Supplements you use along with brand names
Homeschool or public setting etc
Level of stress
Amount of sleep
Daily time spent outside
Any food restrictions
General diet: paleo, vegetarian etc
Wash hands regularly or use hand sanitizer
I'll be curious to see responses to this thread! I'm sure there are many paths that healthy kids follow! OP, are you looking for this information for particular reason--do you sense that your child or children are not as "healthy" as you would hope?
I think my DS is very healthy. But that isn't to say he doesn't get sick. He's had a stomach bug or two, some colds, the croup, strep throat (twice!) which turned into a rash on his cheeks. The strep throat was the first time he had trouble shaking an illness & that was at 4 y/o.
We've made lots of errors along the way, so I can't say his good health is because of anything we do or don't do as parents (diet is good but we're always improving--mostly paleo at home but eats grains & dairy at school; he had antibiotics at birth). I've always been a believer in vitamin C & we do extra doses throughout the winter & when someone is ill. I also believe in germ exposure--he crawled on floors (even sometimes in public places) & the bare ground when he was a baby; we let him put stuff into his mouth that some parents would scoff at; we never covered the shopping cart or wiped it down with antibacterial wipes; we travel; his playmates still come over even if they are under the weather. We pretty much stop everything & relax/cuddle/sleep when someone is ill, so stress is a biggie. Now he also takes cod liver oil & also elderberry syrup in winter & at first sign of a bug. We vax. He plays outside even in the cold or rain, but sometimes we're indoors more than we'd like. Big on washing hands properly; hardly ever use hand sanitizer.
I am sure, though, that someone who doesn't do any of this (e.g. eats vegetarian, doesn't vax, uses hand sanitizer, etc.) will chime in & report that they have a perfectly healthy child. I don't think it's any one thing. But I'll say I bet stress/sleep is really important for recovery when illness strikes.
And none of this is to say that something won't strike a healthy child (god forbid!) & knock him off his feet. It happens & we just can't control how our children's bodies will react to every pathogen or risk.
Good luck on your path!
Mama to my little busy bee.
My son was a very sick infant (from a brief stint in full-time day care). He is now asthmatic. My daughter wasn't as sick...just a string of ear infections and an ear tube procedure. She always had a mystery upper GI problem, but it's more of an ongoing, chronic thing.
My kids rarely get sick (age 7 and 11). I can't remember the last time either of them had a fever...it's been years. That's not to say they don't get an occasional illness. My daughter started coughing a couple of months ago, and within 24 hrs she had pneumonia!
They take Little Critters Gummy Vites (multi) and Nordic Naturals fish oil. I only give them 3 Nordics. They take their vitamins Mon-Fri. They have taken other supplements for different health issues at times. I give them acidophilus when they are on antibiotics.
Both my kids recently moved to a smaller school with about 100-150 kids, but had been in a larger school before. They both did part-time day care from around age 1.
My kids have little stress at this point in their lives.
They are great sleepers, although my son likes to stay up really late now that he is older.
They don't spend enough time outside, especially during the school year.
Their diet is just OK because they are picky. I don't buy a lot of "junk". I pack them a healthy lunch daily. I buy mostly organic, etc. We do eat out quite a bit, so it's a mix.
I vaccinated both my children on schedule. I skipped rotovirus vaccine for my daughter, but she had extra vaccines for RSV due to being premature. They also had Hep A vaccines because we traveled to Central America. I rarely get them flu shots.
I use a natural hand sanitizer that smells a bit like lemon balm?? I never kept an incredibly clean house. I was pretty good about wiping shopping carts though.
When they are starting to get sniffly I put a humidifier in their rooms. A/C runs constantly, so it's dry in the house. I will sometimes rub essential oils on their feet. I have one that says it's for flu prevention with frankincense and myrrh in it. I add two drops of oregano oil to it. I use Sambucus for congestion, and other homeopathic honey based cough syrups.
My kids are seldom sick, and they recover fast. DD (4 yo) was premature, but since leaving the hospital, has been sick once. With a stomach bug. It was gross, but not worrying, and it only lasted a day or two. DS (7 yo) gets the occasional cold, but I cannot recall anything lasting more then 24 hours (although there was one time when his 24-hour bug landed us in the ER because he was having chest pain - it resolved with tylenol).
I do nothing.
The kids get a daily gummy multivitamin. I get the store brand from the grocery store, or sometimes from CVS, it depends what errands I'm doing when we run out.
