Cold Remedy for Toddlers

What is the most annoying part of having a toddler–other than having a walking source of every type of germ out there and the resulting sicknesses that inevitably follow?  Treating those sicknesses!  Anyone with young kids can attest to the fact that having a sick child is rough.  With sleepless nights, a child that wants to be held constantly, and no childcare, it can be quite exhausting.  And if you have a paranoid family like ours, you may also get excluded and uninvited from anything and everything for at least a week (sometimes 2 or 3). But I digress.

So, after surviving pretty much every illness out there in these last few months, I decided to write about what works best for us. Our tried and true treatment in so many circumstances for our 2 year old (since she turned 1) has simply been: Chamomile tea with a little honey.

My daughter came down with hand foot and mouth disease a few months ago and she was miserable. She wouldn’t eat (not to mention she had just recovered from a GI bug), she would hardly drink, and she was waking up in the night hurting.  So, as we do with most illnesses, I pulled out the chamomile.

To make her “tea,” as my daughter calls it, I use just enough water to cover the chamomile bag (or tea holder if you have the flowers), and about 1/2 tsp of honey.  I steep the tea bag for at least 2 minutes, mix in the honey, and then I pour about twice the amount of rice milk–enough to cool the tea down to warm instead of hot, and to mask some of the flavor.  My daughter loves her “tea” when she’s sick.  She will actually ask for it throughout the day. And, low and behold, the chamomile helps tremendously with HFMD! It is soothing and helps her sleep through the night.

After recovering from HFMD and once people were finally willing to see us again, our poor child came down with the nasty coughing cold virus that seems to be making its rounds this year.  Coughing is rough with a toddler.  Not only are they not quite old enough to take cough medicine, but they also (for the most part) do not yet know how to blow their nose well enough to clear the mucous out and slow down the cough. And a nose bulb or even a nose frida can only help to a limited extent.

Chamomile and honey, however, is a tremendous natural remedy for a cough.  During the worst of the cold, I gave my daughter chamomile tea a few times a day. I made it weaker during the day than at night, but it worked just as well.  We saw an UNMISTAKABLE difference in her cough.  Everyone around us who had this cold had a horrible cough–and don’t get me wrong, my daughter had quite the cough as well.  However, for the 2 weeks that the cold lasted, EVERY time I gave her tea, the amount of coughing drastically slowed down.  When I was not able to give her the tea every few hours, without fail, the cough came back with a vengeance.

At one point, I tried a few other methods to help her cough, thinking maybe I should chill out with the chamomile.  I tried just honey.  I tried Zarbee’s (which is basically just honey anyway).  None of it worked. The honey may have helped a tiny bit, but the Zarbee’s was useless in our case.  But after my daughter’s doctor recommended continuing to use chamomile, we went back to our tried and true method; and as usual, it worked. She slept through the night, and she was able to make it through the day without much coughing.

I truly find it amazing that we have been given this plant that is so soothing for a little one, when they are too young for medicine.  Without this little help, we would have had a MUCH harder time! It’s the little things… Those little blessings.

Other than just colds, however, chamomile is a HUGE help with headaches and teething pain as well. With allergies at 2, my daughter gets allergic conjunctivitis, stuffiness, and the accompanying sinus headaches fairly often at times.  Now, chamomile is not a cure all, so it obviously does not help with a stuffy nose or conjunctivitis; there are other methods to ease those symptoms, such as nose cleaning with saline and eye drops. But nothing helps my daughter’s headaches as much as chamomile tea.

We have recently had a few nights where my daughter was lying in bed crying, saying her eyes and her head hurt.  We try giving her Tylenol, but she just can’t get to sleep. She tries. And then she cries again. But when we give her chamomile with Tylenol, she is always able to fall asleep.  The same has applied to teething pain.  After my daughter turned 1 (when it was safe to use honey), we realized how great a help chamomile could be to help her sleep, and it has been our go to for nighttime teething for quite some time.

DISCLAIMER: Chamomile has worked great for us, and has been approved by my daughter’s doctor for use. However, there are varying opinions on its use and the safety of it.  So please ensure that your child’s doctor is aware of your decision to try using it, and please understand that I am only writing based on personal experience, I do not claim any medical expertise in the matter.  But if you are able to confidently use chamomile for your little one, it is a very helpful tool for your toolbox!

Give it a try, and please share your experience if it helps!

 

If you find this information helpful, please like, share, or comment and check out some recipes or other resources.  Thanks for reading!

 

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Have Skin Allergies? Like “Natural” Products? You MUST Try This!

