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Let your kids eat dirt

Updated: Mar 22, 2021




I know what you're thinking...she's finally lost it. Before you lose all faith in me...let me explain.


I’m not an advocate of letting your kids pick chewing gum off the pavement but have you ever wondered why babies and toddlers put anything and everything into their mouth? They seem to be instinctively drawn to microbes, dirt and mud. It’s an inborn instinct.


Instead of fighting it with all means, maybe we should embrace it and realise that it actually serves a purpose.


In the earliest years of life the immune system goes through a lot of training. Each encounter with a microbe (good or bad) gets processed and remembered. If a child has too few encounters with microbes its immune system might not mature as well.


By cleaning up our children’s environment too much, sterilising and disinfecting everything we are doing more harm than good. (Let me add: in the current COVID pandemic it is important to practice good hand hygiene !)


By cleaning up our children’s environment too much, sterilising and disinfecting everything we are doing more harm than good.

And here’s the GOOD NEWS: It is not the infectious germs that we need to expose our children to, to build up healthy immune systems. That’s why you shouldn’t worry too much about the effect of lockdown and a lack of green snotty noses from childcare.


What we do need to do is make sure they get exposed to the “good kind” of germs in our environment.


What’s the best thing you can do?


Get your kids into green spaces- as often as you can! Play in the park. Go for a walk in the woods. Visit a farm.


Let them get dirty!


Getting them into natural spaces is educating their immune systems and helping them longterm to build up strong immune systems. It’s never too late to start.


Even potting some little plants together on the window can be great!


You get the idea...


Are you ready to bake some mud-pies?

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