Superfoods & Herbs for Children's Health

Stimulate your children’s senses and ensure optimum nutrition with an array of Superfoods and Herbs.

Firstly, here's a guide to smaller doses for children:

  • 6 months to 1 year – 12% of adult dose
  • 1 to 2 years – 25% of adult dose
  • 3 to 7 years – 50% of adult dose
  • 8 to 12 years – 75% of adult dose

When giving botanical preparations to children, keep a close eye on how they are feeling, and any adverse reactions.


Here at Indigo Herbs we believe that prevention is better than cure. A healthy diet and lifestyle can do much to ensure that youngsters thrive. Due to the sedentary, computer-focused lifestyles many kids lead these days, physical activity and playing outside have become increasingly important. Exploring nature and navigating the potential hazards (eg. climbing trees!) is crucial, not just for getting exercise and fresh air, but also for learning ‘risk assessment’.

Packed with vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients, superfoods are a great addition to children’s diets and a pure, natural alternative to synthetic supplements. Herbal teas, tinctures and essential oils can help with a range of minor health conditions. If in doubt, consult a registered health practitioner.

It is often necessary to make botanicals palatable to children. Honey or agave nectar can be used to sweeten. Superfood powders can be blended with banana or ripe pears. Nuts can be made into nut butters and nut milks. If using tinctures, add just-boiled water and leave for 10 minutes to allow the alcohol to evaporate.

Browse the list below and see what Mother Nature has to offer.

 

Acai Berries

(Euterpe oleracea)
Acai Berries

Apart from having a lovely captivating colour that children will love, Acai Berry is full of lots of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants that will contribute to children's health. The taste is described as being between chocolate and fruity.

From the Brazilian Rain Forest in South America, Acai is a favourite fruit to many in that part of the world where it is made into soft drinks and ice cream.

 

Agave Nectar

(Agave tequilana)
Agave

Agave syrup is a natural sweetener that's 100% natural and raw. This is a great alternative to sugar that can reduce sugar toward better children's health. 

It has a very low glycaemic index and is 33% sweeter than sugar. When it is substituted in recipes you only need to use a little to gain the level of sweetness as sugar. Agave is also lower in calories and releases energy slowly into the body enabling blood sugar levels to remain stable.

The Aztecs regarded Agave as one of their divine foods given to them by the gods. Although relatively new as a substitute for sugar, Agave has been used for centuries as a food source.

 

Almonds

(Prunis dulcis)
Almond

Almonds are one of the worlds most popular nuts and are used in many kinds of foods. Children usually love the taste which is perfect since on their own they are packed with protein, vitamin E and minerals and help maintain a healthy heart. 

Magnesium and folic acid is found in abundance in Almonds which supports the cardiovascular system and the production of red blood cells. 

Some of the earliest specimens of the Almond were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen dating from 1,325 BCE. Almonds is the official state tree of Kashmir and are revered in many cultures.

 

Astragalus

(Astragalus membranaceus)
Astragalus

So why is Astragalus good for children’s health?

This herb is known as an excellent immune booster in Chinese Medicine. For common maladies such as colds, coughs and respiratory infections Astragalus is very effective in its antioxidant capabilities to remove symptoms and get the immune system working better. Other benefits include better circulation and overall liver, spleen and urinary health. There are also some people who say that it helps with asthma.

Used in China since around 200 BCE, this herb is thought to invigorate the vital life force Chi and so improve all aspects of bodily function.

 

Banana

(Musa acuminata)
Banana

Most children love Bananas! They have a gooey sweet flavour and are great as a snack. But why are Bananas good for kids?

Firstly they build strong bones and secondly they are very good for the stomach and bowels. Packed with Calcium, energy, strong alkalizing properties and vitamin B6, the humble banana is a great fruit to aid development of the body as well as helping protect against type 2 diabetes. Bananas are also known to re-establish electrolytes in the body after diarrhoea and regulate the bowel with their high fibre content. Overall Bananas are a kid’s best friend and contribute a lot to children's health.

Bananas are thought to have been first cultivated around 8,000 BCE in the Kuk Valley in New Guinea. They were spread to different countries by trade and are now enjoyed by almost everybody the world over.

 

Baobab

(Adansonia digitata)
Baobab

This amazing African fruit is just bursting with Vitamin C! As a supplement for children's natural health, Baobab has great antioxidant value as well as having a lovely citrusy taste and is low in sugar!

