a 9 month old half-used bag of elderberries I forgot in the back of my cupboard only to open them up and find them moldy. Tincturing takes the guess work out of shelf life.

How To Make Elderberry Tincture ::Learn how to make and use an elderberry tincture to effectively battle viruses and boost the immune system!

What you will need to make elderberry tincture

This is the best part! Brace yourselves…this is too easy!

That’s it! And in less than 2 minutes you will be on your way to your own elderberry tincture!

Instructions for making elderberry tincture

  • Fill your jar with about 1 cup of dried elderberries, cover the elderberries with the alcohol, and put the lid on.
  • Gently shake the jar and leave it in a dark cupboard for 6 weeks. Gently shake the jar every day or so (I keep mine right by my coffee mug in the cupboard so I remember to do this most days of the week)
  • After 6 weeks, strain the elderberries with a fine mesh strainer or thin kitchen towel and then pour the elderberry extract into your dark dropper bottle. Keep the elderberry tincture in a dark cupboard at room temperature. (PS! While you are waiting 6 weeks for your tincture to be ready, you can make elderberry syrup to use in the meantime!)

How To Make Elderberry Tincture ::Learn how to make and use an elderberry tincture to effectively battle viruses and boost the immune system!

So how do I dose my elderberry tincture out of my 4oz bottle?

Adults (considered over age 12) ::

  • When ill or at the sudden onset of illness: 2 droppers 3 times per day (2 droppers is about 1 teaspoon)
  • When healthy but the kids are sick (or there is a lot going around the classroom): 2 droppers 1 time per day

Children (ages 5-12) ::

  • When ill or at the sudden onset of illness: 1 dropper 3 times per day (1 dropper is about 1/2 teaspoon)
  • When healthy but there is a lot going around the classroom: 1 dropper 1 time per day

Children (ages 2-4) ::

  • When ill or at the sudden onset of illness: 1/4 to 1/2 dropper 3 times per day (1/2 dropper is about 1/4 teaspoon or about 5-10 drops)
  • When healthy but there is a lot going around daycare or their sibling’s classroom: 1/4 to 1/2 dropper 1 time per day (or about 5-10 drops)

(Please note that under the age of 2, I tend to keep any elderberry useage to tea or elderberry syrup (using molasses or maple syrup instead of honey if under the age of 1). If you are nursing, you can take the tincture yourself and the herb will transfer to your breastmilk. While I do use some tinctures with my babies for teething or calming, I try to keep it limited because of the alcohol and their underdeveloped livers under the age of 2.)

Tips for taking elderberry tincture

  • Tinctures can taste strong. I have found that my kids don’t bat an eye at them because they have been taking tinctures for various reasons since infanthood (such as teething tinctures and calming tinctures), and they are just used to them. Below are some things to keep in mind.
  • Tinctures work best held under the tongue for about 30 seconds. Obviously young children do not do this, but as my girls have gotten older we make it a game by humming the ABC’s or Twinkle Twinkle Little Star while we hold it. You can dilute the tincture a little to tame the alcohol too.
  • You can mix the tincture with a spoonful of raw honey, yogurt, or applesauce if you think the kids will take it better that way.
  • You can dilute the tincture in a warm cup of water with raw honey to make a “tea”.
  • While herbs work best on an empty tummy, just get it in when you can! I do shoot for in between meals, but in a houseful of busy kids that just doesn’t always happen.

More natural remedy posts you might like ::

How To Make Elderberry Tincture ::Learn how to make and use an elderberry tincture to effectively battle viruses and boost the immune system!

Cold & Flu Season Herbal Recipes Natural Remedies Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

Tips For Keeping Kids Healthy All School Year

August 5, 2016

Simple, natural tips for keeping kids healthy and giving them the advantage in fighting the every day school germs!

Tips For Keeping Kids Healthy All School Year
Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

Every momma’s goal come the start of the school year…

Escape the back to school bugs!

I admit, it creeps in the back of my head as well. Within those first few weeks of school the emails start rolling out warnings of this bug and that being passed around the classroom, and it’s enough to make you want to send your kid to school in a bubble!

Of course our kids do not live in bubbles, and in fact, an occasional cold bug is a great thing to let their bodies “clean house” and build immunity.

There are definitely some things we can do however, to give our kids the “upper hand.” We can help their bodies fight off bugs more efficiently so that the bugs either don’t even show up as a full on cold, or so that they don’t last as long.

Tips For Keeping Kids Healthy All School YearHere are our household secrets in keeping our houseful of kiddos healthy *all* school year long!

Tips For Keeping Kids Healthy All School YearFirst and foremost, it is important to remember that school aged kids are kids. Not adults. School days are long at every school age. In addition to school schedule, packing in a bunch of extra activities at the end of the day can really drain their bodies. If activities after school are a “must”, then it really ought to be made up for on the weekend with naps and early bedtimes. Period.

Growing kids need downtime and play to recoup. Taxed adrenals from lack of sleep and stimulating days don’t allow the immune system to do its job effectively. Plan in what is absolutely necessary, and literally schedule in bedtimes and playtime if after school activities are a part of their week.

Tips For Keeping Kids Healthy All School YearBack to school bugs are pretty much a given to be passed around within the first few weeks of school. We have escaped the throws of those first few weeks of the back to school cold being passed around by boosting our systems a good month before school starts and continuing through the fall.

Get the kids outside for fresh air after school and open the windows at home to air everything out! YES in the middle of winter too! The kids breathe stale, inside shared air all day at school and need to play outside and breathe some fresh air. You would be surprised at what even the winter sunshine can do for their demeanor and health – outside light and fresh air is important!

Keep in mind that bugs are going to happen!

It’s inevitable and sometimes a good thing for their body to do some housecleaning with a bug. If the illness is a recurrent thing, it’s time to stop and take a look at what might be a root cause keeping their body run down, but a few bugs in the course of a school year isn’t the end of the world.

So here is our immune system booster line-up!


1. Cod Liver Oil

Well sourced cod liver oil is a fantastic source of the right ratios of vitamins A and D which nourish the immune system. High doses of vitamin D by itself is not recommended as it is balanced best in the presence of vitamin A. This is why cod liver oil is a great source of getting your vitamin D during the cold, dark fall and winter months.

Cod liver oil is also a good source of omega 3. Omega 3’s fight inflammation in the body from stress and stressors (like being sick!) and help the body heal. I have doubled up on cod liver oil during the first day or 2 of the onset of a cold and really felt like it helped knock the virus and inflammation out faster.

How we take cod liver oil in our house

You can find our favorite quality sourced cod liver oil here (Use the code GENERATION 10 checkout and get my RGN reader 10% discount!). We follow the WAPF dosage recommendations. 1/2 – 1 teaspoon 3 months old to 12 years old, and 1-2 tsp 12 years old and up. I do double up the cod liver oil for a day or 2 during illness.

2. Whole Food Sourced Vitamin C

Vitamin C can do some pretty amazing things to aide our immune systems in fighting bugs. It reduces inflammation and boosts the fighting power of our immune system to make the bugs have a shorter duration.

The sourcing on the C truly does matter, and if the back of your bottle says that the C is “ascorbic acid” as its source, you will want to take a peek at this article about why a whole food sourced C works better and is safer.

How we take vitamin C in our house

My favorite source for a whole food based vitamin C is this brand. I also use THIS whole food vitamin C spray for my toddler who can’t swallow capsules yet, and I LOVE the convenience of it! My girls take 250-500mg of vitamin C every day, though keep in mind every child is different and has different needs. Start out small and be sure they are doing well on it. I do double their C during illness.

3. Quality, Whole Food Sourced Multivitamin

Since our soils are so depleted of minerals and vitamins, which in turn make our food supply less than robust, a multivitamin is a good idea. A quality whole food sourced multi-vitamin is hard to come by though! I don’t want the synthetics, and a bunch of other junk like dyes added either! Kids need a chewable or powder until they can swallow capsules, and I have used THIS brand for years. We follow the dosing directions on the back of the box. (Don’t forget you can use your RGN reader code at check-out for 10% off! GENERATION10)

4. Quality Probiotic Rotation & Fermented Foods

By now I think everyone has heard the phrase “all disease begins in the gut,” and it couldn’t be more true. The beneficial bacteria in our guts are the immune system’s first line of defense. Probiotics keep the intestinal lining strong and secure, providing a barrier to fight against pathogen attacks. Keeping the flora in the gut balanced means having more good bacteria present than bad.

We love probiotic rich fermented foods such as sauerkraut, yogurt, kimchi, and pickles in our house. Sometimes they just aren’t at every meal we are eating, however! I have found it best to keep up on our gut flora by using quality supplements which also present our guts with different varieties of bacteria to keep everything happy.

