Tag: kids

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

SIBO - snacking

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….



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….


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

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

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

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 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

How To Make The Most Of A Virtual Back To School Season


Forget Christmas. For my mommy friends, the end of August/beginning of September is the most wonderful time of year. The kids are back in school, and after the little ones get dropped off, mommies get to have some much needed “me” time: Yoga. Spin. Zumba. Spa day. Catching up on emails, working on their businesses.  

But with Covid craziness, the 2020 back to school season is going to be an unprecedented, stressful one. Whether your kid is elementary-school age or high-school, keeping your kids stoked to learn all day via Zoom will be challenging. 

And with your kids at home, that means there’s less time for you to run errands, run your business, cook, clean and fit in some downward dogs and cat/cows. 

Hopefully, things will turn around, the numbers will improve and health officials will declare it safe for kids to learn at school. 

Until then, I hope the following tips can keep you sane in the meantime….

More Time To Make Healthy Veggie Juices

With the current situation, to stay positive, it’s all about finding silver linings. And one positive about not having to shlep your kids to school is that you won’t feel rushed (hopefully) to make sure your kid is plopped down in front of a screen. 

That means that you’ll have more time to make your kid a healthy breakfast. A low-sugar, veggie-rich smoothie or juice will help your little one concentrate better. High-sugar juices, in comparison, get metabolized very quickly. And that means that within half an hour after drinking a glass of orange juice, your kiddo is going to complain that he or she is hungry. Fueling your child with sugary juices and cereals also leads to mood fluctuations. High insulin and blood sugar spikes ultimately lead to energy crashes. Don’t want a moody, fussy, cranky kid at home all day? Give them some fiber-rich, nutrient-dense Green Drink in the morning. 

Use this most unusual “homeschooling” experiment as an opportunity to make more of your own veggie juices and smoothies in the morning. If you need to leave in the morning for a job while your spouse or someone else stays at home with the kids, pour some Green Drink or make your own homemade veggie juice at night so you’re not rushed in the morning. 

Whip Your Kids Into Shape

In speaking to some of my mommy friends with older kids, the schedule for a virtual school day is going to be much like a regular one. If you have a middle- or high-school age kid, they may only have a 10-minute break in between virtual lessons. In a perfect world, the school would provide a mini workout session catered to children. 

But it’s most likely going to be to you, Super Mom, to make sure your kids are getting off their tushes and getting some activity. Use this time to get some movement therapy as well. For older kids, get their blood pumping with jumping jacks, running in place, karate punches and pushups. Think about the great bonding experience this will create. 

For youngsters, lead them through a mini session of animal noise yoga. Every time you do a cat/cow, belt out a loud meow/moo and make silly faces while you do it. Your little one will love it. If you can lift your kid, also use this time to do some kiddy squats to strengthen and tone your glutes, quads and hamstrings.

Get Your Kids Involved In Making Lunch

Depending on how old your kids are and what their schedule will be like, there may not be a lot of free time for lunch. But regardless of how long the break will be, use this time to connect with your kids. 

Of course you’re going to pray that your kids can go back to school, but while they are at home, use this time to bond with them during the lunch break. 

Get them involved in the food preparation by chopping veggies (if they’re old enough) or mixing the salad bowl. And while you’re forced to be with them, again find the silver lining in the moment. How often do you get to eat lunch with your kids and genuinely take interest in what they’re learning about? In a normal year, probably not that often. You may ask your kid, “How was your day?” or “What did you learn today?” But chances are, it’s just cliche conversation. 

By connecting with your kids during lunch, you just might find yourself enjoying this time of day—even if it means pulling you away from the things your brain is telling you that you need to get done. 

Teach Your Children Well

If you’ve ever thought about home-schooling your kid, use this time to experiment. If there’s anything you feel that your child isn’t learning in their virtual lessons, use family dinner time as an opportunity to teach them in a fun way about things like nutrition and finances. You can even teach your kid about what it takes to run a business. Who knows … maybe your child will one day turn out to be one of my biggest competitors. I welcome the competition!

Look, this back-to-school season is not going to be easy, for both you and your child. Remember to find the silver linings in every opportunity. We still have so much to be thankful for. 

To your health,

Chef V

© 2020 Chef V, LLC.