Gram for gram Baobab has about 6 times more vitamin C than an orange, a lot of dietary fibre and more than 12 different vitamins and minerals. Vitamin C is needed to help keep teeth, gums and skin healthy as well as keeping the immune system functioning well. 

The Baobab tree is thought to live for up to 1,000 years and in African culture is a symbol of strength, long life, wisdom and beauty.

 

Barley Grass

(Hordeum vulgare L)
Barley Grass

Barleygrass can be a great to supplement into the diets of children because it has such a full, top grade nutrional profile. If the taste offends your kids, the powdered form can easily be sprinkled into food or incorporated in sauces to mask the taste. 

Barleygrass is known to contain vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, chlorophyll, live enzymes and amino acids. It is thought to include a balanced ratio of protein, fat, and carbohydrate necessary for a balanced diet. Barleygrass is easily assimilated throughout the digestive tract providing the body with optimum nutrition. A great natural aid toward children's health.

It is thought that the Egyptians were some of the first to incorporate Barleygrass shoots into their diets. Barley is also mentioned in the Bible numerous as being an important food source.

 

Bee Pollen

Bee Pollen

Bee pollen is one of nature's best superfoods being rich in vitamins, minerals, enzymes, amino acids and anti-oxidants. For children's health Bee Pollen could help balance energy, boost brain activity and help build their immune system.

Bee pollen is known to help counteract the action of toxins and bring relief to sufferers of allergies, including hay fever, as it reduces the histamine levels in the body. It is also known to alleviate nausea, sleep disorders, stress and anxiety by bringing the body into nutritional balance and wellbeing.

Many stories and folklores have been told about the humble bee and in many cultures they are considered sacred. In Egypt a piece of Bee Pollen would be placed in the tombs of Pharaohs so they wouldn't get hungry in the afterlife.

 

Beetroot

(Beta vulgaris)
Beetroot

Not only does Beetroot have a very rich vibrant colour, it is of amazing benefit to children's health being absolutely packed with vitamins, minerals and fibre. This vegetable can increase white blood cells in the body which are responsible for eradicating abnormal cells.

The very purple colour of Beetroot can be of great interest to kids and used to colour other foods that they might turn their nose at. The purple pigment is called betacyanin; a powerful agent that is proving an excellent for stopping cell mutation.

Beetroot once looked a lot like a carrot but over the years of cultivation during the 16th century now resembles a bulb shape. The ancient Greeks revered Beetroot and it was a food that was routinely offered to the god Apollo in his temple at Delphi.

 

Brown Rice Protein

(Oryza sativa)
Rice Protein

Protein derived from Brown Rice can be of great use for those children brought up on a Vegan diet. In powdered form the Brown Rice Protein can reach around 65% protein and can be a superb natural aid to children's health.

Essential for building muscle tissue and good growth, protein is one of the major contributors to having sustained amounts of energy throughout the day.

Brown Rice Protein is derived from adding enzymes to a mixture of water and bulk Brown Rice. The starch is then drained from the mixture before the paste is dried and milled into a fine protein powder.

 

Cacao

(Theobroma cacao)
Cacao

Raw Cacao in its various forms is a great supplemental food being full of over 300 nutritional constituents. Even though too much Chocolate for children is known to be very unhealthy for children's health, Raw Cacao has no added sugar and can actually help the body because of its full nutritional profile.

Raw cacao is a superfood that has been used for centuries. Cacao originates in South America and has always been viewed as a food of the Gods. Cacao's chemical composition makes it a food capable of inducing big smiles, making people feel good whilst also benefiting one's overall health.

 

Camu Camu

(Mycaria dubia)
Camu Camu

Camu Camu is a pink powder and thought to be one of the richest natural sources of Vitamin C on the planet. With a high source of minerals and vitamins, such as: Iron, Niacin, Phosphorous, Potassium, Riboflavin, Beta-carotene and Amino acids, Camu Camu can be great ziggy supplement for children.

Vitamin C is an essential antioxidant found in most foods that helps our bodies battle illness. It is one of the common supplements to give someone who's suffering from cold or flue.

It wasn't until 1957 that Camu Camu was discovered to have such a massive vitamin C content when the goverment of Peru conducted a survey of their national foods.

 

Carob

(Ceratonia siliqua)
Carob

Carob is a great alternative to chocolate having a similar malty taste. Mixed with Cacao Powder it can be a great bulking agent for desserts and treats without adding extra sugar. This can be a positive addition to a child's diet aiding digestion and cleansing the intestine through Carobs high fibre content.

In the ancient Middle East the seeds of the kharrūb (Carob or locust bean pod) were used to measure the weight and worth of precious metals and stones.

