Healthy Kids Package


As a mother of three, I am always worried about the health of my kids. Are they getting the right amount of required nutrients with their sometimes picky diet? Is their immune system strong enough to handle the onslaught of germs and viruses that the winter month inevitably brings?  Sick kids are no fun, and they put a major halt to the smooth flow of daily life. In order to boost their immunity and ensure their nutritional needs are met, I sat down with one of The Granary’s Nutritionists to develop a package that would help supplement any child’s diet, support brain development and improve immune function. 

The result of that meeting was the Healthy Kids Package designed for children 3+. We have taken much consideration to put together a package that is both highly effective and cost considerate. One package will give you optimal nutritional and immune support for 60 days (for 1 child or 30 days for 2 children) for a cost of $90.00 That is more than a 15% savings.


Multivitamin with Whole Food Concentrates – 1 with breakfast,  1 with dinner

 A multi vitamin is like an insurance policy, making sure basic nutritional needs are met even when the diet may not be optimal. However, not all multivitamins are created equal. Many children formulas are full of sugar, colours and artificial flavours and or sweeteners. The Healthy Kids Package contains the Big Friends Chewable Multi Vitamin & Minerals with whole food concentrates. It is sweetened with naturally occurring xylitol and contains fruit flavours. Formulated to support the development and maintenance of healthy bones, teeth, gums, eyesight, night vision, healthy skin, membranes, and immune function. It is recommend that children chew 1 tablet 2 times a day.

Multi Strain Probiotic – Chew 1 at bedtime 

Probiotics provide the body with beneficial bacteria which are essential for healthy gut flora.   Beneficial bacteria colonize the digestive tract and provide balance against “bad” bacteria or yeasts.   A lack of beneficial bacteria from a poor diet, illness or use of antibiotics can lead to poor absorption of nutrients, intestinal irritation, diarrhea or constipation.  Healthy gut flora regulates immune function, can reduce allergies and also plays an important role mood regulation and the reduction or prevention of autoimmune conditions. The NOW brand Extra Strength BerryDophilus provides 10 Billion CFU from a combination of 10 clinically validated probiotic bacterial strains designed to support gastrointestinal health and healthy immune system function. It is recommend that children chew 1 tasty tablet daily at least 5-6 days a week. Probiotics can be taken at any time and with other supplements but the best time to take a probiotic is at bedtime which allows the bacteria uninterrupted opportunity to colonize the gut.  Probiotics should be taken at least 2 hours away from antibiotic medication. 

Fish Oil with Vitamin D-  0.5-1 tsp (5ml) daily with a meal

Both fish oil and Vitamin D have been highly studied with results showing many health benefits associated with both. Many of these studies have linked the active compounds (DHA & EPA) found in fish oil with healthy brain development, improved immunity, mood and more. It is an essential nutrient (meaning the body does not produce it) that many children lack in their diet. Vitamin D, the sunshine vitamin,  has long been recognized for its important role in bone health and immunity.   Additionally, Vitamin D has been found to play a role in mental health. Our Healthy Kids package includes the great tasting Sea-licious Kids Omega 3 with vitamin D. The flavour of Cotton Candy is made using a steam-distillation process that captures the essence of burnt sugar. This chemical-free process draws out the fragrant, sweet molecules without any sugar residue. A daily yummy spoonful has your kids saying more please! It is recommend that children take 0.5 – 1tsp daily. Fish oil can be taken with other supplements and can be added to juice, smoothies and more or taken right off the spoon. 

Anti-Cold Echinacea Tincture – 1 ml in a little water, once daily

Echinacea is an immune boosting anti-viral herb that helps fight off infections.  When taken at the first sign of symptoms, Natural Factors ECHINAMIDE Anti-Cold Alcohol Free Herb Tincture can help stop a cold from developing, ease symptoms, and accelerate healing. It works great as a preventative to keep kids healthy during the school year.  Take daily throughout cold and flu season, but be sure to take 1 week off every 8.  At first signs of infection, or when infection is present in the house, children can take 1 ml 1-3 times a day in water or juice. (can also be taken straight).

Tips for healthy kids!

  • Encourage drinking water rather than juice. Include frozen fruits, drops of stevia or use special water cups to help picky drinkers stay hydrated. 
  • Offer a variety of food at meal and snack times to ensure a balanced diet
  • Stay away from sodas, fried or processed foods, sugar and white flour
  • Make time for active play daily and limit screen time – kids need to move and explore their world
  • Be consistent with bedtime and plan for extra quiet time when needed

As with all natural health products, you should talk to your health practitioner to ensure the products are right for you. Brands and products can not be substituted for the quoted price, however, we are always happy to help you find the products that are right for you.

