But the decision not to vaccinate does not mean that parents can be careless about protecting their children from disease. While some of the illnesses we vaccinate for are extremely rare (tetanus, diphtheria), unlikely to cause harm to children (chicken pox, mumps, rubella) or not a threat to children (hepatitis B), others like measles or polio can have serious consequences in poorly nourished youngsters. It’s up to parents to provide the kind of diet that will give their child robust natural immunity—and that’s the same kind of diet that will give a child good health overall. Here’s a bucket list of items that will keep your children healthy and strong.
FOODS RICH IN VITAMIN A: Vitamin A is our number one protection against disease; the immune system cannot function without vitamin A. This vitamin protects against colds and flu, and in the case of measles, will protect against the side effects such as blindness and seizures. Vitamin A also protects us against toxins like pesticides—which some believe are the cause of polio and its modern equivalent, acute flaccid myelitis.
Two important points about vitamin A: first, we cannot get adequate vitamin A by converting the carotenes in fruits and vegetables into the true vitamin A. Children make this conversion very poorly, if at all, and even many adults lack the mechanisms to convert carotenes into vitamin A. Secondly, vitamin A requires vitamins D and K2 as co-factors. Vitamin A taken alone can have toxic side effects, but vitamin A taken in the context of a diet containing vitamins D and K2 is highly beneficial, not detrimental. This is good news because the foods that provide us with vitamin A, usually also contain vitamins D and K2—foods like butter from grass-fed cows, egg yolks from pastured chickens, aged natural cheese, shellfish and organ meats like liver. Egg yolks and pureed liver are ideal foods for weaning baby and liverwurst or pate is a great way to get vitamin A into your growing child.
In addition to these foods, cod liver oil can provide vitamins A and D on a daily basis. Before the advent of vaccinations, the medical profession knew that the vitamin A in cod liver oil would protect children against all sorts of infections, including measles; parents heard the message to give cod liver oil in schools, from their doctors, from government officials, and even in Sunday school. Mom should take cod liver oil while pregnant and nursing, and should begin giving it to their children around two or three months—use an eye dropper or syringe for this. Children will not have any trouble taking cod liver oil when they start young. For older children, mix the cod liver oil with a little fresh orange juice, cream or warm water, stir and down the hatch. Use only cod liver oil containing natural vitamins. (See westonaprice.org/cod-liver-oil/ for more information and product recommendations.)
Raw milk is a complete, highly digestible food for growing children; it is also a powerful immune builder. A key component of our immune system is antibodies, such as immunoglobins. Vaccines are supposed to work by stimulating the production of antibodies, but babies cannot make antibodies, including vaccine-induced antibodies, until they are at least one year old (yet babies on the recommended vaccine schedule today get over a dozen vaccines before the age of one!) Nature has a way of protecting the infant anyway: raw milk. Babies get antibodies from their mother’s milk, or from the milk of another species. In fact, raw milk—whether human, cow, goat, sheep, camel, reindeer or water buffalo—contains all the components of blood except for red blood cells. Raw milk creates the immune system in the infant, and nourishes that immune system throughout the period of growth. All these immune components are destroyed by the heat of pasteurization
The raw whey proteins in raw milk are also our best source of glutathione, the body’s key detoxification compound. Again, these whey proteins only provide active glutathione when they are raw.
Studies from Europe indicate that children who drink raw milk have fewer respiratory infections, and less asthma, allergies and skin rashes compared to children who do not consume raw milk. The presence of immune compounds and glutathione explains these results.
Our children’s diets are often less than perfect; and children can be very picky about what they eat. Giving raw milk is like an insurance policy—it ensures that babies and growing children are getting complete nutrition and protection against disease, in a food that they actually like and will drink willingly. The milk you give them should be whole milk—there are many protective factors in the butterfat–and come from pasture-raised cows. (For more information, and to find raw milk, visit realmilk.com.)
Fermented foods like raw sauerkraut, homemade kefir and aged raw cheese contain beneficial protective bacteria. Eaten on a daily basis, the bacteria in these foods colonize the intestinal tract where they provide powerful protection against pathogens. During the past twenty years, scientists have learned that gut bacteria are critical to health. In fact, about 80 percent of our immune system comes from beneficial gut flora. In addition, the biofilm of good bacteria in the gut provides a barrier to heavy metals like aluminum and mercury.
Children should be introduced to fermented foods at an early age so they learn to like the sour taste.
Homemade bone broth contains high levels of glycine, which supports the liver’s detoxification mechanisms. Moms should make broth-making part of their routine and use it in soups, sauces, stews and gravies. Bone broth also helps children built strong tendons and bones. An added bonus is stable moods in your children, as glycine in bone broth helps regulate dopamine production.
AVOID PROCESSED FOODS
It’s a difficult thing to do in this age of industrial food production, but parents will confer the great blessing of good health on their children by keeping them away from processed food as much as possible, especially refined sweeteners like sugar, high fructose corn syrup and agave. Early studies showed that children who eat a lot of sugar get sick more often. Sugar uses up nutrients that the body needs to support the immune system.
Vegetable oils are known to depress the immune system, while natural saturated animal fats support the immune system. Cook in animal fats like butter and lard, and give your children butter instead of margarine and spreads. Make your own salad dressing using olive oil rather than purchase ready-made dressings, which are made with the cheapest oils and loaded with additives.
In short, the recipe for protecting your children from disease and ensuring they will grow up healthy and strong in the process is an old-fashioned, home-prepared diet rich in butter, eggs, cheese and nutrient-dense animal foods like liver and red meat. Fruits and vegetables can serve as vehicles for butter and cream! The addition of raw milk, fermented foods, bone broths and, above all, cod liver oil to your child’s diet will compensate for the occasional junk food that cannot be avoided. This is the Wise Traditions diet—vastly superior than vaccinations for protecting your children from disease throughout their growing years.