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 travelling with kids, bring these essentials along….
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. Plus, as I talk about here, many supplements are either ineffective or even toxic.
So what does this fact have to do with travelling with kids? Here’s what….
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
Sometimes you need to call in the big dogs (no offense to you, Coconut). If you’re travelling 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
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 travelling 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
Besides being a somewhat healthy snack for kids while travelling, 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’re travelling will have healthy snacks for kids, especially if it’s a developing country.
Check out some of my healthy recipes for kids here.
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 travelling!
P.S. You can freeze Green Drink and turn them into healthy popsicles. All you need is a set of popsicle moulds. You might even be able to take a carry-on freezer bag with them. Just tell the TSA agent your child is on a special diet. It’s not a lie; if your kid isn’t eating the Standard American Diet, loaded with sugar and highly processed, it’s a special diet. You can also tell the TSA the popsicles are medicine. After all, food is medicine!