How To Look After Your Kid’s Teeth

We all want our kids to have pearly white teeth. Instilling good dental habits into your kids early and watching their sugar intake can help your kids to keep their teeth healthy long into adulthood.

Here are just a few tips to consider when looking after your kids’ teeth.

  • Start brushing early – It’s good practice to start brushing your kids teeth early to make it a habit. Some parents start brushing as soon as the first teeth come through – this generally isn’t needed, however
    once they start moving beyond milk and onto solid foods you should be starting a brushing routine as this is when they’ll start to get plaque. Your kids can start brushing their own teeth usually around 3 or 4, but you’ll usually have to supervise them until they’re 5 or 6 as they’re
    unlikely to brush very well on their own.
  • Use the right toothpaste – Infants shouldn’t be using fluoride toothpaste, you should start infants off on an infant-friendly toothpaste. In fact, your kids shouldn’t use regular toothpaste until they reach
    7 years old. For infants you only need a pea-size drop of toothpaste. There are also infant toothbrushes available from companies such as Brush Baby that are smaller.
  • Make brushing fun – Kids may view brushing their teeth as a chore – try to make brushing fun so that they’re more willing to do it each morning and night. As you’re getting your kid to brush their teeth
    themselves, you could try brushing with them and even possibly doing it to music. There are now apps such as Brush DJ that play music for 2 minutes to encourage kids to brush for that length time. Also consider letting them choose their own toothbrush – many kids’
    toothbrushes are creatively themed around Disney movies or made to look like cars and your child may have a preference.
  • Cut back on juice – Juice is full of sugar that will rot your kids’ teeth. It’s worth holding off on juice as long as possible – once your kids develop a taste for it there’ll be no going back. If you kids are already hooked on juice, you could try substituting for a low sugar flavoured water such as Hint water that will be much better for your kids teeth whilst still giving them that fruity taste. Kids may resist water and milk once they start drinking juice, but it’s important to try to encourage them to keep having these healthy drinks.
  • Be wary of other hidden sugary foods – There are other obvious foods and drinks that you should give to your kids in moderation
    such as soda, sweets and cookies. However, there are other foods which can contain a lot of
    sugar which many parents don’t know about. For example, kids’ lunch hams and cheeses
    are often sweetened. Meanwhile, crisps are often full of sugar (crisps also often get stuck in
    the molars making them particularly bad for our teeth).

Fire Cider To Ward Off The Crud

Fire cider, master tonic – whatever you call it, you need to make yourself a batch today. Seriously. Don’t wait until you are already starting to feel a bit peckish as fire cider needs a bit of time for all the ingredients to come together.

So what is fire cider really? Fire cider is basically an apple cider vinegar based health tonic that includes a bunch of ingredients with immune-boosting effects. Fire cider is also great for digestion so it’ll help keep you at your best during cold and flu season. You can buy it online but I like to make my own so I can have a better control of what goes into it (and plus, it is so super easy to make). Fire cider has a wonderful (and potent) sweet and tart taste to it that can be a little off-putting the first time you try it.

 

 

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Fire cider includes some of my favorite ingredients to help with colds:

  • Ginger – Ginger is great for nausea, bloating, gas and a whole host of other digestive issues. It has anti-inflammatory properties and is an antioxidant. Plus, it is simply delicious!
  • Garlic – I love garlic. Garlic helps to strengthen the immune system and is full of antifungal, antiviral, and antimicrobial properties.
  • Onions – Onions are naturally high in sulfur and contain antibacterial benefits along with prebiotics that help feed the existing healthy bacteria in the colon!
  • Turmeric – The health benefits of turmeric include an improved ability to digest fats, reduce gas and bloating, decreased congestion, and improved skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne (another one of my favorite ways to use turmeric is in golden milk).

