“Rainwater, the cleanest and healthiest water for our gardens,” said Laura Maher, an organic seed saver and Ventura County water saving expert pictured above, “but this wonderful water is dispersed and lost into rivers, lakes, and oceans.” Kids can harvest water right where they live and use the water for their fruit and veggie gardens by attaching a rain barrel to the down spout from their roof. Rain barrels usually hold 60 gallons, but fill quickly in a rain storm. Gutters, downspouts, and pipes can be installed from the roof to various sizes of tanks and cisterns, even placed at some distance from the house, as long as the tank inlet is at least one foot lower than the bottom of the gutter. Tanks should use screens to keep out insects and be dark colored to discourage algae.
Native plants used in a home’s landscape require the least amount of water and offer food and shelter for beneficial insects and wildlife. By using native plants rather than a lawn, contouring the landscape, making curb cuts from the street, and building swales, homeowners can harvest an abundance of rainwater on site. Swales are recessions in the soil or low tracts of marsh land that hold water and keep organic matter on site. To create a swale, dig down six inches and use the dirt to make a berm on the downhill side. This swale will manage water runoff, filter pollutants, and increase rainwater infiltration. By using mulch and cover crops, the flow of rainwater during a storm can be slowed and encouraged to percolate into the soil.
Families can also divert gently used water from their shower, bathtub, bathroom sink, and laundry to water trees and shrubs. However, greywater users must switch to plant friendly laundry soap as salts and Boron are micro-toxins that can build up and kill their plants. One simple reuse option is using a bucket in the shower to catch the cold water before it heats up. This can often be the right amount to water patio plants and veggies or flush a toilet in an apartment. Families can harvest and store the most water by creating swales and by sculpting their landscape to keep the water on site.
Active kids use lots of energy and need to eat a healthy balanced diet to fuel their muscles and perform at a high level. Food supplies kids with energy, rebuilding their muscles, tissues, and organs. Kids need energy reserves for sports activities. Carbohydrates are the most important source of energy for kids’ brains and muscles and should make up about a third of a balanced diet. Kids can eat spaghetti the night before a game for easy digestion and extra energy. For endurance racing, kids need up to 70% carbohydrates. Dried fruit and nuts are a concentrated energy food for added brain power. Kids can eat lots of organic steamed veggies, fruits, bread with peanut butter, rice, pasta, or potatoes before the game. During the game, kids can grab fresh fruit, like organic orange slices, and keep hydrated drinking lots of pure water. To cut down on plastic bottles in the land fill, kids can bring a large stainless steel thermos of filtered water. Shortly after the game or event, active kids need to refuel by drinking lots of water and eating a high carbohydrate meal, like pasta and veggies with a yogurt shake. Young athletes need to stick to a balanced diet, cutting out sodas and deep fried foods, eating a variety of fruits and veggies every day, and drinking plenty of water. Sports are fun, making kids healthy and happy.
Kids need to drink eight cups of pure water a day, instead of soft drinks, sweetened juices, and sodas, to rid their bodies of toxins and keep their systems running smoothly. Pediatricians say just switching water for soda or other sugary drinks is a major health victory for kids and their families. In the 1980’s the soda industry switched from sugar to high fructose corn syrup, which is cheaper and 1½ times sweeter than sugar. The average soda contains up to 15 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup! When consumed at these high doses it becomes a toxin in the body with the fructose going to the liver and creating fatty cells leaving mercury and other chemical contaminates. As the use of high fructose corn syrup has increased in America, so has the level of obesity and related health problems. The soda and junk food vending machines have been removed from school campuses in the Conejo Valley School District. The Ventura County Public Health Department is now installing hydration stations of good tasting filtered water in schools. Pure water is delicious, refreshing and healing. Instead of buying plastic bottles of water or soda, kids can save money, health, and the environment by carrying filtered water from home in reusable stainless steel bottles.
Kids feel comforted, warm and nourished eating a nice bowl of hot soup on a cold winter day. Ancient Romans made a thick porridge that was some of the earliest soups. Then it was discovered that broth poured over bread make a hearty meal and was called soup, in ancient Teutonic. Soon cooks started pouring broth over different grains, beans, noodles, and vegetables. There are three kinds of bowls used for soup: the smaller portion cup, the deep bowl, or the dramatic shallow bowl. Kids can start with pure filtered water. Split peas and lentils are thin-skinned so they cook quickly without soaking. Legumes are high in protein and fiber, lowering cholesterol, reducing heart disease, diabetes, and overweight issues. To make them easy to digest, kids can bring 2 cups of water and 1 cup of organic lentils or split peas to a boil at high heat for a minute or two. Then skim the white impurities off the top and rinse the legumes in a strainer. Kid Chefs can make organic split pea soup using all organic ingredients. Bring 4 cups of water and 1 cup of split peas to a boil and cook 10 minutes. Skim any impurities off the top of the water and add sprigs of fresh cut garden parsley, rosemary, oregano, and sage. Simmer another 10 minutes and add two cubed organic red potatoes, two carrots, ¼ red onion, 1 clove of garlic, and simmer for 40 more minutes. Add 1 tbsp organic butter, ¼ tsp curry powder, ¼ tsp sea salt, dash of cumin and cayenne pepper. Freshly made soup is a hearty, delicious, healthy meal.