How we use probiotics in our home

My girls take 1 dose (depending on the brand we are rotating) of probiotics every day, and I rotate the brand to give them a variety of bacteria strains. We use Just Thrive, PrescriptAssist, and Garden of Life for Kids. (Don’t forget if you click through those links and purchase through Perfect Supplements to use my code GENERATION10 at check-out to get your RGN reader 10% discount!).

A quick baby and toddler note! When I had babies in the house, I just poured the powder in the cap right on my baby’s or toddler’s tongue. You can stir the powder into food like yogurt, smoothies, or even a spoonful of cod liver oil if you wish!


1. Elderberry Syrup

Elderberries are powerful virus killers and immune system boosters! When I get teacher email warnings of flu spreading, hand foot and mouth outbreaks, or other viruses, you better believe that elderberry syrup is coming out! You can bottle up elderberry goodness in elderberry syrup or tincture form and it is super easy to take because it tastes really good!

How we take elderberry syrup in our home

2 weeks before school starts I like to give the girls 1 tsp of elderberry syrup per day through the first week or two of school starting. If I get warning emails of flu or other viruses, I will do the 1 tsp per day for a good week or 2. When my kids are coming down with something or are home ill, we do 1 tsp of elderberry syrup every waking hour until they perk back up.

2. Boosted Vitamin C

You can pop up to the Vitamin C section in the preventatives section of this post to read about why the Vitamin C is so crucial in fighting illness, but just wanted to review here that during the onset of illness or illness, I double their vitamin C dose until they perk up from being sick.

3. Chiropractic

Years ago, I had a chiropractor friend where we were living at the time explain the benefits of having kids adjusted at the onset of illness to help them recover faster, and I have been amazed at how true this is. I have gone through a couple colds with the girls where we haven’t gotten to the chiropractor, and they just seem to linger longer.

I asked our family chiropractor if he could explain why chiropractic is good for the immune system, and his response made so much sense I asked if I could quote him!

Proper alignment enhances circulation and drainage of fluids. It also optimizes nerve function to help calm the body’s stress response (sympathetic nervous system), and enhance the body’s healing response (parasympathetic nervous system). This has been shown to not only reduce illness, but help children recover from illness quicker.
Dr. Levi Pulver, DC

I also want to mention that I have noticed regular, “well visit” adjustments seem to keep my kids on top of things especially during the school year. I take them for an adjustment monthly whether they are sick or not. It is a simple, non invasive step to keep the connections at the spine firing where they should be to keep every organ system operating well. (If you are looking for a chiropractor in your area that works with kids well, I love using this site to search.)

4. Germ Targeted Essential Oils

Essential oils were fairly new to me when my daughter started school a number of years ago, but I have come to realize just how effective they are! I have been without them during illness and really could feel how much faster my kids got better when germ targeted oils were diffusing during illness.

How we use germ targeted essential oils in our home

We do not diffuse germ targeted essential oils all year every day. That is not how they were intended to use. I diffuse germ targeted essential oils during the first week or 2 of school starting, during school bug outbreaks, and when my kids are ill. I have found them super effective especially diffusing them in their room overnight – when they wake up acting like a whole fresh new kid you know something is working! I love that!

Our favorite germ targeted essential oil blend is THIS kid safe blend. I am a huge fan of using oils that are safe for kids – many germ targeted blends are great for adults but not intended safe for kids. This Kid Safe blend was created to be safe for kids and it really works!

nourishing mealsI decided not to put the nourishing menu in the “preventatives” section, even though that is exactly what it is, because I didn’t want it to get skipped by. Children’s fuel makes a difference in their body operating correctly, including the immune system…period.

But wait! Before you write this section off because your kiddo might not be the best eater, hear me out!

Eating well for their immune system doesn’t have to mean boring veggies they might turn their nose up to. I think the biggest thing we can do is get the sugar and processed food out, and get the nutrient dense items in.

Ensuring they are getting adequate amounts of friendly fats will help their hormones and sugars stabilize, which will keep their immune system functioning.

  • Lots of pastured butter, lard/tallow, coconut oil, used in your cooking and serving of food.
  • Bone broth is a daily goal of mine to get into my kids during the school year. Whether in a tea cup with butter at breakfast, or in their school thermos in the form of a kid friendly soup like tomato soup, broccoli soup, chicken noodle soup, or butternut squash soup, daily bone broth replaces missing minerals in the diet, nourishes the gut lining with collagen, and is an overall comforting addition to their day.
  • Nettle Infusions are another great way to replace missing minerals in children’s diets which will help organs and systems in their bodies operate more efficiently. The infusions are also hydrating and kid friendly in taste. It packs up in the water bottle for school to drink easily. It is a great mineral rich boost at lunchtime!
  • You can use immune booster smoothies once or twice a week for breakfast. If your kids really love smoothies you can try these green smoothies for kids as well to change things up.
  • You can browse the meals in the Recipes tab at the top of the blog, and you can also get a collection of my family’s favorite staple meals in my new book Nourished Beginnings . The recipes in the book are meals my girls have grown up on, and are on our table weekly!Tips For Keeping Kids Healthy All School Year

More cold & flu season posts you might like:

Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie

Naturally Healing Ear Infections In Kids

Natural Tummy Bug Remedies For Kids

Vitamin C Gummies

Elderberry Syrup

Cold & Flu Season Drinks Feeding Babies Natural Remedies Nourishing Staples Real Food 101 Real Food Tips

Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie

March 25, 2016

You’ve made it through a tummy bug, and are ready to eat – but what do you eat on a sensitive empty tummy? This smoothie is not only gentle, but is loaded with minerals and nutrients to nourish your family back to eating again!

Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie :: You've made it through a tummy bug, and are ready to eat - but what do you eat on a sensitive empty tummy? This smoothie is not only gentle, but is loaded with minerals and nutrients to nourish your family back to eating again!

We made it through the whole winter with no more than a little cold bug…until last week.

The weekend spring began to be exact! How ironic!

I went on a field trip with my preschooler on a Friday morning and listened to the teacher’s warnings to the mothers there that 6 or 7 kids plus 1 teacher were out with the flu that week…

Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie :: You've made it through a tummy bug, and are ready to eat - but what do you eat on a sensitive empty tummy? This smoothie is not only gentle, but is loaded with minerals and nutrients to nourish your family back to eating again!

And my 6 and 4 year olds ended up with buckets at the bedside by Saturday morning.

What a drag!

It’s bound to happen – our kids don’t live in bubbles right?!

We do what we can to keep their immune systems boosted during the winter with quality cod liver oil, whole food sourced quality vitamin C, eating nourishing food and getting quality sleep, and here and there do rounds of daily elderberry syrup or elderberry tincture when there are viruses going around in herds in the classroom.

But sooner or later the body does a little house cleaning and a bug takes over.

We spent the greater part of the next 24 hours nursing the 2 girls’ high fevers with yarrow baths and cool washcloths, hourly elderberry syrup doses, sips of homemade electrolyte drinks and nettle tea, and lots and lots of sleep and rest.

By Sunday morning the girls perked up a bit, fevers had been broken, and {most importantly!} there had been no throwing up since late Saturday morning.

We were in the clear to try a little bland food at the girls’ request, and I typically start with sea salted bone broth. They both had a tea cup full that morning which stayed down well, and they were ready to try more.

Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie :: You've made it through a tummy bug, and are ready to eat - but what do you eat on a sensitive empty tummy? This smoothie is not only gentle, but is loaded with minerals and nutrients to nourish your family back to eating again!

I decided to try a gentle smoothie to start while I worked on getting more bone broth made to make some soup for later that afternoon.

Here are the components and purposes of the ingredients:

Mineral Boosting Liquid Base

The purpose here is getting the liquid part of the smoothie to do some work for you in replenishing the little ones electrolytes without being too heavy. While raw milk and coconut milk are great in smoothies, when you are just coming off a tummy bug you want to ease into those heavier fluids. Coconut water or nettle tea work well. Or even just water with a big pinch of mineral rich sea salt, Celtic salt, or pink salt works great.

Gentle Mineral Rich Veggie

While we love green smoothies, the focus here is getting the digestion up and running again. Gentle veggies like sweet potatoes or any of the squashes (yes even zucchini) are loaded with minerals and (in their cooked form) are very easy to digest as well as provide a slow burning carbohydrate to the mix. Just use whatever you have on hand. I had mashed sweet potatoes leftover from dinner earlier in the week so I used that. You can steam up a little sweet potato or squash in just 20 minutes time.

