There is no denying just how irregular the holiday season is for children. There is sugar served by the bowl-full, grandparents and extended family behind every door, and interrupted schedules with crazy sleep hours. The immune systems are sent into overdrive as the body intakes ample amounts of non-nutrient dense foods, less sleep, and increased germ exposure. You combine this with ample gift-giving and increased screen time and your child may be in need of a detox.
You have undecorated the house and the kids are repacking their backpacks to head into the final semesters of the school year. The flu is running rampant; it is not exactly the best time to send your child off into the trenches. There are several ways in which you can detox your child from the holidays; some may help immediately, and others may take a few days, but all are worth experimenting with to get your life back on track.
A few things you may notice that signal a detox is needed:
- Extreme emotional shifts (high highs, low lows)
- Increase in tantrums
- Upset bellies (diarrhea or constipation)
- Difficulty with kindness/sharing/or other normally typical abilities
- Foggy thoughts/unable to express wants like normal
Detoxing Kids From the Holidays
Diet: Eliminate processed foods (anything that comes in a box, restaurant foods, cured meats, etc) Stick with whole foods, preferably organic whenever possible. We eliminate all gluten as well as dairy and sugar (with the exception of fruits). While this sounds extreme, it’s really not that hard. Choose fruits, vegetables, starchy whole foods, local meats, etc. My kids love a daily smoothie, and I love that I can hide the chia seeds, probiotics, and extra vitamins! The gut holds 80% of the immune system and is connected to everything from the brain to the senses. Getting the gut back on track will take a few weeks, but will make everyone in the house happier.
Water: Increase water drinking! Flush the body out.
Bath: Detox baths are a wonderful addition to this process. Adding in 2 cups of high quality Epsom salt into the warm bath water will help draw out toxins. I like to add 2-3 drops of child-safe essential oil to this depending on what exactly is bothering my kids. For example, lavender helps to calm everyone down.
Screen Time: We turn the screens off to detox. Nothing great comes from screen lights, and turning them off forces the brain to think for itself. I squirm a little when thinking about losing the easy babysitter that an iPad or TV can be, but I need the detox as much as the children do! Boredom sparks creativity, and the crankiness that comes with the screens will dissipate. We normally last a week before allowing specific apps to come back into play.
Sleep: It’s nice that it is dark at 5:30pm because my kids can’t argue with a 7:00pm bedtime right now. As the body detoxes and sheds the toxins, extra sleep is needed.
Diffusing Essential Oils: We diffuse a few kid-friendly essential oil blends a few times throughout the day. I don’t support a specific brand (and use many different companies), so I’ll leave that for you to research!
I am also joining the kids on this detox, as I have eaten my weight in Christmas cookies and followed them with champagne on a regular basis this holiday season! Make sure you incorporate exercise into your daily routine, as it will help your mind, body, and soul feel better.