Everything you wanted to know about Vitamin D, but were afraid to ask

Vitamin D is important for strong, healthy bones and teeth but did you know it also plays a significant role in keeping your brain, heart, lungs, muscles and immune system functioning in tip-top shape?   According to researchers at the University of Calgary, 97% of Canadians are deficient in Vitamin D!   The estimated economic impact of Vitamin D deficiency is $14 billion in healthcare costs and 37,000 premature deaths annually in Canada according to Dr. William Grant Ph.D., Director of the Sunlight, Nutrition, and Health Research Centre.  


So what is vitamin D anyway and how do I get it?

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a role in many functions throughout the body.  The body can make Vitamin D from adequate sunlight.   You can also get the “Sunshine Vitamin” in supplement form and in small quantities from a few foods such as fatty fish of fortified milk.

Whether it is synthesized from sunlight or absorbed from food or supplements, the body has to change Vitamin D into a hormone before it can be used.  So Vitamin D is actually not a vitamin at all!  This hormone is called “activated vitamin D” or “calcitriol”.


What does Vitamin D do for me?
Once it’s converted and ready to go, the body uses Vitamin D to absorb and utilize calcium and phosphorus and to help cells throughout the body communicate.  

Vitamin D is also required for the development and growth of bones and teeth, for proper thyroid functioning; it protects against muscle weakness, is involved in the regulation of the heartbeat, supports the immune system and is important in the prevention of breast and colon cancers, osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.  


I’m Canadian and not a snowbird…what do I need to know?

Our bodies make Vitamin D from a cholesterol compound in the skin when it

is exposed to UVB rays from the sun.  In Canada, the sunshine is not strong enough to provide adequate Vitamin D during the winter months.   People with darker skin have a harder time absorbing Vitamin D and those with older skin have a harder time yet.   Adding to this challenge is our attentive use of sunscreen; 93% of UVB rays are blocked by SPF 15!  Little wonder 97% of us are deficient in Vitamin D at some point during the year.


How do I avoid or combat Vitamin D deficiency?

The easy way to avoid or combat Vitamin D deficiency is to supplement year-round, particularly from October – May.   Doctors, scientists, and researchers are still discovering what the optimal dosage should be.  Factors to consider are:

  • The season;
  • How far north you are;
  • How many hours you spend outdoors during peak UV times;
  • Whether or not you apply sunscreen;
  • How pale or dark your skin is;
  • Your age;
  • Your weight;

Health Canada Recommended Daily Intake of Vitamin D

Age group Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) per day Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) per day
Infants 0-6 months 400 IU  (10 mcg) 1000 IU (25 mcg)
Infants 7-12 months 400 IU  (10 mcg) 1500 IU (38 mcg)
Children 1-3 years 600 IU (15 mcg) 2500 IU (63 mcg)
Children 4-8 years 600 IU (15 mcg) 3000 IU (75 mcg)
Children and Adults

9-70 years

600 IU (15 mcg) 4000 IU (100 mcg)
Adults > 70 years 800 IU (20 mcg) 4000 IU (100 mcg)
Pregnancy & Lactation 600 IU (15 mcg) 4000 IU (100 mcg)

The no observable adverse effect level (NOAEL) is 10,000 IU per day (Institute of Medicine Report 2010).

According to the Vitamin D Society, the best way for Canadians to determine their own personal dosage requirements is to maintain optimal Vitamin D blood levels (between 100-150nmol/L).  They encourage all Canadians to get their Vitamin D levels tested!


Types of Vitamin D

D2 (ergocalciferol) is plant-sourced and contains no cholesterol.  Until recently this was the only supplemental form for vegans but it is now understood to be inferior.

D3 (cholecalciferol) is considered the natural form and is the most active and is as much as three times more potent than D2.    D3 is synthesized in the skin and is also available in supplemental form.   D3 is sourced from lanolin (oil from sheep’s wool) and the vegan form of D3 is sourced from lichen.  Lichen is a unique combination of fungus and algae that grows on rocks and trees.


What to look for in a good Vitamin D supplement

Always, always, always look for Vitamin D3; if the label just calls the product “Vitamin D”, check the medicinal ingredients for the form.  Because Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, look for supplements that are in oil rather than tabs.  The format can be liquid or softgels, although liquids are always a little easier for the body.   Take Vitamin D with a meal containing fat to increased absorption.  

To optimize absorption, look for an Emulsified Vitamin D3.  Emulsification makes D3 easier to digest and absorb which is a benefit to anyone but is particularly import for those with malabsorption issues (Crohn’s, Celiac, Gastric Bypass, Diverticulitis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome).   Also, anyone with gallbladder issues or who have had the gallbladder removed or who has difficulty digesting fats should choose an Emulsified Vitamin D3 or take a bile salt supplement with their Vitamin D3.


What’s new with Vitamin D3 research?