You or your little one have skin allergies?  Sensitive skin? Scalp psoriasis or eczema?  Well, we have all of the above problems in our household and I have FINALLY found a soap/shampoo that is great for all of our issues, so I had to share this!

I do not participate in promoting products, especially not for any sort of profit–would be nice, but that is not what this article is about. I am, however, VERY excited about this gem in the ruff that I have recently found!  And being a parent of a child with multiple allergies, I know how absolutely frustrating it can be to try and find things for our little ones, so I am hoping others with the same problem will find this information helpful.

My daughter has skin allergies to coconut, fragrance, and a few highly used preservatives that happen to be in EVERYTHING that is labeled “baby”.  The “all-naturals” and “natural fragrance” make no difference. Fragrance is fragrance and most of the “natural” shampoos, soaps, lotion, etc. have the same preservative(s) as about 99% of the rest of them out there.  So, finding a body wash/shampoo for my daughter has been extremely frustrating!!

In a desperate attempt to find SOMETHING that I could bathe my daughter with that cause a rash (some rashes are mild, but it is still obviously irritating her skin), I thought maybe I would have to resort to making my own.

Now let’s get one thing out of the way: I am NOT one of those, buy all natural, eat organic, blah blah people. I like my synthetic things, thank you very much.  And I gladly buy regular produce because I would rather the unlikely stated risks associated with those than to have the risk of salmonella from eating cow poop left over on organically fertilized veggies and fruits.  Call me crazy, that’s fine. We all have our opinions, and ultimately, we all live, we all die, we all end up with health problems. Medical claims, science, and pretty much knowledge in general is always changing, so I personally choose not to rely solely on any one thought or mindset.

That being said, I do have very sensitive skin, and I get a VERY itchy scalp with many different shampoos. My husband and I both occasionally get eczema rashes–could it be from synthetic product use?  Maybe. Or maybe it’s genetics. Or maybe I’m just not nourishing my gut bacteria and calling them by name, so they got mad and took it out on my body. Who knows. I digress.  BUT, as I was searching the myriad of crazy opinions and directions out there on how to make a shampoo and getting lost in the Google abyss of useless knowledge, I stumbled across Chagrin Valley Soap and Salve.  

Now, I will say, if you ARE into all the “all-natural”, “back to nature” stuff, you are seriously missing out if you have not found this store!  I have read a lot of labels because my daughter’s allergies warrant it, and seriously, most of the so-called natural stuff really is not what they claim it is because the very preservative that my daughter is allergic to is still in many of them. If it isn’t that, they have coconut, fragrance, or a combination thereof, so they just don’t work for us.

However, I was highly surprised and utterly fascinated by what I found at Chagrin Soap and Salve.  They seriously just use simple ingredients that anyone can identify, no preservatives, and they have a fragrance free and coconut free selection.  Seriously, I couldn’t ask for more!  Did I mention I am utterly fascinated at how simple their ingredients list is? I had no idea that making shampoo and soap could be limited to so few things that are just so.. normal. Fascinating.

So, I ordered a shampoo bar and soap for my daughter.  The samples are very inexpensive, nice sized, and surprisingly easy to lather up, so they should last a good little while for my 2 year old.

After trialing this with my daughter, I must say, I couldn’t believe how great it works! Having a shampoo bar is a little weird if you are not accustomed to it, but I really do not care as long as it works well for my daughter!  And so far, we have had great results with this soap and shampoo!

Here are the ones we ordered:

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And the ingredients list:

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So, this store already became a life saver for me since the soap and shampoo are inexpensive AND work great for my daughter–and seriously, anyone who has a child with lots of allergies knows how frustrating and time consuming it can be just to get by–but to take this a step further; it also works great for the rest of us!

Now, I won’t lie, I tried this shampoo bar as a skeptic. I only used it because I like to try out whatever my daughter is using on myself as well.  But I had a pretty bad flare up on my scalp the day (and for a few days before) I tried out this shampoo bar from Chagrin Valley, and to my unexpected surprise, my scalp LITERALLY stopped itching after I used it.  Not to mention, it works really great on my hair.  And I am not exaggerating. My scalp is fine. Fine. That NEVER happens during a flare up.  I will be ordering more for myself now.

Bottom line: I am not a crazy believer in these products (or any for that matter) as a cure all for whatever issue anyone may have, but for our families issues, I was very pleasantly surprised and I did not expect to like using their products myself. I only bought them originally for my daughter.

