Tag: kids

How To Make The Most Of Back To School

How To Make The Most Of Back To School

Think back to all those annoying Back To School ads in pre-pandemic years. They don’t  seem so bad nowadays, do they? 

And as if parents didn’t have enough stress juggling back to school shopping and schedule juggling, throw in the concern about the physiological and mental ramifications of their kids having to wear a mask all day. 

No matter where you stand on the masks-in-schools debate, one thing is certain for everybody: the back to school season of 2021 will be extra stressful for everybody involved. But I have some tips that I hope will help both you and your kiddos…

Deep Breathing Exercises With Kids

Regardless if your kid has to mask up in school, deep breathing exercises will support your child’s respiratory health. The first couple weeks of Back To School season is second only to the weeks of late fall and early winter for picking up a contagious virus. 

But if your child has to wear a mask, I feel it’s imperative that your child practice deep breathing exercises. Hopefully, your kids will get plenty of outdoor recreation time. But if the opportunity to get some fresh air is scant at school, try to get your kids to do some deep breathing exercises with you. 

So how can you practice deep breathing exercises with your kids? First of all, make it a habit to carve just 3-5 minutes in the morning dedicated to the practice, just as I have frequently advocated in many posts I’ve written about how important it is for my own sense of well-being to maintain a daily yoga practice. 

Deep breathing exercises can come in many forms. For instance, you can combine deep breathing with yoga. And the best part is that you can do it right in bed. The yogic practice known as “pranayama” involves breathing exercises such as “ujjayi” (say it like this: Ooo-Jah-Yuh or Ooo-Jah-Yee) breathwork. 

With this technique, you sit cross-legged and breathe in deeply with your mouth closed. Try to inflate both your belly and lungs. On the exhale, breathe out through your nose. Repeat this technique several times. Try to inhale for several seconds and exhale for 10 seconds. 

After a while, you may start tingling. If you get light-headed, take a brief pause.

Imagine how beneficial doing this deep breathing exercise will be for both you and your kids. And again, it only takes a few minutes. Try to repeat the routine when your kids get home—especially if they don’t have any play dates lined up or aren’t engaged in other physical activity after school. 

Try to make deep breathing fun for your kids. If they don’t want to listen to New Agey spiritual yoga music while doing deep breathing, tell them they can listen to their preferred style of music—provided that they do the exercises for at least a few minutes. 

If your kids enjoy the deep breathing exercises, you can lead them through a mini posture flow series such as Sun Salutations with downward dogs, upward dogs and warriors. Again, all it takes is a few minutes to get the good vibes going, and the fresh blood flow circulating in the respiratory system!

Say No To Juice, Yes To Green Drinks! 

Hopefully your kids’ school doesn’t have the same kind of vending machines that I had in school, filled with junk snacks and soda. But it amazes me how many parents still give their kids high-sugar juice boxes or pouches. 

One tiny serving of these juices can contain 25 grams or more of sugar. Now I realize that behavioral issues are multifactorial, but dosing kids with a high amount of sugar in a tiny serving of juice certainly doesn’t help lead to stable moods. 

Instead of giving your kid high-sugar juice, send them to school with Organic Tropical Green Drink. It’s got 7 certified-organic leafy greens with a wee bit of pineapple and mango juice for that perfect amount of sweetness (only 6 grams of sugar per 8-oz serving!). 

In any year, if your kids are eating lots of sugary snacks and drinking lots of things with tons of added sugar, it’s not going to bode well for their physical and behavioral wellness. The last thing you want to do is pour salt on the wound during a pandemic. 

I hope your kids have a safe and healthy back to school season!

Chef V

Traveling With Kids

Traveling With Kids

Traveling With Kids? These 5 Essentials Will Keep Your Kiddos (And You) Safe

Disclaimer: As the parent of a furry kid named Coconut, it might seem disingenuous for me to be writing about traveling with kids. However, a couple mommy friends of mine recently came back from overseas trips with their little ones (one family went to Ecuador, the other to Cancun). Unfortunately, in both families, the kiddos got sick. So it got me thinking, if I were a momma to a human kiddo, what would I do to protect them?

The answer: the same way I protect myself when I travel, regardless if I’m going away for a weekend or to the other side of the world. And the remedies and tricks I’m about to share with you are totally safe for kids.