Easy To Digest Fruit

Fruit makes the smoothie palatable for little ones without adding any extra sugar. Because we are talking gentle ingredients while recovering from a tummy bug, I chose to use mango and banana. Both are low in pectin which can irritate sensitive tummies. Banana also contains amylase which is helpful in carbohydrate digestion. All in all it is just a great choice to not only make the smoothie taste good after coming off a nauseating tummy bug, it is nice and easy to digest. Papaya is another low pectin fruit if that is more readily available to you. Most of the time I purchase frozen mango in bulk at Costco, though sometimes I catch a sale in the fresh produce department.

Grassfed Collagen

Not only does a quality grassfed collagen add an easy to digest, natural protein source, it is also fantastic for repairing stomach lining and just over all digestive support. I have been using Perfect Supplements grassfed collagen since early fall last year and I couldn’t be more pleased. Zero taste, blends in perfectly, and great price point.

Gentle Fat Source

This boosts the satiating part of the smoothie balancing out the fruit sugars and protein to make it well rounded. Just a small splash to start digestion running is all you need and really you could choose whatever you wish. I typically add egg yolks to the girls’ smoothies but I ended up using avocado oil this time just to keep it simple and smaller in portion size. Melted coconut oil works well too and is extremely nourishing.

Optional Add-Ins

If you have kids that are tough to get probiotics or vitamin C into, this is where you can get a dose of those in easy. My 4 and 6 year olds swallow probiotics and C’s without issue but I know there are some that don’t! You can add a quality probiotic and vitamin C to the smoothie and they’ll never know 😉

Another star player that I like to add-in is slippery elm. This herb helps soothe and repair the entire digestive tract from the stomach to the rectum – so if things have been happening at both ends, this is a great remedy to have on hand. It does have a bit of a taste that my kids don’t mind. Add a bit of raw honey to the smoothie if you need to cover it up, but really just a teaspoon or so is all you need! (If you would like to try slippery elm outside of the smoothie, simply mix the powder with some raw honey and have them take it off the spoon. Sometimes my kids prefer to take it in tincture form, which is fine too!)


Post Tummy Bug Recovery Smoothie :: You've made it through a tummy bug, and are ready to eat - but what do you eat on a sensitive empty tummy? This smoothie is not only gentle, but is loaded with minerals and nutrients to nourish your family back to eating again!

5.0 from 5 reviews
Post Flu Recovery Smoothie
  • 1½ cups coconut water (Other options for mineral boosting fluid would be plain water with a big pinch of sea salt, or brewed nettle tea. The fruit will mask any flavor.)
  • 3-4 TB sweet potato mash (or about ¼ cup cubed and cooked sweet potato - I just used leftover mashed sweet potato from dinner earlier in the week. Squash is gentle and would work too)
  • 1 banana, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup mango or papaya, fresh or frozen
  • 2-3 TB grassfed cold soluble collagen
  • 2 tsp avocado oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1-2 tsp slippery elm powder (optional - see notes above)
  1. Everything into the blender and blend until smooth. Serves 3 small child sized servings. Can also be poured into ice pop molds for popsicles.

More real food recipes you might like:
Electrolyte Popsicles

Rehydrating Eletrolyte Popsicles
DIY Electrolyte Drink

Elderberry Popsicles

Immune Booster Smoothie



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Instant Pot Bone Broth

February 3, 2016

Learn how to use *any* bones to make fast, nourishing bone broth with your Instant Pot!

Instant Pot Bone Broth :: Learn how to use *any* bones to make fast, nourishing bone broth with your Instant Pot!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

This has been a game changer friends!

Honestly I have spent years without thought simmering my bone broth stovetop or through the night in a slow cooker. It has become such second nature that when I started hearing about people using their pressure cookers to make bone broth in just a couple hours I sort of skimmed right past. I had my “routine”. My method.

And with a house full of kids, autopilot is crucial to my daily flow!

I wasn’t convinced I would switch making my bone broth to my Instant Pot when I received it last fall. Because it is smaller than what I typically make bone broth in, I couldn’t see myself making bone broth more frequently to equal the amount I was making once a month in my slow cooker, huge stockpot, or oven roaster.

And then this year happened! Busier school and homework schedules, an added preschool schedule to the elementary routine, a book deal & daily blog work, and a feisty toddler have really dwindled my kitchen hours down.

I have to be smart about my kitchen time.

Instant Pot Bone Broth :: Learn how to use *any* bones to make fast, nourishing bone broth with your Instant Pot!

And the Instant Pot helps me do that. Bone broth can be made so hands free and fast. There is no planning out to remember to turn off the slow cooker – or planning to be home while the stockpot on the stove simmers for hours and hours. And the gel! Oh that glorious, nourishing gel is still there as well as all the maintained properties of properly prepared bone broth!

Instant Pot Bone Broth :: Learn how to use *any* bones to make fast, nourishing bone broth with your Instant Pot!

If you are new to bone broth, this recipe is for you! You can’t find a more nourishing, power packed food – period! If you have never read “Broth Is Beautiful”, I highly recommend it so you can fully understand what amazing food you are making!

If you are a seasoned bone broth foodie, this recipe is for you too! If your little heart pitter patters every time you get to use your stock pot to make something amazing…don’t worry. You don’t have to retire your beloved pot! Use your Instant Pot to your advantage when your time is short. Leverage your kitchen time – you will have more bone broth on hand to make those amazing slow cooked soups at the stove 😉

Instant Pot Bone Broth :: Learn how to use *any* bones to make fast, nourishing bone broth with your Instant Pot!

A quick note on the bones!

Rich, flavorful broth comes from bones that have been cooked, so if you happen to pick up bones from your farmer at the market (sometimes called beef soup bones, or marrow bones), or you have a load of bones from ordering a half or whole cow or pig, or from that big deer hunt, just give those raw bones a quick roast before using them for broth. I typically just toss them on a sheet pan and roast them at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. If you are making a beef roast or whole chicken in the Instant Pot, you can just toss the bones right back into the IP after you strip the meat for your broth making! So easy!

5.0 from 13 reviews
Instant Pot Bone Broth
  • Cooked bones/carcass of chicken (learn how to do a whole chicken in your IP HERE!), cow, deer, turkey, pig etc depending on what you have (I like about half of the pot to be bones/carcass. You can freeze whatever bones don't fit for another time.)
  • 1-2 chicken feet (optional depending on if you have access - it gives really good gel to the broth. Ask your chicken farmer for them!)
  • 1-2 large carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion coarsely chopped
  • 2-3 stalks of celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 head of garlic, smashed
  • 1-2 TB apple cider vinegar
  • Water enough to cover the bones
  1. Put the bones into the pot first followed by the veggies, garlic, and apple cider vinegar. Fill the pot with water to cover the bones - be sure you don't go over the "Max" line on the pot.
  2. Let the pot sit for about 30 minutes without any heat to let the apple cider vinegar pull the minerals from the bones.
  3. Put the Instant Pot lid on and turn the vent valve to closed. Push "Soup" and use the manual button to bring the time up to 120 minutes.
  4. The pot will turn "On" automatically and will take about 20 minutes to come to pressure before the 120 minutes starts counting down.
  5. After the 120 minutes of pressure cooking is done, turn the Instant Pot off and leave it be to naturally release about 15 minutes before opening the vent valve and straining your broth.

For more Instant Pot recipes, you can follow my Instant Pot Recipes board on Pinterest!

More real food recipes you might like:
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How To Make An Instant Pot Whole Chicken for FAST Healthy Meals From Soups, Wraps, Salads, & Stir Frys!
Instant Pot Italian Sausage Stew

Instant Pot Italian Sausage Stew
15 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup

15 Minute Chicken Tortilla Soup PLUS! How To Make Chips Out Of Any Tortilla & A Kid Friendly {Mild} Guacamole!
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Nettle Infusions For Kids!

January 9, 2016

A kid friendly, hydrating & mineral rich herbal infusion made with busy kids in mind!

Nettle Infusions For Kids!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

An almost daily staple in our home, I can’t believe I haven’t posted this nettle infusion recipe before today!

This nourishing nettle infusion stands right alongside bone broth in our home as mineral rich boost for busy bee kids and is one of the first teas I like to introduce to their palates to develop a love for herbal tea.

As little ones, I like to give sips right off my tea cup or glass around 6 to 9 months old. Obviously not a replacement for breastmilk, letting baby take tastes of an infusion like this helps create a taste palate for tea for later in childhood. I can’t tell you how nice it is to have a toddlers that willingly drink a cup of mineral rich tea with their lunch, or sip on a healing herbal tea when ill.

Nettle Infusions For Kids!

But wait!

If you have big kids this is for you too!

