Help me Jackie the naturopath! My baby has a head cold

One of the most common questions I get as a naturopath and a mum is how to get rid of a cold/cough/runny nose in a sick child. It actually sparked me to create my Toddler and Kids Immunity program, as it is a common issue in families, particularly coming into winter.

The problem is, the younger the child, the trickier it can be to help with “home remedies” as they are not on solids, so cant take over the counter nutrients and herbs. When younger babies are sick, OR if your older child is catching everything that goes around, and is sick more then they are well, it may be better to bring them in for a naturopathic consultation. However if your child is eating solids and gets the occasional head cold then you may find the following advice helpful.

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MTHFR gene – what is it? And what does it mean?


Genetics – it seems complicated and mind boggling that a bunch of proteins (our DNA) control every aspect of our lives, and that one very small change in DNA can have far reaching consequences. It is unfortunately true. And science has not been able to change our DNA. We are stuck with what we are dealt at conception.

A new part of genetic investigations is the MTHFR gene variations. Why is this important? Because it is estimated that between 40-60% of the population have a variation in this gene. Chances, are, if you are reading this, you may have one. I have one, and so do many of my patients – hence my strong interest in this area.

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“2 minute” Miso Soup

miso soup

I was chatting to a few mums in my mothers group the other day about quick and healthy lunches and I told them about my 2 minute miso soup. It is really easy, quick, and really healthy. I was actually teaching my naturopathic students about the benefits of fermented food a few weeks ago – of which miso is one (but that’s another blog post!). I buy the one from the supermarket (Asian section) but you can also get it from health food stores and obviously Asian grocers. As it is fermented, it lasts for ages in the fridge. I have also discovered that miso doesn’t have to be made from soy. It can be made from any grain, and so it still can be eaten by people who avoid soy.

You can also make this as a “2 minute noodle” work lunch, where you put all the ingredients in a large jar, and then at lunch time you just add boiling water, shake it up and – hey presto – you have a yummy lunch. If doing it this way, I would put 2-3 teaspoons of miso paste in the jar rather than 1 tbsp so it dissolves easier.
Recipe below:

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Toddlers and Children Immunity Program


I’m sure you will agree that when you have a small child, and that child is sick, everyone suffers – not just the child involved. Sleep deprivation plus grizzles and grumbles, often from the little person who often cant articulate what is wrong – it can be very unpleasant for everyone.

If your little one is at childcare, or kinder, then they will also seem to catch everything going around. A certain amount of this is healthy and ok (3 or 4 colds in a season builds and strengthens their immune system) however when they are sick more often than they are well, this is a problem and something can be done.

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Butter vs Margarine

margarine v butter

This is probably one of the most common questions I get asked as a naturopath, whether it is in my clinic, or a weekend BBQ, when the inevitable question “what do you do?” gets asked. This most often gets followed up by “what is better: butter or margarine?”

It seems on the surface that butter and margarine both have some good points and bad points, however I hope that I convince you in favour of butter by the end of this article.

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A balanced diet is always the best

Fruit and Vegetables

Earlier in the year I read a blog post that got me thinking. It was about a woman who was a former vegan and had reverted back to eating a balanced diet containing animal products including meat – and how great she felt.

As a naturopath I am constantly hearing about the latest dietary fad. I have seen a few in my time

  • High protein high fat
  • High protein low fat
  • Low fat
  • No sugar
  • No gluten
  • High fat
  • Israeli Army diet
  • Fruit only diet
  • Grapes only diet
  • Raw food only
  • Vegan
  • Raw vegan

The latest one seems to be paleo 😉

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