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Hey Laura, how can I boost my immunity?

Ashley writes:

What do you do when when you or a family member are starting to feel sick? I know there are foods that can boost immunity and ways to help our bodies heal themselves. Please share your best tips and concoctions!

As you may well imagine, I am a huge advocate of equipping the body to fight its own battles. The symptoms that most over-the-counter cold and flu medications “fight” are the very tools your body is using to rid yourself of the disease! Fevers, sinus drainage, and even feeling icky all have an important role to play in your recovery. The less you try to suppress them, (for the most part) the better.

Here’s what we are doing right now at my house to make sure the...

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Hey Laura, what can I do for my allergies when I’m breastfeeding?

A new mom writes:

Hey Laura, what are some natural allergy remedies that are safe for a breastfeeding mama? I usually have a ton of drugs to take for seasonal allergies and I want away from them in general, but really because I am breastfeeding too. :)

Being pregnant or nursing and sick is horrible! Not only is the toll on your body so much greater, there seems to be very little you can do to get relief without putting your baby in jeopardy!

Luckily, I have a few tricks up my sleeve that should help you get through hayfever season in relative comfort.

First of all, if you don’t already know this, Kellymom.com is your go-to website for all breastfeeding questions. It is an excellent...

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Hey Laura, got any potty training tips?

Esther and Alan asked this one, and yes, I do have a tip.

This is my tip, the tip that I have: They’ll do it when they’re ready.

I highly recommend the “wait and be patient” route. It worked for every other major developmental milestone your child has accomplished so far - crawling, walking, talking - you might have bought yourself a couple of days with all those enrichment toys, but really, your kid busted out with his new moves when he was ready!

It’s going to be the same way with the potty learning. One day he’ll be hiding in a corner behind the sofa, pooping in his diaper, and the next he’ll astonish you by rushing off to the potty chair to do his business there.

You can...

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Hey Laura, what are some good supplements to take during and after pregnancy?

Kael’s Momma sent this one in and it’s a good one! What are some good prenatal and postpartum supplements?

******I’m not a doctor! I’m not even really an expert; I just pretend to be one for our mutual edification and entertainment. Don’t be stupid: Listen to the real experts in your life, including the truest authority on yourself: Your Self.*****

When you’re pregnant, good nutrition is more important than ever. But good nutrition can’t be gotten in a pill, and there’s some contention whether there’s any benefit at all to prenatal vitamins. Potent vitamin supplements can also exacerbate nausea, and some care providers recommend suspending your use of a vitamin until the first trimester...

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Hey Laura, how can I boost my picky kid’s nutrition?

Tricia writes:

Hey Laura, what would you feed an extremely picky child whose diet includes chicken noodle soup, macaroni and cheese and yogurt? (considering that she needs to add more calories to her diet)

*****Standard disclaimer: I have no credentials for handing out nutritional advice, but here is some info I’ve compiled that can help!*****

My first advice is my best parenting advice: “It’s probably just a stage; just wait it out.”

That said, there are definitely things you can try to improve her nutrition, even within the constraints of her approved food items. I’ll also give you tips on helping expand her gastronomic horizons!

Chicken noodle soup is an amazingly nutritious food...

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Hey Laura, how do I get my kid to stop waking me up so darn early?

It’s Too Early O’clock. Your bedroom door bursts open and an exuberant toddler voice jolts you out of slumber.

“Hey Mommy! Hey Mommy! It’s a beautiful day! I’m ready for mine breakfast!”

The sun may be up, but that doesn’t mean you should be. Here’s how I caged my early bird.

First of all, I’m assuming a foundation of safety-awareness and obedience that is necessary for any of this to work. Your child has to be old enough to be safe in his/her room unsupervised, and if you have an escape artist on your hands, you need to solve that problem, too. If you’re confident that your child can safely handle up to an hour (or more - your call!) playing quietly in his room, then you’re good to go....Continue reading

Hey Laura, what’s a good sunscreen that’s safe for my family?

Oh, so you heard that Vitamin A, a common sunscreen ingredient seems to actually accelerate the development of skin cancer?

Well, definitely take it with a grain of salt. The whistle-blowers, a lobbying group called the Evironmental Working Group, seem to have based their assertions on the preliminary findings of one study, while there are many other studies that have concluded that the antioxidant is safe.

This article, by a cosmetic producer, takes apart the EWG claims with a studied efficiency. While the author owns a cosmetic company and is obviously vested in the debate, I find her well-supported counter-argument to the EWG article much more convincing!

That said, I’m all about...

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