So, if you are looking for allergy-friendly soap and shampoo, or if you like the more natural approach and are looking for the simplest ingredients you can find in a product that works really well, you HAVE TO check out this store!  I am highly surprised that they are not more popular than they currently are.

Here is a link to their site: Chagrin Valley Soap & Salve

Thanks for reading! And as always, if you enjoyed this article, please like, share, or comment and then check out my recipes and more!

SOO Delicious! Naturally Sweetened Sweet Potato Pie

I am SO excited to share this recipe!!  This was a complete experiment, so the ingredients and directions (for the crust at least) could possibly use some massaging by those true baking experts out there, but this pie is seriously SO good!

It’s like an explosion of flavors in your mouth! And surprisingly, raspberries (raspberries on sweet potato pie you say? Oh Yes!) are SOO good on top!  I took some frozen raspberries, microwaved them just enough to thaw the ice, and put them on top, and it was AMAZING!

This pie is gluten, soy, dairy, nut, coconut, and egg free (hence the experimentation), AND it is actually NATURALLY SWEETENED!  The only sweeteners added are honey, banana, and applesauce. So go ahead and indulge this Thanksgiving! I call this healthy! 😉  And if you have a picky toddler on a limited diet, let them enjoy this lovely treat!

 

INGREDIENTS

Pie Crust:
(For 2 9 inch pie pans)
2 cups GF all-purpose flour (I used a garbanzo flour mix)
1/4 cup sorghum flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup Smart Balance (piled up) *
1/2 medium ripe banana, mashed
1 TBS honey (piled up)
3/4 cup water **

*The green tub of Smart Balance is allergy friendly, just make sure you check the ingredients and get the right one. Any other buttery spread should work for this as well, but make sure it is dairy, soy, and nut free if you are making this allergy friendly. And make it an overflowing 1/3 cup. 🙂
**you may not use all of the water, it will just depend on your dough mixture.
Pie Filling:
3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 cups)
1/2 cup honey *
1/2 ripe banana, mashed
4 TBS apple sauce (or 1 little store-bought cup)
1/8 cup avocado oil
1/2 cup hemp milk **
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp salt

*Unfiltered honey has the best consistency for this recipe. I use Oregon Raw Honey because it tastes SOO good!!

**I use Pacific Foods Original Hemp milk, not the unsweetened version. Any other milk alternative probably will not achieve the same purpose as hemp milk because of its thick and creamy, so I wouldn’t substitute this ingredient.

 

DIRECTIONS

For the pie crust:

In a medium to large mixing bowl add the flour, salt, and cinnamon and mix well. Add the Smart Balance, or other butter alternative to the flour and cut with a fork or pastry cutter until it is a greasy, blended flour mixture.

In a separate, small bowl, add the honey and mashed banana ( I microwave a frozen half banana; it really makes a great egg replacing consistency this way). Mix well with a fork to blend.

Cut the wet ingredient mixture (NOT the water yet) into the flour mixture until it is a crumbly flour texture.

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Now add 1/3 cup of water, fold and mix with a fork, and continue to add about a tablespoon at a time until the dough is wet enough to roll into a nice ball and stick together.

Split the dough in half and place the first ball in between 2 sheets of parchment paper. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out to about 9 inches (a tad bigger than your pie pan).

Transfer the dough into a pie pan (I used glass), scrunch up the top of the crust in whatever design you choose, and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. Repeat with the 2nd pie crust.

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The rest of this recipe is only for one pie, so the 2nd pie crust can either be frozen for the next time you make a pie, or you can make 2x the pie filling and make 2 pies.

 

For the Pie filling:

Peel the sweet potatoes and chop them into large rounds. Place them in a pot and boil until soft.

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Strain, and let the pieces cool, then place in a bowl and mash.

Preheat your oven to 350 F and make sure your rack is on the bottom.

In a medium size mixing bowl, add the honey, banana, apple sauce, and oil.  Using a handheld mixer, mix together until well-blended and smooth.

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Add the sweet potatoes, hemp milk, vanilla extract, cinnamon, allspice, and salt and mix again with the handheld mixer until smooth.

Pour into the prepared pie crust, smooth out the top and place in the oven on the bottom rack for about 45 minutes. Check your crust about halfway through and if it begins to brown too much, cover it with aluminum foil.

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Let your pie cool down to room temperature, cover with saran wrap or aluminum foil, and place in the refrigerator until the pie is chilled. Slice and serve topped with raspberries.

 

As always, if you enjoy this recipe, please like, share, or comment and check out more recipes on my “Recipes” tab. Thanks for visiting and HAPPY THANKSGIVING!