 

Cats Claw

(Uncaria tomentosa)
Cat's Claw

The Cats Claw has been shown to have antiviral and immune boosting qualities which might be of use when children come down with a cough or cold. Also it has been known to help with problems of the bowels and colon.

Cats Claw has many varying phytochemicals which contribute to it's multifaceted uses. In the Amozian jungle this plant is used for a great number of different ailments and so can be thought of as an adaptogen.

The Ashaninka tribe of the Amazonian Rainforest have been using the Cats Claw creeping vine for centuries. It is an integral part of their culture and features in their creation folklore. 

 

Chia Seeds

(Salvia hispanica)
Chia

Chia seeds have a fantastic nutritional profile for kids. They are rich in omega 3 fatty acids, anti-oxidants and make an excellent source of dietary fibre. They also contain easily digestible proteins and amino acids. They are very low in sodium and are completely gluten free.

Chia seeds are delicious in bread mixes, in cakes, over salads, rice , pasta, soups and stews. They also make delicious sprouts.

Having been eaten in Peru for centuries, this seed was one of the favourite crops of the Aztecs. 

 

Cinnamon

(Cinnamon zeylanicum)
Cinnamon

Cinnamon has a lovely taste that children usually love. But there is more to Cinnamon than meets the eye. The plant is bursting with phytochemicals that can help quite a few different ailments. For children this particular plant can help release nervous tension, regulate blood sugar levels, help with feelings of nausea and has antibacterial properties.

This has long been one of the most popuar spices in the world and was first recorded in Chinese writings in 2800 BCE. It has a long history and was for a time a highly sought after commodity.

 

Coconut

(Cocos nucifera)
Coconut

The Coconut is the fruit of the coconut palm and 100% pure raw coconut is packed with nutrients and vitality. Most children really enjoy the taste of coconut and in its many forms it can be a benefit as part of a healthy diet.

Coconut is seen as an elixir that brings energy, nourishment and wellbeing. As a fat, coconut oil or butter is quickly metabolised and is released as energy, and not stored as fat. Therefore many people are using coconut in their diet to promote weight loss and wellbeing.

The word 'Coconut' comes from the Hispanic 'Coco' which is a reference to a goblin in Spanish folklore. The three indentations at the top of the Coconut resemble a face which early Spanish explorers said was a representation of the goblin.

 

 

Crystal Deodorant Stone

Crystal Deodorant Stone

The Crystal Deodorant Stone could be of some use to parents who want to control their childrens athletes foot and skin problems.

These amazing stones comprise of a massive selection of mineral salts and are completely hypoallergenic. When made wet, the stone deposits a layer of minerals over skin that not only deodorizes but protects and heals. 

In Thailand these stones have been used for centuries to eleminate body odor and blemishes on the face.

 

Echinacea

(Echinacea Purpurea)
Echinacea purpurea

Echinacea is widely respected as "THE remedy for colds and flu." It is a major immune booster and can help in combating a whole range of infections and viruses in children. 

Its anti-bacterial character means it is effective against microbial and viral attacks. It is a botanical anti- biotic and immune system stimulant, and is recommended as a daily tonic, especially during winter.

Echinacea has been use by Native American Indians for centuries and was originally used as a wound dressing and to help tooth ache.

 

Eucalyptus

(Eucalyptus Smithii)
Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus is a refreshing and uplifting botanical and has many uses if your child has any kind respiratory problem.

It has a penetrating, invigorating, clean aroma and its menthol-like uplifting top note aroma helps the user breathe easier.

In Australia the native Aboriginals have been using the Eucalyptus for thousands of years and they shared the knowledge with the first settlers.

 

Fennel Seed

(Foeniculum vulgare)
Fennel

Fennel can be a great tool in taming stomach upsets in children. Even for babies a little Fennel tea can help with gripe.

This plant has a long history of use in Greece where tradition holds that it could help you loose weight.

Featuring in the Greek mythology of Marathon, this plant has always held a special place for its rich symbolism and character. 

 

Geranium

(Pelargonium graveolens)
Geranium

Geranium essential oil is a nurturing and soothing botanical that has many uses. For use with children, Geranium can calm and reduce shock when used in an oil burner.

It has a green, floral and herbaceous middle note aroma. Traditionally used by the Sotho people of South Africa to calm fevers and wounds, this plant has a long history of use for harmonising and cleansing environments. 