Even if you have a big kid or teen that has never had a cup of tea before today, I left instructions on how to slightly tweak the recipe to make it palatable for them. Nettle infusions are a fantastic way to hydrate and boost minerals for kids that are busy with school all day, in sports, or are just busy outdoors playing! It is a great replacement for working on getting juice out of the routine in the house, and a little lemon and raw honey make it taste really good.

Nettle Infusions For Kids!

Those who follow my Instagram account know that I often pack nettle infusions in my first grader’s lunch for school. While the students take a mid morning break for a quick snack that includes water, as I have volunteered in the room I notice just how little the children drink during the morning! You can physically watch some of them start puttering out by lunchtime…including my daughter who gets a very nourishing breakfast every morning. They need a big re-fuel at lunchtime and that includes hydrating.

Nettle Infusions For Kids!

Giving them an extra mineral boost with an herbal infusion works great – and I have seen my own daughter perk right up for the rest of the day after her meal and infusion. (To follow our lunch ideas and routine, you can search the hashtag #rgnschoollunch on Instagram to follow her lunches!)

You don’t need fancy equipment to get started – just the loose herb and a quart mason jar is all I used for years. I have a dedicated French Press that I have been using just for infusions for a couple years now, and I love how convenient they make tea making. No straining or fuss. Just push down and pour. I even have a smaller French Press so that my 2 and 4 year olds can do it themselves!

Links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product or service I wouldn’t use on my own family.

5.0 from 2 reviews
Nettle Infusions For Kids!
  • 3 tsp nettles
  • 2 tsp hibiscus
  • 1 quart of hot water
  • Juice of ½ lemon (Optional - leave this out for babies as the acid can be irritating for sensitive digestion)
  • 2 tsp raw honey (This is optional for using for those bigger kids that might need a little sweet to make it more palatable. Leave this out for the babies and toddlers to work at developing their palate for tea without honey. We use a local raw honey - the linked brand is a good one if you don't have access.)
  1. Put the loose herbs at the bottom of your mason jar, French Press, or other glass container or teapot.
  2. Pour the hot water over the herbs and let them steep anywhere from a couple hours to overnight. You can steep up to 24 hours if you wish. My routine is to make the infusion at night before I go to bed and then I strain it off in the morning for school lunches and myself so that I can make another infusion for the afternoon that steeps all morning. Do what works for you!
  3. After the infusion has steeped, strain off the herbs and enjoy. You can add a squeeze of lemon (my favorite!) and for the kids new to herbal tea you can drizzle in the raw honey. Just shake up the infusion and honey in a jar and it will dissolve. The hibiscus herb gives a slightly sweet and tart flavor to the bitter nettles so you actually might be surprised at how much they like it without the honey. It is certainly enough with just the hibiscus herb for young palates in babies and toddlers.

For more nourishing staples in our home, you can follow my Nourishing Staples board on Pinterest!

More real food ideas you might like:

Vitamin C Gummies

Vitamin C Gummies :: And The Truth About Vitamin C Supplements

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Vitamin C Gummies :: And The Truth About Vitamin C Supplements

September 5, 2015

Vitamin C is an amazing immune system booster to fight colds, flu, & even adrenal fatigue – but are you taking the right kind?

Vitamin C Gummies :: And The Truth About Vitamin C SupplementsDisclaimer: I am not a doctor, nor am I claiming to be one. This article is not intended to diagnose or treat anyone. Links are affiliates and help to keep the information on this blog free. Please know that I never recommend a product or service that I wouldn’t use on my own family.

We are in a constant state of learning aren’t we?

I think I have learned more in my years after schooling and college than I ever did in formal education. It’s always good to be learning, reading, and growing.

Especially with regards to optimal health, it is really important to stay on top of things. I recently started working with a nutritional therapist for some adrenal issues I have had since having my last baby, and we had a really great conversation about vitamin C.

My NTP really opened my eyes to not only the importance of using the right source of vitamin C, but also that how we handle the vitamin C makes a difference.

Because, listen, I don’t mind doing the supplementing thing – I get it. I get that our soils (and therefore our food supply) is severely deficient in many vitamins. But I don’t want to supplement with something that is just as deficient as our food supply because it isn’t sourced right, or properly handled so the vitamin is destroyed.

Nobody wants to waste their money, and it isn’t doing anyone’s health any good to be taking a supplement that you think is doing you some good when it really isn’t.

So here’s the deal. Vitamin C is pretty amazing!

An immune system equipped with properly sourced and handled vitamin C can do amazing things with colds, flu, and other immune system crashers like adrenal fatigue.

Unfortunately vitamin C in many supplements on the market today are sourced with ascorbic acid instead of whole food. Using a whole food source is obviously always a better route, and in this case specifically, vitamin C is so much more complex than just ascorbic acid. There are actually dangerous downsides to taking just ascorbic acid based vitamin C (See this podcast for more details! So fascinating!).

Vitamin C is also very delicate.

Heat destroys it.

Prolonged air exposure destroys it.

Light destroys it.

So while this amazing vitamin we know we need is super powerful, it is pretty useless when it is not in it’s natural form, and has not been handled or packaged properly. My NTP said to think about it this way…our traditional ancestors would have foraged their berries and then dried them to save in dark storage. This would have kept the integrity of the nutrients – specifically the vitamin C – in the fruit.

So why not just eat an orange?

You guys know by now I am all about whole foods. My kids absolutely eat oranges, and other whole fruits and vegetables that are rich in vitamin C. But unfortunately our soils are so depleted there is no way we could eat as many oranges as it would take to get what we need. In fact my NPT told me that the whole food source of vitamin C in Camu Camu is 300 times the amount of vitamin C than American oranges.

So how about a whole food sourced vitamin C supplement that is properly prepared and packaged! Win-win! Since vitamin C is heat sensitive, it is important that the whole food source is dried out instead of heated to maintain the vitamin properties. And then packaged in a capsule and dark bottle to reduce light and air so as much of the C as possible is maintained.

We have been taking this whole food sourced vitamin C since well before school started, and it feels really good to know for sure that the C is intact, and doing some good!

My big girls swallow the capsules, and my 2 year old will take the powder from the capsule on her tongue.

…but sometimes it is just fun to have it in a different form!

Vitamin C Gummies :: And The Truth About Vitamin C SupplementsWe made some Vitamin C gummies to kick off the school year – and made them in a way that still protects the properties of the vitamin C! I am so excited to share this method with you!

Anytime you heat vitamin C, that C is destroyed.

So instead of cooking a vitamin C rich food like citrus oranges or lemons and destroying the vitamin C, we’re going to use whatever fruit you have around, warm up for the gelatin to work, and then we’ll add in our whole food sourced vitamin C off the heat to give it an immune boosting punch! I am keeping my vitamin C gummies in an airtight container in the fridge to further maintain the properties of the vitamin C.

This recipe allows YOU to decide how much vitamin C goes into each gummy so you can know for sure how much you are giving the kids. You can pack a full dose into one gummy, or spread out the vitamin C so they can have a 3 or 4 gummies at a time. Since kids come in different shapes and sizes, and with different nutritional needs, you can dose the vitamin C how their needs fall. I very highly recommend working with an NTP like Lydia that can see the nutritional needs of your kids from a very specific professional viewpoint.

What a fun way to build up the kid’s immune systems while they navigate the first couple months of back to school germs!

5.0 from 3 reviews
Vitamin C Gummies :: And The Truth About Vitamin C Supplements
  1. Warm up the fruit and water in a small sauce pan until everything is thawed and comes to a slight bubble.
  2. Put the warmed fruit and water into your food processor or blender along with the gelatin and blend to combine.
  3. Pour the mixture in your gummy molds and dose out how much of the vitamin C you want in each mold. Use a small spoon to mix the C powder into the gummy mixture.
  4. You can put the mold in the fridge for an hour or freezer for 30 minutes to set the gummies. Once you pop the gummies out, store them in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer to maintain the properties of the vitamin C.

More natural health posts you might like ::
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Antioxidant Rich Berry Gummies

Antioxidant Rich Berry Gummies
Elderberry Popsicles

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Rehydrating Eletrolyte Popsicles

June 27, 2015

It’s summer, and those kids play hard! Restock their electrolytes naturally with refreshing bursts of cool lemon in every bite!

Rehydrating Eletrolyte PopsiclesI am really excited to share with you guys my summertime answer to long, hot summer afternoons!

Long gone are the days of the afternoon nap for 2 of my girls, and while we do a version of “quiet time” for a short while – it is just that at ages 6 and 4…a short while 😉 These 2 play hard and busy most of the afternoon.

Product links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

I’m not a huge fan of afternoon snacks since they seem to ruin dinner appetites for my kids, so these lemon electrolyte popsicles are enough to give them a quick energy boost, but light enough not to ruin their next meal!