Kids need to drink eight cups of pure water a day, instead of soft drinks, sweetened juices, and sodas, to rid their bodies of toxins and keep their systems running smoothly. Pediatricians say just switching water for soda or other sugary drinks is a major health victory for kids and their families. In the 1980’s the soda industry switched from sugar to high fructose corn syrup, which is cheaper and 1½ times sweeter than sugar. The average soda contains up to 15 teaspoons of high fructose corn syrup! When consumed at these high doses it becomes a toxin in the body with the fructose going to the liver and creating fatty cells leaving mercury and other chemical contaminates. As the use of high fructose corn syrup has increased in America, so has the level of obesity and related health problems. The soda and junk food vending machines have been removed from school campuses in the Conejo Valley School District. The Ventura County Public Health Department is now installing hydration stations of good tasting filtered water in schools. Sodas are sweet, cold, and bubbling. Substituting fruit infused water, herb tea with honey, or homemade sodas are a healthy and delicious alternative. Organic fruit, such as strawberries, oranges or lemons, can be put in glass bottles of water in the refrigerator for a refreshing drink. Herb teas come with health benefits in flavors kids like and are great cold. Kids can make healthy sodas at home, using organic fruit, roots, and bark with agave syrup, honey, or molasses and carbonated mineral water. Pure water is delicious, refreshing and healing. Instead of buying plastic bottles of water or soda, kids can save money, health, and the environment by carrying filtered water from home in reusable stainless steel bottles.
Kids can grow fish and veggies in a re-circulating aquaponic system, a productive new method of gardening, for a school science project. Hydroponics is a method of using a re-circulating water system, grow lights, and nutrients to grow food crops indoors. However, hydroponics uses chemical man made nutrients that need to be added often and are expensive. Aquaponics is a method of growing fish and food crops together in a re-circulating system. Water from an aquaculture system is fed into a hydroponic system where bacteria break down the fish excretions into nitrates to feed the plants and then is re-circulated back into the aquaculture system. Aquaponics is completely organic and productive. It can be natural filtration for a pond or aquarium that is connected to a grow box with pipes bringing the water and fish excretions to the veggies and the filtered water back to the fish. It can be indoors or outside, in a raised garden bed, a vertical window veggie garden or in bathtubs. Everyday, kids must feed their fish and check the plumbing system. Once a week, kids need to add water to bring it back to level and check the ammonia level and Ph balance; monthly, kids need to clean the pipe system, and check the nitrate levels. Aquaponics is year round producing garden that uses up to 90% less water than conventional gardening, has fewer pests, no weeds, and no digging. Kids can grow herbs and fish in a small aquarium and treat the family to fresh herbs for dinner.
Healthy kids eat good food and drink lots of water. Doctors say that hand washing is one of the most effective preventive measures from spreading the common cold. Kids need to wash their hands often and keep the kitchen clean while preparing food. Healthy kids get lots of fresh air and exercise, which helps them sleep better too. Traditional Medicinal Wellness Teas have been using pharmacopeia grade herbs based on traditional herbal knowledge since 1974. At the first sign of a cold, kids can drink a cup of Goldenseal and Echinacea tea. Kids with colds need to drink plenty of water and lots of fluids. The top fluids to battle colds and flu are water, elderberry tea, green tea, peppermint tea, and chamomile tea. A hot cup of tea will ease congestion and help promote mucus to wash away the cold viruses. Ginger, lemon or honey can be added to the tea for additional helping factors and to make it taste good to the child. A good snack for kids with a cold is an organic apple with the skin, which has antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Salsa with cayenne peppers and tortilla chips are another good snack as the hot peppers fight the virus and help loosen the mucus. Kids can eat a soothing organic vegetable soup with 2 cups vegetable broth, 2 cloves garlic, ¼ red bell pepper, ½ cup kale, and ¼ cup whole wheat penne pasta. It’s better if kids can stay home with a cold or flu, but if they must go to school they need to have tissues to cover the coughs and sneezes to prevent the germs from spreading to their friends.