If you’re traveling with kids, bring these essentials along….

Traveling With Kids


More and more people are aware of the importance of gut health. Your gut not only dictates the well-being of your digestion, it’s closely connected with your brain. In fact, the gut is often referred to as the second brain. If you have poor gut health, your won’t be as happy. That’s a fact!

Green leafy veggies, such as the 7 different kinds in my Organic Green Drink are great for feeding the good bacteria in the gut. However, the bad news is that there are so many different probiotic supplements, it’s hard to know which one to get.

So what does this fact have to do with traveling with kids? Here’s what….

Traveling With Kids

There is one particular kind of probiotic that’s an absolute must when you travel. You see, not any probiotic will do. Not even the one you use everyday that might be working great for you.

When you’re on a trip you need Saccharomyces Boulardii. Sounds like a mouthful, right? When you take a mouthful of this probiotic it’s the best thing to either prevent or treat diarrhea. As this article on a children’s hospital website says, “Saccharomyces boulardii is  effective in treating diarrhea in babies and children.”

A mainstream medical institution wouldn’t dare conclude that unless there was enough evidence to back it.

Any brand of S. Boulardii will do. It’s easy to take. You just take a couple capsules a day when you’re travelling. I like Jarrow formulas. Jarrow is a trusted brand.

S. Boulardii is the only probiotic that’s a yeast strain. All other probiotics are bacteria. This means that this special probiotic can help kill harmful fungi that your kids’ immune systems aren’t used to.

oregon grape root - Traveling With Kids

Oregon Grape Root

Sometimes you need to call in the big dogs (no offense to you, Coconut). If you’re Traveling With Kids to a developing country, S. Boulardii will protect you and your kids from travelers diarrhea. But if you develop something more serious like a stomach bug, Oregon grape root is the natural remedy you need. The medication, Cipro, is famous for treating stomach bugs. Oregon grape root is the natural equivalent.

Studies have shown that berberine, a compound in Oregon grape root, kills parasites like amoebae. It can also be used for treating giardia infections (which can be picked up by ingesting untreated water). OGP also kills harmful bacteria. And if you’re eating rich food that causes heartburn or indigestion, OGP can help with those conditions as well.

tea tree oil

Tea Tree Oil

Essential oils are Mother Nature’s first aid kit. There are lots of essential oils that have therapeutic benefits, but if I’m taking one specific oil with me that’s highly versatile, it’s gotta be tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is good to carry with you at all times when you’re traveling because God-forbid your kid gets a bad cut or wound, tea tree (also known as melaleuca) is great for wound healing.

The oil will help kill any harmful bacteria that may otherwise lead to an infection. There’s nothing wrong with taking regular antibiotics when you really need them. But you can also use tea tree oil for extra protection.

Plus, TTO is great for relieving itchiness from insect bites. Your kids will think you’re a hero for making them feel better!

sugar free lollipops

Traveling With Kids #5:
Sugar Free Lollipops

Besides being a somewhat healthy snack for kids while traveling, there’s a more specific benefit of carrying these with you.

Because kids have developing ear canals, they are more vulnerable for experiencing ear pain when flying. Especially when landing.

Licking on a lolly activates the muscles that open up the eustachian tubes in the middle ear. Another helpful thing for your kiddies when flying is earplugs. Filtered earplugs equalize the pressure against the eardrum when the plane lands (and during takeoff; usually, though, ear pain is more of a problem during the landing phase).

The company, EarPlanes, has plugs for both kids and adults.

And besides lollipops, you should stock up on healthy snacks before you go. Bring a carry-on suitcase full of them. You don’t know if where you are traveling will have healthy snacks for kids, especially if it’s a developing country.

I’m not including obvious essentials like a first aid kit, baby wipes, sippy cups and entertainment. I’m only including a few essentials here that aren’t common knowledge. But if you bring these with you, you’ll feel secure that should a bout of traveller’s belly or flying ear strikes you’ll be well prepared.

Happy, safe traveling!

P.S. My favorite TSA secret is that you can bring anything frozen through. So freeze your green drink overnight and bring it through TSA to your destination.

Chef V and kale

© 2021 Chef V, LLC.