Rehydrating Eletrolyte PopsiclesA quick energy and mineral shot from some local, raw honey, and electrolyte balancing boost from real sea salt is all you need for refreshing the system in the heat of the summer. And in a much more natural way compared to store bought electrolyte drinks or snacks. Lemon not only tastes amazing, but it nourishes the body with real vitamin C and cleansing properties.

Rehydrating Eletrolyte PopsiclesThese are also perfect for the kids when they get sick. You can even keep a stash of them away in the freezer for those illnesses that pop up out of nowhere so you are prepared. Similar to my quick, shake up homemade electrolyte drink, these popsicles can help keep kids hydrated and balanced while ill and not eating much.

Rehydrating Eletrolyte PopsiclesProduct links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

I love my 10-pop popsicle mold! I seriously love it! I can make a big batch all at once, wrap them up and store them away in the freezer for when I need them! The girls can help themselves that way too!

4.5 from 2 reviews
Rehydrating Eletrolyte Popsicles
  • 2 cups water
  • Juice & zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 TB raw honey (I get mine from a local farmer. Ask around at farmer's markets to find some - if you don't have access THIS is a good brand.
  • ¼ - ½ tsp real sea salt (per your taste)
  1. Blend everything up and pour into your popsicle molds. This amount fills up my 10-pop popsicle mold.
  2. Freeze the popsicles and serve!

More real food recipes you might like ::
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How To Make An Onion Poultice For Kids

March 1, 2015

How To Make An Onion Poultice For Kids
Quick preface! I’m not a doctor and don’t claim to be one! If you have a kiddo with really labored breathing or really struggling with a cough, you should be seeking medical assistance via ER or your doctor’s office. There is definitely a time and place for both! This is my own experience using onion poultice with my girls for chest colds and you can use the method at your own discretion. Product links are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family – what is linked here is exactly what I use.

I’m not sure there is a much more of a panicking middle of the night wake up call than a barky seal cough from your child.

The very first time it happened to me as a mom, my oldest was about 3 and it scared the living daylights out of me! I remembered reading that cold air helped them calm a cough down so my husband held her in a blanket on the snowy front step of our house, and within seconds her cough calmed.

I learned quick that it is really no fun to have a sick kiddo and I started studying tried and true natural ways to help children get through an illness. As it turns out many simple, old natural remedies that our great grandparents probably used are super effective, and an onion poultice for chest congestion is one of them.

How To Make An Onion Poultice For Kids
The combination of the warm, moist onion poultice with the natural expectorant quality of the onion help to break up the congestion. My experience using this on my girls has been very successful and within a good 10 minutes of wearing the pack they are able to cough more freely and easily to loosen it all up and get it out.

How To Make An Onion Poultice For Kids
So we have agreed this onion poultice thing is great…but getting a 3 year old to agree that the onion poultice is great can be tricky – let alone a sick 3 year old! Here are some ways I have made this process more successful for everyone:

  • Be sure the poultice isn’t too hot. What feels warm and good to you is probably still too hot for little ones in my experience. I let the poultice cool off for a good 5 – 10 minutes after coming out of the pot. It shouldn’t be uncomfortable or hurt – it should be warm and comforting to them.
  • Let them pick out the towel to use. I actually got a cheap pack of tea towels with bright, fun colors just for using with onion poultices for the girls. It came with 4 towels so I have enough to rotate around if I have more than one with a cough and if I have to get 1 or 2 into the laundry.
  • Spray some lavender essential oil or other essential oil blend that they like on the top of the poultice that will be facing up so they can smell that instead of the onion. This last cold we ran through the house I actually sprayed the Calming the Child blend from Plant Therapy, and really felt like it kept things calm too. I have a small spray bottle with water and about 10 drops of the EO in there. Just shake it up before you spray. You only need a small spray or 2! If they are really sensitive to the onion smell you can put an extra towel over the top of the poultice and then spray.
  • Get a distraction going *before* you put the poultice on. Get a stack of books next to them for them to read or for you to snuggle up to them to read to them. We don’t have the TV running all day, but when you need a child to sit still for 15 or so minutes, putting on an appropriate educational show or musical isn’t the end of the world in my experience. I used the girl’s LeapPads for games while they lay there too.
  • One of my girls really liked the idea of making her a “nest” to lay in on the floor while she had hers on – a big pile of blankets in the shape of a circle with her favorite stuffed animals (and her big sister laying next to her too!).
  • I’m not against a reward system for the really little ones. My 5 year old can understand the importance of sitting still for the poultice to work, but last year my 2 ½ year old did NOT. Doing 5 minutes or so at a time and getting a sticker or something helped move things along without the fight. This year at 3 ½ she understands better and wanted to get better so reasoning with her is just much more do-able.
  • Let them know the why 🙂 You can tell them it will help them get the gunk out of their chest so it doesn’t get infected and so they get better faster! It’s amazing what they understand! And amazing what they will go from not wanting to do, to willingly doing when they know what to expect. And really the warm pack feels good and is really comforting and warm – once they feel it usually my girls are willing to have it on for a while.

How To Make An Onion Poultice For Kids
So here is how to make a simple onion poultice for kids! Please keep in mind that if your child is really laboring with their breathing and things just don’t feel right you should be going to the ER and/or calling your doctor.

How To Make An Onion Poultice For Kids

5.0 from 1 reviews
How To Make An Onion Poultice For Kids
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • Water to cover the bottom of your sauce pan
  1. Put the water in the bottom of your sauce pan along with the onion and bring to a simmer with the lid on for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain out any extra liquid and put the steamed onion into a thin kitchen towel or tea towel and fold it up. I like to lay the towel out horizontal and fold the top and bottom up over the onion, then fold the sides in – like making a burrito. Their little chests are so tiny so just be sure the onions in the middle aren’t all spread out.
  3. Let the poultice cool for about 5-10 minutes before applying to your child’s chest. My youngest needs it cooled even longer as her tolerance for warm even in a bath is cool to me! Let the poultice sit on their chest up to 20 minutes if they will sit there long enough.
  4. You can re-heat the poultice throughout the day. I like to just put the whole poultice right back in the pan and warm it on low heat. Discard the onion after using it for a day.

Here is another great resource about naturally dealing with chest congestion. I also like to use the Hylands Cough N Cold remedy at nighttime finding it really helps with calming the cough and helping them rest.

You can also read about natural flu remedies HERE and how I was able to clear up an ear infection in my oldest naturally HERE.

And come follow my pintrest board My Herbal Ways for more natural and DIY remedies.

Cold & Flu Season Herbal Recipes Natural Remedies

Naturally Healing Ear Infections In Kids

January 25, 2015

Naturally Healing Ear Infections In Kids :: My Story
Disclaimer :: I am not a medical doctor, nor do I claim to be one. I am a well read, well educated momma who chooses natural remedies first before choosing mainstream medicine. That is my choice for my children and my household. If that doesn’t resonate with you, that is ok! Please be respectful in any comments, however. This is also *my* story. Many of these remedies may and can work for other children but please keep in mind every child is different. I do tend to really trust my children’s bodies to fight infection naturally because they are so well nourished while they are well. Healthy, well nourished children’s immune systems compared to children with compromised immune systems, junky diets, and/or multiple other health issues going on is like comparing apples to oranges. Please use your own judgment as to how to treat your own children. Product links are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use?” Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family – what is linked here is exactly what I used during the ear infection.

So it all started with a phone call from school. I knew Chloe had looked a little tired that morning, but it was the end of the week and she is usually tired by Friday as this is her first year in full time school. I didn’t give it much thought, and she had brushed me off when I asked her if she was ok that morning. She just said she was tired but really wanted to go to her reading group that day.

Her teacher called about mid-morning and said Chloe just wasn’t herself, crying a lot and wasn’t feeling well. I picked her up and could tell right away by the glassy eyes that she wasn’t well. She cried all the way home about missing her reading group, but when I tucked her in bed she fell right to sleep.

She woke up saying her ear hurt and I called the chiropractor to get in for an adjustment right away. She took a peek in her ears, did an adjustment or 2, and did some drainage massage. We swung by the store on the way home for some garlic/mullein ear oil (yes I know they can be made but with the baby and another toddler I just didn’t have the time) and started what would be a very long weekend. We really kicked this ear infection well though, and I wanted to share how we did it!

1. Chiropractic adjustments to address the ear infection/drainage.

This is vital. At the first sign of the ear hurting our chiropractor was the first person I called. There are simple, gentle adjustments that can be done to help with drainage flow connected to the ear. Everything is connected to the spine. Certain points in the cervical spine will be subluxed with ear infection and fixing that helps with healing. We went a total of 5 times within 2 weeks and it was worth every penny to me. After one of the visits Chloe told me that she could feel “water” draining in her ear. After one of the last ones we had an hour later she could hear 100% better.