 

Goji Berries

(Lycium barbarum)
Goji Berries

Goji berries are known as the ultimate tonic for longevity within the Chinese medical tradition and are very good for childrens health as they are very high in vitamin C.

These little red berries have a cooling and nourishing effect on the whole system. They are the perfect daily tonic for modern living, which is said to create too much heat, fire and Yang energy in the body.

Goji berries have been used in traditional Mongolian, Tibetan and Chinese medicine for 1,000's of years. ,

 

Golden Seal

(Hydrastis Canadensis)
Golden Seal

Golden Seal can be used for a number of symtoms for children. Its action is like a natural antibiotic and anti-inflammatory and can used both topically or internally. Even for insect bites and skin problems Golden seal can prove extremely effective.

It is thought that the alkaloid berberine is the active componant that gives Golden Seal it's effectiveness.

Golden Seal was originally used by some tribes of Native American Indians for indigestion, local inflammations, to improve the appetite, liver problems and heart problems.

 

Grapeseed

(Vitis vinifera)
Grapeseed

This pale green skin soothing botanical oil is made from the seeds of grapes and is one of the very best oils for the skin. Because it is suitable for all skin types then for children it is perfect to sooth rough dry patches. 

Oil from Grapeseed has been used throughout history but only got referenced in 1569 when Austrian Emperor Maximilian II granted a musician the privilege of making grape seed oil for the preservation of his instruments. 

 

Hemp

(Cannabis Sativa)

Hemp seeds can be taken on a daily basis by children as they are a great source of protein. They can be sprinkled on any kind of food and make a slightly nutty crunchy topping. 

They can also be blended with water to make a raw hemp milk; this is particularly good for those who are lactose intolerant and looking for a good source of all the essential amino acids.

Hemp has been used as a fibre and food for at least 12,000 years and was produced in Britain up until the 1940's.

 

Lavender

(Lavandula officinalis)

Lavender is a great aromatic first aid herb when used with a carrier oil on sore skin. It's calming and can also aid sleep in children.

Many scientific studies have found that Lavender slows the activity of the nervous system and can be of help to people who suffer from anxiety and stress.

The Egyptians used Lavender oil as part of their embalming process while the ancient Greeks used Lavender for a great many medicinal purposes.

 

Mandarin

(Citrus Nobilis)

Mandarin essential oil is traditionally known for its skin healing properties. This could be a fantastic first aid oil when it comes to childrens skin problems.

It is anti-spasmodic and has a light fruity top note that relaxes body, mind and spirit.

The Mandarin is thought to have come from India more than 3,000 years ago and was first introduced to Britian in 1805.

 

Marigold

(Calendula officinalis)

The Marigold has a great many medical benefits for children since it is very high in antioxidants. It has very efficient anti-inflammatory properties and is also considered anti-bacterial.

Since the 12th century Marigolds in Europe has been a symbol of love, happiness and light and were used in many love potions.

 

Moringa

(Moringa oleifera)
Moringa

Moringa is a great supplement for children, especiallly vegan, because of its very large host of protein, minerals and B vitamins including vitamin B12. There's also a very high percentage of other vitamins including vitamin C, A, D and E.

The Moringa tree is multi purpose tree that loves to grow in hot climates. In Africa it is used as an emergency food for malnourishment because it is so high in essential vitamins and minerals.

 

Mulberries

(Morus alba)

Mulberries are sweet and crunchy to taste and make a delicious superfood snack for children. They have many health benefits mainly as an antioxidant and in the prevention of heart disease. Mulberries can be eaten as a snack, or they can be added to other fruits and seeds in a trail mix.

They make excellent additions to cereal or muesli, or as a topping to a desert of fruit and yoghurt. Dried white Mulberries are chewy like figs, and very sweet and delicious. They can form part of a balanced diet providing a source of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and antioxidants.

 

Pea Protein

(Pisum sativum L.)
Pea Protein

Protein derived from Peas can have up to 80% protein making it a great supplement for children who are being brough up on a vegan diet.

Pea's have been an important food source since the Neolithic Period and have been eaten as far back as 4,500 BCE.

 

Peppermint

(Mentha piperita - Peppermint, Mentha Arvensis - Mint)

Peppermint is a revitalizing, energising and refreshing botanical that can be used to calm a stomach ache in children. 

Its traditional use is in calming the digestion and reviving the mental energy. Its sweet top note aroma that can banish weariness and bring clarity, coolness and calm.

Peppermint is thought to have originated in Northern Africa and was mentioned in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus as being good for the stomach.

