Boosting Kids Immunity – Elderberry Gummies Recipe
Wisdom of a Naturopath
Hi, I’m Rebecca. I have worked as a registered clinical naturopath in private practice for twelve years. I believe in the healing power of nature and love sharing this with people to support them to achieve good health and well-being. In recent years I have made a career shift and moved into health promotion with the hope of increasing my reach in assisting people to achieve their optimal health.
Manasi from The Brew Story and I have bonded over our love of tea. As a retired naturopath and nutritionist, I don’t have the luxury of a full herbal dispensary at my disposal anymore, but to keep my family healthy I can still use herbs in the form of tea and cooking.
Nutrition for kids’
While a lot of kids don’t need more than a healthy diet, play and love to be healthy all year round some kids are prone to colds, sore throats and coughs during Autumn and Winter. These are my top tips to keeping my kids healthy during this time of year:
- Increase fruit and vegetable consumption – get as many antioxidants into your kids as you can! Raw, cooked, in smoothies, muffins, breakfast bowls – platters are popular in my house, and also having food challenges like who can eat a rainbow or who will eat the most different types of citrus in a day?
- Increase herbal antibacterial and antivirals in the diet – these help to build the body’s resilience against infection: garlic, onion, leek, ginger, rosemary, sage, thyme and manuka honey are my favourites. These are best consumed raw, for my kid this is generally in the form of dips like hummus and tzatziki or in salad dressings.
- Maintain hydration levels – this supports good detoxification and encourages the body to excrete via the lymphatic system. Water is the most obvious choice here, you can flavour with fruits to make it more enticing, citrus and berries work well. Don’t forget warm liquids also count here such as soups, broths and herbal teas. Chamomile tea with honey, Peppermint tea and YEP tea (Yarrow, Elderberry and Peppermint) tea are all wonderfully health promoting for kids and are easy to drink. Add some honey if they would like it to be sweeter.
Boosting immunity to fight cold and flu
My favourite herb to support my children’s immunity is probably Elderberry – this is because of its immune boosting properties and the fact that there are so many ways I can get the children to consume it. Elderberry contains active ingredients like anthocyanins – a bioflavonoid that can soothe inflammation and irritation and also act as an expectorant, meaning it can help soothe the air passage to soothe a cough. In our house we drink it as a tea or make elderberry gummies. You can find plenty of recipes online, these are the ones I’ve been using for years.
To drink it as a tea: buy some organic dried elder berries to make an infusion. Steep 1 teaspoon per cup of boiled water for 3-5 minutes and drink 3 times per day.
Both ginger and turmeric are anti-inflammatory and have antioxidants and therefore useful to support immune system (not as much as other herbs). Ginger primarily supports cardiovascular health and circulation. I would generally add them to an herbal tincture or give in tablet form to a patient.
Super easy Elderberry Gummies Recipe
Don’t be put off by the steps involved, it is so easy! First you need to make the syrup and then you make the gummies. The kids love being involved in the process as much as they love eating them.
Step 1 : Make the Elderberry Syrup
- 3½ cups water
- 2/3 cup dried elderberries
- 1- 2 tablespoons of grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon of cinnamon
- 1 cup of raw honey
- Add all of the ingredients except the honey to a saucepan.
- Bring to boil, cover and reduce to simmer for 45 min – 1 hour (until the liquid has reduced by half).
- Remove from heat, let cool for 5 minutes.
- Mash the berries using a spoon.
- Pour through a strainer into a glass bowl, discard berries.
- When the liquid has cooled add the honey and stir well.
- Store in the fridge until you are ready to use.
Step 2 : Make the Elderberry Gummies
- Coconut oil
- 1 cup of elderberry syrup
- 1/4 cup of gelatin powder
- ½ cup hot but not boiling water
You will also need silicon molds (we use heart or bear shaped ones in our house)
- Grease silicon molds with coconut oil
- Place ¼ cup of cooled elderberry syrup in a small bowl and whisk in the gelatin powder.
- Add the ½ cup of hot water and stir quickly until smooth.
- Add the rest of the elderberry syrup and stir until completely smooth.
- Pour into molds and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.
- Pop out of molds and store in airtight container.
My children take 2 -4 daily to avoid colds and flu.
Hope you enjoy making these gummies with your kids. A simple way to keep them healthy (and busy!)
Stay healthy and safe.
▪ Rebecca Tipper