 2. Let the “bug” run its course.

The vast majority of ear infections are viral. They just have to run their course. Our pediatric chiropractor said upwards to 80 percent of them are viral. And it takes time to let a virus run its course! Can I just be real here a minute? Man, it was hard to watch her in so much pain. This was my first real ear infection in the house, and it tore at my momma heart to see her sick. I kept telling myself, maybe tomorrow it will be better – because the minor illnesses that have gone through my home have been quite short lived. This was 5 (five!) days of pain (It started in one ear for about 3 days and then when that one got better it had moved into her other ear!). 5 days of religiously keeping up on natural remedies. It was exhausting.

 3. Ease the pain.

So while we wait on the bug to run its course we have to do something about that pain. I was surprised at how well the garlic/mullein ear oil that I had helped. We dripped these in her ears hourly at some points. She would tell me how much it helped, and I really think it took the edge off during the day. I also used the oil with a drop of lavender essential oil to massage downward from the neck behind her earlobe downward as our chiropractor showed me how to do to help move any drainage. She said this helped with pain a lot too. I used a warm coarse sea salt pack on her ear/neck area after dripping the oil. I followed the instructions on the salt pack from THIS article. She LOVED this – she had the salt pack on most of the day – it was very soothing to her.

 4. Boost the immune system.

I had her taking a whole food sourced vitamin C and cod liver oil to boost the immune system. I also used Plant Therapy’s KidSafe Immune Boom roller bottle on her feet at bedtime. And since the majority of the immune system resides in the gut, she was taking quality probiotics daily. I even added this probiotic that has a strain that is specific to the ear. She was not up to eating much, even her favorite bone broth, but she would sip on these immune booster smoothies here and there.  I was also making her nap and letting her sleep as much as she wanted. Rest for the immune system to fight is vital. Two of the nights I had her go to bed much earlier than her sisters much to her dismay, but it was worth it – she always passed right out and slept hard. And I knew she needed it. There were a handful of times I used some chamomile tea in her bath, or had her take some Rescue Remedy to help her relax so she could just rest.

 5. Naturally help kill the bug.

I actually started out dripping my breastmilk in her ear, but my toddler is in a process of weaning and it was getting harder to hand express or pump as my supply is significantly different. If you are a breastfeeding momma your breastmilk is naturally antibacterial and antiviral! Yeah! So go for it and drip away! I did a drop in each ear about 5 times per day. After a couple days of the breastmilk dripping and deciding that it just wasn’t working for my weaning supply, I switched to dripping collodial silver in her ears to have the same effect on the bug.  I actually feel like within 12 hours of starting this was when I saw her turn a corner.

6. Flush and detox the lymph.

I wanted the bug OUT! I kept her drinking this simple hydrating electrolyte drink since she wasn’t into eating much. And we also did dry brushing and simple detox baths. At one point she took a warm bath 2 times a day mostly because she asked for it – it was very soothing and made her feel better. To be honest the bath was when I saw her perk up the majority of the time. I did the dry brushing and then she took a warm bath with a cup of epsom salt and baking soda. I used lavender essential oil and Plant Therapy’s KidSafe Sweet Dreams blend in the bath at night to help with sleep.

So what did we do after this epic ear infection?

I treated as if she were still sick for about 2 weeks after. I religiously kept up on the gut nourishment with bone broth based soups, probiotics, and I even finished out the bottle of the probiotics that are specifically designed for ear health. Bedtime on time was a must, and I even said no to a family gathering the weekend after she was sick. I could tell she was still getting her strength back, and we can always see family another day.

I kept sugar at a minimum, and while that is usually always the case for our house anyway, this all happened the week before Christmas…of course! She had one cookie on Christmas day, and I just didn’t make any or have it around. It wasn’t that big of a sacrifice to keep her immune system happy and not give it a sucker punch with a bunch of sugar.

For now I am also keeping her off milk. Even though she has not had chronic ear infections, I am just being cautious since dairy and ear infections can be connected. Our raw milk share decreases from January until May anyway, so we don’t have a lot of it around. I will bring it back in this spring.

And finally, I am being more consistent on being at our monthly well adjustment at the chiropractor. It is so easy for me to put it off this time of year with the roads being so snowy – but I really have noticed how monthly adjustments keep my kids sleeping well, and overall healthier.

So tell me! Have you treated an ear infection naturally at home? What worked for you?

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday and Real Food Wednesday

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DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion

December 28, 2014

DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion
Every winter it is bound to happen. Those sad little glassy eyes wake up and pout “momma…I don’t feel good”.

We certainly don’t live in a bubble, and as diligent as I work at keeping the girls’ immune systems built up to fight the bugs efficiently, once or twice a winter the immune system has to clean house and we have a bug sweep through. (I love THIS post about why this is a good thing!)

I am a big believer in listening to our kids when they are sick – if they don’t feel like eating that is fine by me. Let their bodies use energy to fight the infection instead of digesting food! But they do need to stay hydrated so their organs and immune system can do their job.

DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion
While mineral rich bone broth is always my first drink offer, even my girls who like bone broth won’t likely sip on it all day. A few years back when my first daughter got her first cold I did a quick freak out at the ingredient list in the Pedialyte isle and decided I would just make my own.

DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion
A mixture of cleansing lemon and energy giving raw honey was welcomed by my little one at the time. And the sea salt packed a mineral punch that kept her electrolytes in balance while she fought off her first cold.

DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion
In the last 2 years I have nailed down the ingredient amounts I like to use – AND made it an efficient and quick process to make. This momma of 3 doesn’t have much time for playing around with mixing, measuring, and heating. This recipe is literally dump the ingredients in a pint mason jar and give it a shake. Done.

DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion
I actually had this post planned for about mid to late January, but one of the girls ended up with food poisoning this weekend, and since I had it made up,it seemed like a good time to get it out! Please note this drink is not suitable for babies under the age of 1 considering the raw honey and acidity of the lemons. Babies under 1 should be nursing as much as possible during illness, and if baby is not nursing you can use coconut water to hydrate.

Product links in this section are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site, as well as answer the questions of “what brand do you use!” Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family.

4.9 from 8 reviews
DIY Electrolyte Drink :: Natural rehydration for colds, flu, food poisoning, & physical exertion
  1. Everything into a jar with a lid and shake well to combine. This recipe fits perfect in a pint mason jar.
  2. Store in the fridge up to a week.


  • This recipe makes a pint mason jar perfectly. My girls are younger and typically won’t drink more than this amount in one day while they are ill. It is a nice amount to make for them to sip on in small amounts during the day. If you have older kids, or will be using it for yourself while ill you can double, triple, or more into a pitcher. When I make it for myself I double it into a quart mason jar.
  • Make the mixture into popsicles! Perfect for scratchy throats too! (And might I add teething toddlers?!)
  • Since most of the immune system resides in the gut, I also like to add probiotics to the jar if I haven’t been able to get them in any other way during the day.
  • I have one of these super simple lemon juicersit’s quick enough for busy momma!
  • These elderberry popsicles are another great idea to have on hand during illness.
  • For more info on managing flu symptoms see THIS POST.

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, and Allergy Free Wednesday!

Cold & Flu Season Herbal Recipes Real Food Tips

Tips To Keeping Kids Healthy During The Holidays

December 1, 2014

Tips To Keeping Kids Healthy During The Holidays
Happy December!

With the holidays in our midst, cold and flu bugs are just inevitable. We don’t live in bubbles, and our kids are sure to be exposed to whatever is floating around your area.

It sure does seem that the holidays have a tendency to bring on extra illness, but there are definitely some ways to give your kids the upper hand to fighting off the bugs and stay healthy so everyone can enjoy the celebrations to come.

(Just a quick note! I am not a doctor, nor do I claim to be one. I am simply a momma sharing what she has found to work very effectively for her kiddos, in hopes to inspire you to take charge of your own kids’ health proactively! Any product links you see are affiliates that I actually use with my own family – there is no extra cost to you when you use the links, rather it helps run the free content of this blog for you!)

Tips To Keeping Kids Healthy During The Holidays

:: Keep up on the preventatives & immune system boosters ::

Don’t let your healthy preventatives routine slip up if you are away from home or have some changes in the schedule. If you live in a northern area that doesn’t see a lot of sunshine it is so important to keep vitamin D boosted through the properly balanced vitamin D and A in quality sourced cod liver oil.  During illness we boost the cod liver oil. Pastured lard to cook in is another great source of vitamin D. Vitamin D is more and more in the forefront lately showing to be very effective against the flu in particular.