 

Pine nuts

(Pinus sylvestris)

These little kernels have lots of fantastic benefits of children. They have been found to help eye sight, give increased vitality, have lots of antioxidants and taste buttery and smooth. 

The vitality comes from the amount of protein and Magnesium in Pine nuts while a chemical called lutein helps with eye sight. The antioxidants come from the high amounts of Vitamins A, B, C, D and E that are present in Pine Nuts. 

Pine nuts come from various trees such as the Korean pine, Siberian pine, Swiss Stone Pine and the common Pinyon Pine. Pine Kernels, or nuts as they are often called, are actually a seed. The Pine Nut was a favourite of some tribes of Native American Indians who used to harvest them when they came into season. They are delicious as a superfood snack or can be tossed onto salads, pasta or rice.

 

Pumpkin Seed Protein

(Cucurbita pepo)

Pumpkin Seed Protein is made by processing Pumpkin Seeds after they have been pressed for their oil. The reulting powder is usually around 65% rich in protein and contains all the essential amino acids making it great for children who might be being brough up on a Vegan diet.

It was the Native American Indians that first started cultivating the Pumpkin and there exists a great many different varieties other than the normal oval orange pumpkin made popular by halloween. 

 

Red Clover

(Trifolium pretense)

Wild Red Clover herb has been a popular choice for a number of health benefits. For children, Red Clover cream has been found to be an effective natural remedy for skin problems like eczema and nappy rash.

Other uses for children include Red Clover being used as a cough remedy when made into a tea or taken in tincture form.

Red Clover use dates back to the middle ages when it was seen as a symbol of protection and good luck. The Romans, Ancient Greeks and Celts revered it.

 

 

Stevia

(Stevia rebaudiana)

Stevia can be used as a substitute sweetner for cakes and desserts and so can considerably cut down the sugar intake of children.

Being extremely sweet, Stevia is best used in very small amounts so be careful if you're using it on your kids cereal.

Stevia became popular in the 1930's and is used heavily by the Japanese.

 

 

Tea Tree

(Melaleuca alternifolia)

Tea Tree essential oil is a powerful anti-septic and a medicinal botanical that can be used as a topical application when mixed with a carrier oil or water. For children Tea Tree can help for a number of skin problems from athletes foot to nail infections and scalp problems. Also as a mouth wash for gum infections, mouth ulcers and throat infections and as a hair wash to get rid of lice. 

Bungawalbin Creek in Australia was hailed as having healing properties which came to be because of the amount of Tea Tree leaves in its waters. Captain Cook took the leaves back to England where 150 years later Tea Tree oil became popular as a skin treatment.

 

Turmeric

(Curcuma longa)

Turmeric has a lovely curried taste but can also be used as a powerful anti-inflammatory. For children Turmeric can be used also for toothache, stomach ache, bruises, chest pain and colic. It also has a vibrant yellow colour and is lovely when mixed with milk and honey.

Two of the main components that give Turmeric its medical properties are its volatile oil and a chemical called curcumin which accounts for Tumeric's powerful anti-inflammatory benefits.

Turmeric has been used in Indian and Chinese systems of medicine for thousands of years and is vastly popular in India as part of their cuisine.   

 

Vanilla

(Vanilla planifolia)
Vanilla

Alongside chocolate, vanilla is one of the world's favourite flavours. Children love the sweet taste of vanilla although there are also other benefits to this spice. Loaded with antioxidants, vanilla can help combat free radicals in the body and lower the risk of infection. 

In old medicinal literature vanilla is described as an aphrodisiac and remedy for fevers. This purported use has never been scientifically proven, but it has been shown that vanilla does increase levels of catecholamines (including epinephrine, more commonly known as adrenaline), and as such can also be considered mildly addictive.

Vanilla was revered by the ancient Totonac people of Mexico and was an integral part of their culture.

 

Wheatgrass

(Triticum aestivum)

The nutritional profile of Wheatgrass is literally stunning. For children small doses of Wheatgrass can help their bodies get all the extra nutrition they need to grow up strong and healthy. 

It's good for boosting energy and vitality levels, combating fatigue, detoxification, eliminating unhealthy bacteria, balancing gut and bowel health, balancing ph levels in blood, treating immune system deficiencies, improving clarity of thought Stabilising weight, metabolism and cravings, aiding cell regeneration.

One of the very first investigations into the properties of Wheatgrass occurred in the 1930’s. Agricultural Chemist Dr. Charles Schnaber observed hens had a preference to young Wheatgrass shoots over all other food stuffs which he later found to have an amazing nutritional profile.