Scientists are still discovering how Vitamin D works and how many body processes its effects in the body.  There is new research coming out that demonstrates just how important and how varied Vitamin D’s influence is.  Growing evidence supports that Vitamin D may play a role in preventing or reducing the severity of many conditions such as childhood asthma, some cancers, diabetes, autism and autoimmune disorders such as multiple sclerosis.   For the latest research go to the Vitamin D Society’s News Page.


FREE Vitamin D Day
Here at the Granary we’re giving away bottles of


Wednesday September 12.  

Pop in to see us and grab your free bottle!


Skin Health – Inside and Out

Skin, it is our largest organ and one that provides more protection than you might think. We all know skin is our outer shell but it does more than guard our muscles and organs. Our many layers of skin play a role in our immunity, temperature regulation, vitamin D synthesis,  water regulation and toxin removal. Keeping it healthy is an integral part of overall health.

Many of us put a lot of time and products into making it look younger, softer, firmer and smoother. While these lotions, creams, butters, oils and other topical concoctions feel great and provide some temporary results, true skin health comes from the inside out.


Good hydration is essential for good skin health and I don’t mean topically with creams. True skin hydration comes from inside. Skin cells, like all cells in the body, are primarily made up of water. This means that a lack of water will result in dry, tight cells. Dry skin has less resilience and is more prone to wrinkling.  Unfortunately, skin is one of the last organs to receive water from the body, meaning that drinking the recommended 8 glasses is especially important for that healthy glow.

Omega 3’s, obtained from fish oils are also essential for good skin hydration. The eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) found in Omega 3s is especially beneficial as it regulates oil production and boosts hydration. EPA can prevent acne, and by delaying the skin’s aging process, stave off wrinkles. A 2005 study in the Journal of Lipid Research discovered that EPA can help block the release of the UV-induced enzymes that eat away at our collagen, causing lines and sagging skin. Because EPA is both an antioxidant and an anti-inflammatory agent, it can protect against sun damage and help repair it.

Dry Brushing

Dry Brushing, like it sounds, is the act of brushing your skin in a particular pattern with a dry brush, usually before bathing. This is an old health trick with many benefits that is gaining new popularity. By gently dry brushing the skin in a circular pattern starting farthest from the heart and working towards the heart many good things happen!

  • Increase blood flow and circulation.
  • Stimulate and detoxify the Lymphatic system that lies just below the skin’s surface.
  • Soothe and massage sore muscles.
  • Exfoliate and remove dead skin cells, resulting is softer, brighter skin
  • Clean pores by physically removing oil and dirt.
  • Reduce cellulite.
  • Combine the above results for an early morning energy boostIt is recommend to start with a soft brush and light pressure, working your way up to a firm brush.


Skin supports its own ecosystems of microorganisms including bacteria and yeast. Many of these are beneficial and cannot be removed with cleaning.  If this delicate balance between yeast and bacteria is disturbed, like in the the rest of the body, an overgrowth can occur resulting in infection. Many of us take probiotics (healthy bacteria) for digestion and stomach health but researchers now know that the gut and the skin are connected. When bad bacteria are present in the gut (due to stress, poor diet, medications etc), they can cause flare ups on the skin in the form of eczema, rosacea and acne.  Taking an oral probiotic can reduce these “bad bacteria” by replacing them with “good bacteria” that can help improve and prevent skin issues. There is also very promising research that suggests that taking probiotic supplement while pregnant can improve an infants skin health.

Sun Exposure

We all love the feel of the warm sun on our skin, especially after a long cold winter. That warm sun provides many benefits to us including the very important vitamin D, but it can also have damaging effects. Sun changes skin. In response to prolonged sun exposure our skin begins to discolour, initially with a redding burn or darkening tan. It then starts to develop freckles, discoloured areas, age spots and wrinkles. Sun exposure causes most of the skin changes that we think of as a normal part of aging. Over time, the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) light damages the fibers in the skin called elastin. When these fibers break down, the skin begins to sag, stretch, and lose its ability to go back into place after stretching.  There is also much research to support the claim that excessive sun exposure causes skin cancer.

Protecting your skin from prolonged and excessive sun exposure is vital to healthy skin, both appearance and function. Clothing, hats, shade and good sunscreen are all useful when fighting the damaging effects of the sun. Choosing a healthy sunscreen that is not going to increase your exposure to harmful chemicals is also important. Many sunscreens, while effective in preventing sun damage, contain ingredients that have been proven to be harmful to our bodies in other ways, some even causing cancer themselves.  To find an effective, healthy sunscreen look for biodegradable, all natural sunscreens that do not contain ingredients like oxybenzone, a hormone disruptor, or retinyl palmitate, a form of vitamin A that may harm skin. To see how your sunscreen rates, check out the Environmental Working Group Annual  Guide to Sunscreen. This research-based document is a great guide for choosing the best sunscreens for your family.  We use it to make sure every sunscreen we sell in the store is effective and healthy for our customers.