Since the majority of the immune system resides in the gut, it is important to keep the gut flora balanced with probiotics through fermented foods and/or quality supplemental probiotics. I like to rotate this brand and this brand, along with weekly consuming yogurt and fermented veggies.

During the holidays I like to give elderberry syrup or elderberry tincture a couple times per week. If the girls are run down or ill they get it daily until they recover which has never been more than a few days. Elderberries are effective virus killers and work well to boosting the immune system to fight virus off. I also supplement immune boosting vitamin C during this time to give their bodies an extra boost. I like to use a quality sourced whole food C such as THIS brand and THIS brand. You can read more about the importance of whole food vitamin C in this post.

:: Don’t make the holiday treats a month long event ::

Before you label me as the Scrooge of the century, please hear me out. Sugar has a huge impact on our immune system. As in it weakens it. (See THIS article and THIS article for very informative evidence regarding sugar and the immune system.) It just isn’t worth day after day of junk their bodies aren’t used to. Listen, I’m all about a little fun! Absolutely have some fun making Christmas cookies, or your favorite holiday traditional treats like hot cocoa and eggnog, but it doesn’t need to be a daily (or even weekly) event. Just don’t go overboard is all.

In case you are wanting more evidence, I do have an actual life story to relate to this as well. About 2 years ago I discovered a load of holiday “real food” treats that I wanted to try. I mean, come on! It’s “real food” right? It can’t hurt to have some real food treats every week through the holiday month, right? Wrong. Sugar is still sugar – no matter the form. So that year my 2 girls at the time had cold after cold and it never seemed like we could get better. I resolved never to do it again and I have not regretted that decision since – the last couple years the girls have had 1 (one!) cold during the entire winter, let alone just the holiday season. THAT is worth limiting the treats to just here and there.

 :: Ensure sure they are getting adequate rest ::

Please remember that these little ones are kids. Not adults. Party after party, event after event takes its toll on their bodies. In addition to school schedule, packing in a bunch of extra activities at the end of the day can really drain their bodies. If activities after school are a “must”, then it really ought to be made up for on the weekend with naps and early bedtimes. Period. Growing kids need downtime and rest time to recoup. Taxed adrenals from lack of sleep and stimulating parties doesn’t allow the immune system to do its job effectively. Plan in what is absolutely necessary, and really look at what might not be as crucial to have in the schedule.

:: Make the menu nourishing ::

I am a big fan of bone broth or bone broth based soups and gravies daily. Boil rice, noodles, or beans in it if they won’t do soup. Get those babies started early drinking it so they are used to it and won’t bat an eye when given a sippy of bone broth.

Ensure they are getting adequate amounts of friendly fats to help their hormones and sugars stabilize. Lots of pastured butter, lard/tallow, coconut oil, etc. Use immune booster smoothies once or twice a week for breakfast. Get some kid friendly soups in the school lunch thermoses. You can still have comfort food dinners in a nourishing way too!Yes there will be the occasional outing to a restaurant or party during this month to celebrate the holiday, but the majority of their diet can still be nutrient dense and nourishing.

If you need more ideas for nourishing, nutrient dense real food meals that real families can even make, my cookbook, Nourished Beginnings is packed out with my tried and true, staple real food meals – I still cook out of this book on a weekly basis and my kiddos are big kids now!

If the kids end up with a cold or flu, it isn’t the end of the world. All three girls had a pretty decent cold last week, and I look at it as cleaning out the system. It’s when they are getting cold after cold or a bug that just won’t go away after weeks that schedules, routine, and diet could be the culprit. You can still nourish your kids while they are ill and help them recover in a natural way so you can enjoy the rest of the month.

I wish you and your sweet babes and healthy and joyous holiday season!

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Autumn Harvest Chicken Stew

November 30, 2014

Autumn Harvest Chicken Stew
Eating “seasonal” can get pretty tricky around the end of November where I live. We stockpile what we can in the summer, and while my freezer is still pretty happy with summer green beans and zucchini, we just enjoyed our last jar of fresh tomato soup from our summer garden, and our local farmer’s markets are either closed until May or only open once or twice a month until spring.

Autumn Harvest Chicken Stew
Our local grocer does really nice job of keeping as much local in season produce as possible from squashes to dark leafy greens, and from about December until April, I really rely on them. I have gotten pretty creative at rotating the autumn/winter produce selection so we can keep our produce budget happy as well as nourish ourselves and enjoy some good food.

Autumn Harvest Chicken Stew
At the beginning of October our chicken farmer harvests the last of their flock and I pile our freezer with about 20 or so chickens to get us until May. Once a month I get 3 of those chickens into my oven roaster and portion out the meat to last us most of the month – it is a big time saver as well as budget guide for me. I usually use a couple handfuls of the shredded chicken to make this stew – it is a popular with the girls and packs well in the school soup thermos for lunch.

Autumn Harvest Chicken Stew
I love the bright, cheery color that the squash puree makes the broth, and it gives a great creaminess and sweet flavor to the stew. There is just something warm and comforting about a bowl of stew as winter rolls in, and this is one of my favorites.
5.0 from 1 reviews
Autumn Harvest Chicken Stew
  • 2 acorn squash
  • ⅓ cup friendly fat to cook in (butter, lard, or coconut oil)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, chopped
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 2 medium Russet potatoes, chopped (red or yellow potatoes work too! Use 3 or 4 of those since they are smaller)
  • 1 head of garlic, minced (about 8ish cloves or so)
  • ¼ cup white rice flour (tapioca flour if you are grain free)
  • 2 quarts chicken bone broth
  • 2 cups cooked shredded or chunked chicken
  • ¼ to ½ pound fresh organic baby spinach (depending on how much you want in there)
  • ⅛ to ¼ tsp cayenne pepper (optional but the heat is really good!)
  • Sea salt/pepper to taste
  1. Put the acorn squashes in the oven WHOLE at 425 degrees for 1 hour. When you take them out, cut them in half and let them cool to touch while you start making the soup.
  2. Sautee the onion, carrot, celery, and potatoes in the butter with a few big pinches of sea salt to bring out their juices and sweeten. Cook on medium/high for about 10 minutes.
  3. While the veggies are cooking puree the roasted squash in your processor or blender with a little of the bone broth to be sure it gets fully pureed.
  4. Add the garlic to the pot and cook for a minute.
  5. Add the flour to the pot and cook for a minute.
  6. Add the squash puree, bone broth, chicken, and spices to the pot and bring to a simmer for about 5 minutes.
  7. Add the spinach to wilt in and then season sea salt/pepper to taste.


  • This batch makes enough stew for my family to have for dinner plus enough leftovers for another dinner or lunch or two. You can store any extra leftovers you don’t want to finish within a week in the freezer.
  • Don’t forget about the kids 🙂 If you have a little one still working on chewing chunks of chicken you can puree or pulse the stew through a blender. My 15 month old eats bowl after bowl of this – the veggies are nice a soft and I chop them small enough so they can handle it without needing extra cutting or a blender.
  • Squash keeps really well in cool dark storage like a basement or cupboard. If you see them on sale around mid to late autumn stock up! This stew also works using butternut squash too!
  • Use your leftover turkey from Thanksgiving instead of chicken!
  • It is so worth making your own bone broth for soups like this. Not only is the flavor way more superior, but the nutritional benefit far outweighs that of store bought.
  • You could do all your veggie chopping – even your squash roasting the night before if you plan on making this on a busy day. If all that is done the soup comes together super fast.
  • Chopped cabbage or Brussels sprouts work well in place of the spinach or as a change up!

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, & Allergy Free Wednesday!

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Immune Booster Smoothie

October 26, 2014

One simple, delicious smoothie with a powerful immune boosting punch from elderberries, vitamin C, and gut building probiotics! Very kid friendly in taste too!

Immune Booster Smoothie

Product links in this post are affiliate links. It does not cost you anything and helps maintain the free information on this site! Please know I would never personally recommend any product I wouldn’t use on my own family. Please also note that I am not a doctor, nor claim to be one. The recommendations in this post are based on my own research and what has worked really well for keeping my family’s immune system boosted.

I am pretty sure every library storytime and preschool drop off we have been to this fall there are one or two kids there with croupy coughs and drippy noses. And in the 2 months since kindergarten started, I have already had reports from my “little momma” that so-and-so was out sick today, emails sent home about pink eye, and on and on.

Since I don’t have a newborn this year, I’m still getting the girls out and about, and I’m really not sweating it. I know my kids’ bodies are ready to fight infection, and I don’t want them kept in a bubble.

We will, and certainly have, come in contact with cold bugs, and probably even the flu. My goal in the fall and most of the winter is getting immune supporting bone broth in the girls daily. Whether in soups or mugs, bone broth is my weapon of choice to battle bugs.