I think that fire cider might have a little too much of a kick to it for a lot of younger children so I recommend you check out my elderberry oxymel as an alternative. Also, if you don’t want to take fire cider straight, a delicious way to make sure you are getting your dose is by making it into a salad dressing! Simply mix 1 tablespoon of your prepared fire cider with 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon mustard and a dash of salt and pepper. Pour over your salad and enjoy!

Print Recipe
Fire Cider
This isn't so much of a recipe as a melding of ingredients. It does require a little bit of time to sit so start making it now!
Course Herbal
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh ginger*
  • 1/2 c. peeled and diced fresh horseradish
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 head garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced lengthwise**
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 organic lemon, sliced
  • 1 organic orange, sliced
  • 4 c, raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. raw local honey
Course Herbal
Servings
Ingredients
  • 1/2 c. thinly sliced fresh ginger*
  • 1/2 c. peeled and diced fresh horseradish
  • 1 tbsp. turmeric powder
  • 1 head garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 jalapenos, sliced lengthwise**
  • 1 tsp. whole black peppercorns
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 1 organic lemon, sliced
  • 1 organic orange, sliced
  • 4 c, raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. raw local honey
Instructions
  1. In a clean 1/2 gallon glass jar, layer your ginger and horseradish at the bottom. Add your garlic, rosemary sprigs, jalapenos, peppercorns, cinnamon sticks, onion, and turmeric powder on top. Then place your orange and lemon slices.
  2. Using a clean spatula, press firmly on all of your ingredients to pack them down. Add your apple cider vinegar, making sure that you fully submerge your ingredients. Seal and give it a quick shake.
  3. Store your jar in a cool, dark place making sure to give it a shake every day or so. After about 6 weeks, strain out your liquid and stir in your honey.
  4. You can store your finished fire cider in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 6 months. For adults, take one or two spoonful's a day during cold/flu season to help ward off illness or when you start feeling under the weather.
Recipe Notes

* If you are using organic ginger or ginger that is harvest from the ground, then you can leave the skin on. Otherwise, peel the ginger using a spoon to scrape the skin off.

** I like to remove some of the seeds/membranes of my jalapenos. It is completely up to you if you want to remove them or leave them in for an extra bite.

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Homestead Winter Prep: Brewing Up Herbal Tinctures *Teaser*

I fell in love with the art of herbalism completely by accident. After I moved back in with my mom, she allowed me space in her garden. I started buying your typical herbs found at area “big box” stores but that wasn’t enough for me. I began looking online for more unique herbs to grow. Eventually my mom told me that I either needed to calm down my spending habits or else find a use for the herbs. So I choose the later option, taking that as the initiative to start my own business. I now sell mostly online and at events local to my area but one product has always remained a favorite of my customers – my handcrafted herbal tinctures.

For the rest of this post, join me over at Minnesota Country Girl where I have the privilege of guest posting for Homestead Winter Prep: A Series of Harvesting & Preserving!

The Virus

Robb just got back this past Sunday from being out of town for two weeks. That meant two weeks where I was 100% responsible for Caleb. Why I do care for him the majority of the time, I rely on Robb a lot to get other stuff done around the house and for late night diaper changes.

I started not feeling well before he left though and that feeling only intensified. By the time week two rolled around, I was feeling a bit miserable. My muscles ached so bad that I could barely pick Caleb up, my nose was stuffy, my throat was killing me and surprise – all of that led to my body being susceptible to viral pinkeye! Good times! I don’t remember my body ever struggling like that. In fact, when I told Robb that I felt worse now than when I had my c-section, that prompted him to call asking if I needed to go to the hospital.

But I kept going. I applaud all of those single moms who just keep going because they have no other choice, because they can’t stop. I took three days off of work to rest some and theorized being able to straighten up the house, but since it hurt to just switch the laundry from the washer to the dryer and I would feel faint after minutes of pulling weeds in the garden, I didn’t get much done.

I maintained Caleb’s routine. Yeah, he might have missed a few baths but I still kept him fed and changed and we managed to have play time. We didn’t have a lot of snuggles though out of worry that I would pass something on to him. The thing about Caleb though is that he really is an easy baby and we have been so blessed by him. During this time when I felt so poorly, I was especially thankful for that.