Joint Health: Top Foods and Nutrients

A little joint wear and tear can be expected as we age, but what we eat makes a big difference to joint health throughout life. We need a good intake of specific nutrients to build and repair healthy connective tissue and bone while other nutrients help support joint function.

The following foods and nutrients may help to support bone health, healthy joint lubrication, and connective tissue health and immune function:

Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Starting with one of the most rigorously researched nutrients out there, omega-3, it’s not hard to find evidence that this type of unsaturated fatty acid offers significant support for overall health, especially to help reduce the pain of rheumatoid arthritis in adults in conjunction with conventional therapy.

To experience the health benefits of omega-3, make sure your diet includes plenty of flax and chia seeds, walnuts and algal oil. Omega-3 is also found in fish and fish oil supplements.


Members of the family Zingiberaceae, including turmeric, have been traditionally used in herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory to help relieve joint pain.

Dietary amounts  of turmeric are considered safe, so try adding ground turmeric into savoury baked goods or hot meals.

Vitamin D

During summer increased sun exposure boosts our synthesis of vitamin D, a nutrient that is needed to support the development and maintenance of bones, as well as a range of other essential bodily processes.

Besides oily fish, there are few natural sources of vitamin D, although plenty of fortified foods are available. A 20-minute walk in the sun can help top up levels too!

Brightly Coloured Vegetables and Fruits!

Ok, so this is a bit of a catch-all, but brightly coloured vegetables and fruits typically contain high levels of beneficial fibre, as well as antioxidants such as vitamin C, beta-carotene and other carotenoids including beta-cryptoxanthin.

A healthy diet for overall health should include plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, legumes, healthy fats from olive oil and seeds, and healthy whole grains. It’s also important to know what to avoid eating and drinking to help protect the body, such as limiting or avoiding simple sugars, animal-derived products such as meat and dairy and other sources of saturated fat.

So, to promote your healthy joint function try including these foods and nutrients for joint health into your diet and put a spring back in your step!

Shop for these great products and more Joint Care and Pain Relief at – or hit the shop button located in the sidebar!

* These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. They are not intended to treat, cure, or prevent any diseases.

A Vegetarian Diet in Winter

Being vegetarian or vegan in winter might seem like a sad prospect for anyone unfamiliar with the plethora of delicious and versatile foods that can be harvested December through February. These months of the year offer much more than soggy, overboiled cabbage; it’s easier than you may think to keep your intake of fruits and vegetables high and healthy.

It’s been over a decade that I have been a vegan and I can say with confidence that I truly appreciate the benefits of eating seasonally. For those wondering how to maintain a healthy and varied vegetarian diet in Winter, here are a few tips:

Get to Know Your Winter Crops
Find out if there’s a winter farmers market near you and prepare to be amazed at the bounty, even in these chilly months. You might even want to consider planning a winter food garden, complete with beets and carrots that can be stored in the ground until you need them! Or, set up an indoor garden in front of a large window with lots of light, and sow fast-growing crops like radishes, chives, lettuce and spinach, along with parsley and cilantro.

In the Pacific Northwest between December and February, there are delicious local apples and pears to be harvested, along with cabbage, turnips, winter squash, and the last of the season’s Brussels sprouts. Fresh rosemary and sage are also great at this time of year, and garlic tastes even better after the first frost.

Winter crops are packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and have phytonutrients.

Get Creative With Your Fruits and Veggies
If you think winter veggies consist of eating the same old potatoes and beets, think again. There are plenty of ways to add flavour and variety to your vegetarian winter diet – you just have to get a little creative in the kitchen! For example:

Mashed Potatoes: Try adding a few mashed turnips and some minced garlic to this winter staple to lower the glycemic index and bump up the nutrient value.

Cabbage: Make a rice vinegar and sesame oil coleslaw using shredded cabbage, carrots and minced garlic to keep your intake of fibre, enzymes and antioxidants high.

Squash: Try roasting slices of winter squash with a dash of cinnamon and a sprinkling of coconut sugar for a decadent side dish that’s perfect for warming up after snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

Brussels Sprouts: Whip up these tasty leafy green buds by flash-frying them with Brazil nuts and olive oil – yum!

Apples: Consider stocking your freezer with diced apples, perfect for baking a quick and easy crumble!

Pears: Try poaching fresh pears in antioxidant black tea, then drizzle them with a dark chocolate, black tea sauce.

Get Your Vitamin D
The shorter days and the low-lying sun mean it is harder for Canadians to synthesise sufficient vitamin D from the sun between October and April. Make sure you’re including healthy fortified foods in your diet or taking a vitamin D supplement during these winter months. The same goes for non-vegetarians at this latitude!


source: Natural Factors