They go to public school and large group daycare. DS started at 10 weeks old, DD at 6 months.
Our household stress level is traditionally astronomical - my pregnancy with DD was medically complicated, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2012. Everything is fine now, but DS is still pretty reactive in some areas. DD is a sunny little soul who never seems worried, but DS is a stressball, poor guy. All the household and health stuff that floats right over his sister's head pretty much smacked him in the face.
Bedtime for my kids is officially 7 p.m., but DS is definitely reading under the covers after lights out. We roust the kids back out of bed at 6 in the morning.
In unpleasant weather - either too hot or too cold - we don't get outside much. We live at a major intersection in a big city, and the yard's not really safe to play in. We go to the park sometimes on weekends, and we take the kids hiking sometimes when it's nice. I went to some effort to make sure that the schools and daycares the kids go to have playgrounds, but I know they don't get out in bad weather.
No food restrictions.
No special diet.
They're fully vaxed more or less on schedule.
I enforce handwashing as well as I can, but I don't think it really makes a difference for a kid to wash his or her hands in a public restroom if that kid then insists on carefully picking up all the paper towels on the floor by the trash can. A second round of washing at that point usually means a second round hygienically questionable tidying of public space. I get mild anxiety attacks from the smell of rubbing alcohol, so I'm not a big hand sanitizer fan.
DD got a few shots of Synagis when she was a baby, and I do think that protected her at the time, but really, I think we've mostly just been fortunate. One pneumonia could easily have put us into the territory where we have to worry about every little cold, and if that happened, we'd be far more cautious. I'd get over my thing about hand sanitizer, and we'd be way less cavalier about exposure.
Supplements you use along with brand names: None
Homeschool or public setting etc: DS1 public kindergarten and DS2 at small daycare center.
Level of stress: I think normal for 2 WOH parents and 2 kids at school, but we are pretty mellow people.
Amount of sleep: 10 for DS1 and probably 11 (includes afternoon nap) for DS2.
Daily time spent outside: In this garbage weather (live in VT), probably a half hour a day max during week, but around 2 hours on weekends when skiing.
Any food restrictions: None
General diet: paleo, vegetarian etc: No special name, just whole grains, full fat dairy, grass-fed/free range animal products, fruit and veg, that kind of thing.
Vaccine status: Fully vaxxed, including yearly flu shot.
Wash hands regularly or use hand sanitizer: No hand sanitizer; pretty laissez faire attitude about hand washing which is gross when I think about it.
Anything else? Genetics - DH and I are rarely sick ourselves. And I use a humidifier in their room during winter as the air is brutally dry here.
me, my man, and our boys (1/08 and 3/11)
So I know every child is different, but in general, if your child rarely gets sick, or gets over it quickly, can you share why you think that is?
Supplements you use along with brand names: I put a powdered probiotic in his smoothie everyday. I'm not sure the brand name. I also add a shot of the Vemma children 's drink with DHA
Homeschool or public setting etc: Daycare Center
Level of stress: Not getting his food as soon as he wants it is his only stressor
Amount of sleep: 12 hours at night and another 2 hour nap
Daily time spent outside: 2 hours
Any food restrictions: We limit sugar and processed foods
General diet: paleo, vegetarian etc: Whole foods
Vaccine status: Fully Vaccinated
Wash hands regularly or use hand sanitizer:no
Anything else? We live on a farm so he is exposed to a lot of dirt. Also, when he was sick a lot at a few months old starting daycare we let him ride out the fevers because they weren't dangerously high. He has also never had antibiotics.
So I know every child is different, but in general, if your child rarely gets sick, or gets over it quickly, can you share why you think that is?
Supplements you use along with brand names - we don't use any supplements.
Homeschool or public setting etc - one in pre-K at a public school, one at home with dad
Level of stress - low.
Amount of sleep - 4yo about 11 hours a night. 2 yo about 11 hours at night + 1-2 hour nap during the afternoon.
Daily time spent outside - we live in the north in Canada, so in summer, many hours; in winter, only weather permitting and usually less than one hour because of extreme cold.
Any food restrictions - very little sugar or processed foods, very rarely juice, never soda/pop, no pre-made store-bought snack items like goldfish, granola bars or other packaged stuff (unless offered at a friend's house, in which case in moderation).