Then Saturday came. I went over to Mom’s for a yard sale and she saw first-hand how poorly I felt. That evening, my temperature crept up to around 102. I had been texting my mom all evening with updates on my temperature and she kept asking if I wanted her to come over to watch Caleb. But I kept saying “No, no. We’ll be fine.” I knew that my mom was tired and that she needed her rest as well. Finally, there was a knock at my door and when I opened it, my mom was standing there, night bag in hand.

My mom knows just by looking at me if I’m running a fever. She always has and we never owned a thermometer growing up. Another thing about my mom is that she knows when I probably do need her, even if I don’t say anything. She got to work helping me clean the house for when Robb got home and sacrificed her own sleep that night so I could rest.

I started feeling better on Sunday. Even though I’m still not completely well, I’m getting there. I think that having her help went a long way in my recovery.

We all need help sometimes but why does it seem so hard to ask for it? I’m not one to really ever ask for help. I like to think that I always have it under control and my mom raised me to be fiercely independent. But when it all boils down to it, there is nothing wrong with having someone to step in, is it?

DIY Elderberry Oxymel [for Colds]

The crud has hit our home. Robb and I have both been battling a cold the past few days and with Caleb only 4 months old, we’ve been careful to try not to spread it to him. Thankfully I’ve read that breastmilk contains protective antibodies to help Caleb’s immune system fight off infection and illness. He seems to be good right now but I’ve been keeping a close eye on his health.

Cold’s suck. I’ve never liked taking medicine to begin with but now I have to take extra precautions while breastfeeding. I’ve always preferred time, rest, and a good dose of Vitamin C. Elderberries are a great source of Vitamin C (as well as being said to have anti-inflammatory, antiviral, anti-influenza, and anticancer properties) and while I usually create a hot tea with the dried berries and a bit of honey, I also like to transform the berries into an oxymel for easy consumption.

A oxymel is basically a syrup with apple cider vinegar added to give it a sweet and sour taste. This is definitely an acquired taste. I actually like it, it is very reminiscent to a shrub. When I’m starting to feel a bit under the weather, I take about a tablespoon full every 4 or 5 hours. For Robb, I mixed a bit of the oxymel with some tonic water – though I admit, he did not like it one bit. I highly recommend stocking up on dried elderberries BEFORE cold and flu season arrives as they become harder to find and a lot of shops sell out. This recipe also needs to sit for a few weeks so make it early on during cold and flu season to make sure that you have it on hand. Once it’s prepared, it’ll last for about 6 months in the refrigerator.

I’ve also been taking Zarbee’s Naturals Baby Cough Syrup + Mucus. Since it’s safe for infants 2+ months, I figured that it would be safe for me to consume. It has a delicious grape flavor and helps to clear mucus and soothe irritated throats. There are no artificial flavors/sweeteners/drugs/alcohol/dyes, only organic agave syrup, English ivy leaf extract and a few other items.

Now that I’m over this cold… it’s time to prepare for allergy season~…

Print Recipe
Elderberry Oxymel
Course Herbal
Servings
Ingredients
  • raw apple cider vinegar
  • dried elderberries (purchase here)
  • raw local honey
Course Herbal
Servings
Ingredients
  • raw apple cider vinegar
  • dried elderberries (purchase here)
  • raw local honey
Instructions
  1. Fill a quart or pint sized mason jar 1/3 full with your dried elderberries.
  2. Add an equal amount of honey and apple cider vinegar. Stir well and cover with a plastic lid (the vinegar will cause a metal lid to corrode).
  3. Let this mixture sit for about 4 weeks, shaking the jar a few times a week. When it's done, strain it through cheesecloth, taking care to squeeze the cheesecloth to get out any extra bits of liquid.
Recipe Notes

I like to store my finished oxymel in a glass amber bottle but you can use any container. It'll last for about 6 months in the fridge.

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