Sometimes, however, I feel we just need a big boost in addition to that. If it has been a long week and I know the girls are tired or run down. If I know there is a cold or flu bug going through the classroom that my daughter spends 7 hours a day in. Or that kid from library time that just loves babies gives her a runny nosed hug.

Immune Booster Smoothie
This immune booster smoothie is great for breakfast or lunch. Full of friendly fats from coconut oil and whole raw milk, and filling protein and gut supporting grassfed collagen. You could also freeze it into popsicles!


  • VITAMIN C: Vitamin C supports the immune system, and when you source it right, it really can enhance your body’s ability to fight infection fast. Please note just simple ascorbic acid is not what we are talking about here. You can read more about why the type of vitamin C you supplement with is so important HERE.
  • PROBIOTICS: Since your immune system resides mostly in the gut, having your good bacteria up to par is very important. There needs to be balance in the bacteria population so I like to rotate our probiotics to introduce new gut flora. I like to start with THIS one, and then rotate with THIS, and then THIS.
  • ELDERBERRY SYRUP: Specifically beneficial in helping support the body during viruses, elderberry syrup is great for colds and flu. It also has a very pleasant taste so it helps sweeten the smoothie.

Immune Booster Smoothie

5.0 from 3 reviews
Immune Booster Smoothie
  • ¾ cup frozen organic blueberries (could use any frozen berries)
  • 1 cup whole, raw milk, yogurt, or coconut milk (water works too in a pinch)
  • 1-2 TB organic coconut oil, melted (depending on your taste)
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 2 TB cold soluble grassfed collegen (See Tips section for more info on this)
  • 1 TB homemade elderberry syrup (if using store bought, follow the serving directions for 1 dose)
  • Vitamin C & probiotics per supplement dosing directions
  1. Everything into your blender and blend until smooth.


  • This makes 1 “adult” sized smoothie – my 3 and 5 year olds split one. I have been making a little extra for my 1 year old to have and she has been really liking them.
  • I really love having the cold soluable grassfed collagen around for smoothies. Not only does it give a protein source to smoothies very easily (just dump it in!), it is also very helpful in restoring gut lining to normal.
  • Add or subtract the supplements as you feel necessary. You can read more about the vitamin C I like to use for immune boosting HERE.
  • If your kiddo is already feeling ill, you can make the smoothie on the blander side if they are recovering but can still get a small amount of food in. Leave out the milk and use water. Maybe back off on the coconut oil. Maybe add a pinch of sea salt to add some minerals for electrolyte balance.
  • I just use my simple Magic Bullet to blend this all up! This serving fits perfectly!

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, Real Food Wednesday, and Allergy Free Wednesday!

Cold & Flu Season Herbal Recipes Natural Remedies

Flu Remedies For Kids :: 8 Natural Home Remedies To Help Your Children Through The Flu

September 21, 2014

8 natural home remedies you can use right now to help your children through the flu.

Flu Remedies For Kids :: 8 Natural Home Remedies To Help Your Children Through The Flu

I am extremely honored to introduce Jessica from Simply Healthy Home to you! She is my “go-to” natural remedy expert, and she is just a wealth of knowledge in this arena (just take a look at our daily texting log and you’ll see how often I pick her brain 🙂 ). The flu can be downright exhausting to manage in anyone, let alone a child, and I am hoping this resource will be useful in the event you need to use it this season. (Also note product links in this post are affiliate links and help maintain this site and free information for you! Thank you for your support!)


I’m going to keep it real here, folks. I cannot stand throw up. Just the thought of it makes me want to gag. And then when I start to think about cleaning up throw up from someone else, well, that is enough to send shivers down my spine.

I thought being a parent I’d naturally just be able to deal my kids throwing up without being grossed out but that hasn’t happened. (It’s like that rumor where they say you’ll become a morning person when you have kids and that is so not true!!)

Needless to say, I do all I can to make the process as short and as easy as possible for all of us. Yes, there are things you can do to shorten the life of a stomach bug! I’m going to share with you a few of my favorite remedies.


Activated Charcoal is something that should always be around your house. Not only is effective at helping with a stomach bug (both ends) it also works for food poising or if you accidentally get glutened.

It works by binding with the ick that is going around your digestive track and helping pass it. Make sure your child is also getting plenty to drink to make sure things are passing through their system.

Charcoal is messy so I use caps as soon as my kids are able to swallow them. If not, I mix the charcoal in some applesauce or yogurt.

According to the Mayo Clinic, for children less than one you can dose .23-.50 grams of charcoal per pound of body weight. I tend to start with lower doses. I dose after the child has had an episode of diarrhea or vomiting.


The syrup from canned peaches not only tastes good for those with icky tummies but it also helps stop diarrhea. I like to water it down and make it in to popsicle. Popsicles seem to be an easy way to keep up fluids when the kids are sick.


Cell salts are remedies that help the body use the minerals that are already present in the body. What I have found in particular with stomach bugs is that they help keep the minerals balanced and help prevent dehydration.

I personally like Bioplasma and Magnesia Phosphorica #8, which helps with cramps. (And I have used these both and I know it kept me from having to take a trip to the emergency room for fluids)


Epsom salts or Magnesium flakes are a great addition to a bath any time the kids are sick. Magnesium helps the body detox and reduces muscle aches that are common with colds and the flu. (They also help soothe sore behinds when diarrhea is an issue). Baths aid in hydration as well.


Slippery Elm is a great, gentle herb that does a bang up job of helping to soothe an inflamed digestive tract. Slippery elm contains large amounts of tannis which is an astringent so it can help ‘dry up’ diarrhea.


Keeping the gut full of probioitcs is going to help lessen the severity of a stomach bug. Yogurt, kefir, beet kvass, and kombucha are great because small amounts contain loads of good bacteria.

If you don’t have any cultured drinks, a powdered form of probiotic can also be useful. Just stir it into some applesauce – even just a spoonful if they aren’t eating much. If your child is really having trouble keeping things down, you can also apply probiotic powder to ‘the back door’ gently with a q-tip to get some good bacteria quickly into the GI system. (Not a fun picture but I have heard from some parents this can be enough to stop a bug in its track)

Quality gelatin is also good for the gut and homemade gummies and jello can help sooth an upset stomach as well as provide nutrients. You can also add anti viral herbs like elderberry to your gummies like in this recipe.


If you can get one thing in your child’s system while sick, it should be bone broth. This is a rock star because it will help with hydration, provide minerals and nutrition and is very healing.

Renee has some great posts on how to make stock and many soups that are kid friendly. (Click HERE and look under “lunches” and you will find many simple soup purees to try!). There are also some fantastic soothing and nourishing food staples that can be helpful as children work back to eating after active throwing up and/or diarrhea. You can find those HERE.


I am a big fan of Plant Therapy’s KidSafe “Tummy All Better” synergy for tummy aches – the oils chosen for this blend were specifically chosen to be safe for kids as well as effective. You can get a ready made roller bottle which is really nice for those middle of the night tummy aches! It is diluted perfectly for you and you can just roll it right on their tummy. They also have it in a undiluted essential oil bottle you can dilute yourself.

If you have older kids, another option would be diluting peppermint oil  down in a carrier oil, and rubbing it on the feet and stomach. If your child is sensitive to smells, don’t force this one on them. I find it is very individual.


Fevers feel scary to most moms, but know that they do have a job to do. I like to support the body while a fever is going on and luke-warm epsom salts baths are great for that. There are some herbs that work fantastic for fever. Here is where you can read more about very simple methods for how to use yarrow and elderberry for fever. Gently bringing the fevers down without causing the body to be overloaded are key.

If you have chest congestion going on, you can find my favorite ways to deal with it, HERE.

While there are many, many more herbs and supplements to help stomach bugs, these are my tried and true ones that I pull out for my kids. I have been able to keep a stomach bug from being passed around the family and lessen the severity of it with the above remedies.

If you are interested in more home remedies, you can check out this page on my blog, HERE.

I’d love to hear from you, tell me what are your favorite home remedies for stomach bugs are?

Flu Remedies For Kids :: 8 Natural Home Remedies To Help Your Children Through The Flu

Jessica loves to learn and share about natural living, from whole foods to herbal remedies. With a desire to take care of her family through natural means, she has spent a lot of time researching and experimenting to find what fits best in her lifestyle. Struggling with her health for a few years after a miscarriage she tested positive for Hashimoto’s and is currently working on healing through diet and natural supplements. Jessica started her blog Simply Healthy Home to share her family’s journey to being healthy and happy. You can follow Jessica on Facebook and Pinterest.

This post was shared at Fat Tuesday, & Real Food Wednesday!