General diet: - we eat as locally as possible, including hunting for meat, local/nearby fish, locally raised and slaughtered cows/pigs/chickens, we have our garden for annual potatoes and seasonal veg, and we buy bulk organic stuff from a food order company. We render lard and tallow, use only whole fat organic dairy, butter - never margarine, we make our own yogourt, jams & jellies, kimchi and sauerkraut, and eat very little pre-processed food. Our food philosophy is to make from scratch, to eat hot lunches/leftovers instead of sandwich type stuff, and that local meat is a better choice than heavily processed vegetable matter like soy products. No specialty diets and no special meals for the kids. Our kids eat what is given to them, and we expect them to eat, though we do tone down spicy meals or make a less spicy version for them if they are in a non-spicy phase. We always eat meals together, at the table, other than lunches where I'm at work and 4yo is at school.
Vaccine status - vaccinated for their ages, except for chicken pox and flu - we'll do chickenpox if not exposed by age 11 or so. Probably we will not do HPV. They have typhoid + Hep A because of international travel.
Wash hands regularly or use hand sanitizer - no and definitely no. If they have made a mess while eating, or are totally filthy before meals, then yes, wash, but I'm not vigilant about washing after play outside, before meals and that sort of thing.
Related: we also don't clean with mass-market cleaners. We make a citrus peel and vinegar cleaner and use baking soda and stuff like that. We try to keep anything with "sanitizers" or antibiotic/antimicrobial out of the house. Our house is definitely not immaculate - not filthy, but not show-home status either :)
Anything else? - We live in a remote northern area where there is less airborne pollution and industrial toxins than in southern Canada or the US. We don't have TV, nor do we give the kids access to the computer or smart phone. The kids have been at home since birth and we are fortunate that we can afford to have a stay at home dad rather than having to put them in daycare. I was raised similarly, in the same place, and wasn't sick much either as a child. My partner was more sick as a child but was raised differently, in southern Ontario. We try to be active in ways that our children participate in (i.e. hiking, biking, walking instead of going to the gym without the kids). If I could guess, I'd say that the combination of a pretty healthy place to live, and active kids who have spent their first years at home with active parents, eating and sleeping well, all contribute to kids that don't get sick. I BFd until about 17-18 months with both.
Sleep 11 hr at night plus 1:30 nap midday.
Take daily probiotics.
Public day care 2x a week
Try to eat organic.
Limit sugar. And artificial color dyes.
DD is a 29 week preemie who weighted 2 pounds at birth. Other than RSV at 14 months for which we only did oxygen support ( no breathing treatments or drugs ) she has not been sick.
3 1/2 yr old boy has had a couple of colds and 1 pink eye in 31/2 yrs.
We eat a variety, try to be organic and low grains and sugar, but I feel like my oldest still knows what the occasional pizza and ice cream is;)
They both sleep well, 11 and 13 hours roughly. Unvaxed. And take multi, probiotics, cod liver oil. Have never had any medications thus far. Just use herbs and vitamins when they're sick.
Would love to hear more!
I have 3 kiddos. DSD is 10, DS is 8, and DD is 11 months. I will restrict my responses to DS since I don't know all of the health-related details about DSD's early years and DD is a newbie.
DS is very rarely sick. As a matter of fact, he hasn't been to the doctor in over 2 years. His birthday is in January (flu season) so I didn't want to schedule well visits then. And after that I kind of forget about them. He got pink eye once when he first started daycare at 14 months. He had one minor ear infection. And he got croup when he started a different daycare a couple of years later. That's it for "diagnosable" illnesses.
Supplements you use along with brand names - daily gummi multivitamin; brand varies depending on where I buy them
Homeschool or public setting etc. - public school and on-site aftercare program
Level of stress - him - pretty low; DH and me - pretty high!
Amount of sleep - probably about 10 hours per night
Daily time spent outside - at least an hour per day, depending on weather - more on days he has sports or on days that DSD has sports
Any food restrictions - none
General diet: paleo, vegetarian etc - I mostly cook vegetarian at home; he is not picky at all and will try anything; loves salad; we eat out a couple of times a week, but not fast food
Vaccine status - fully vaxxed, but was on a delayed schedule; no flu shots
Wash hands regularly or use hand sanitizer - I remind the kids to wash their hands if they've been playing outside, but not fanatical about it - I don't do hand sanitzer at home, but I know they encourage it at school
Anything else? - DS was breastfed until age 2; the only time he had the Flumist, he had a recurring tummy thing (very minor and sporadic) over that winter (could be a coincidence, but I didn't do Flumist again); we've had dogs and cats since he was born and I do believe there's something to the theory that kids raised around animals are healthier.