The time of year has arrived that it seems everyone is taking extra
precaution to protect themselves and their children from catching the dreaded flu bug. I know the season is here when my kids keep getting play dates cancelled due to so many of their peers being sick.
Since my daughter is in school now, every little bug is waiting to knock on my door every time she arrives home – so I armored myself with some ‘flu combat missiles’ that I am happy to share
. If you want to know how to prepare for flu season naturally, try some of these tips:
Run a Salt Soak Bubble Bath and Let Them Play..
Flush the toxins out of your children’s cells by putting some Epsom Salts or Magnesium Flakes in their evening bath. The magnesium in the salt will be beneficial and provide some extra ‘nutrition’ in the form of magnesium in their bodies. I have learned that most people are deficient in magnesium – mainly due to a major depletion in our food producing soil.
The salts will also help children (adults too!) unwind for the day and relax their muscles, promoting a better sleep. I suggest letting them have extra play time in this mineral rich bath so that there is plenty of time to soak all the goodness in.
Essential Oils are Essential for Good Health
Essential Oils are getting a lot of attention lately, and for good reason. They have excellent benefits and each oil has its own unique healing quality. If you are feeling uncomfortable about exposing your children to any essential oil, always consult your doctor first. There is some controversy among health professionals in terms of what age a child is deemed safe to use certain oils.
Never use essential oils directly on your child’s skin. Always dilute with a carrier oil such as Olive Oil, Jojoba Oil, Sweet Almond Oil or Avacodo Oil. Here are a select few essential oils that I use on my children that have immune boosting properties:
- Lavender Oil – used to boost immunity, Lavender Oil has antiviral and antibacterial properties and is excellent for promoting relaxation and calmness. Tip: add 10 drops to your children’s salt bath for an even better night’s sleep or, try my homemade lavender bath bombs.
- Eucalyptus Oil – this essential oil is mainly used for respiratory problems such as congestion due to flu or even asthma. Eucalyptus Oil also has antiviral and antibacterial properties, as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Try using this oil to bring a fever back down to normal by diluting a few drops on a cold wet washcloth and applying to the back of the neck. I also use it in my humidifier when my kids are sick and congested and I use it in my homemade vapor rub.
- Tea Tree Oil – I find Tea Tree Oil to be very reliable when it comes to fighting germs, that is why I use it in my homemade hand sanitizer. Try this recipe and get your kids to carry it with them when they go out. If you get them used to it early enough, it will become second nature and they will be better protected from surface germs and bugs. It smells nice too! This is also really great to use in diaper rash cream.
Eating to Stay Healthy
An obvious suggestion for keeping your kids healthy is making sure they are getting their daily nutrients. It can be difficult to track weather they are reaching the required daily amount when you are away working most of the day and the kids are at school or with daycare. It is also difficult if you wrestle with a very picky eater and it becomes a constant chase to make them eat their veggies. Because of this I have chosen a much easier method most of the time…
Make a Smoothie or Shake!
I am not kidding when I say this is an easy way to make a nutritious meal. There are so many variations and recipes available now that taste delicious and no matter what veggie you choose to “hide” in the shake your children will never know. My secret is using pineapple juice as the base because it is so sweet (use ‘not from concentrate’ and no sugar added). I find I can add kale, spinach, yams, cucumber, broccoli, carrots, and a good grass-fed or vegan protein powder if needed, and my kids love the taste.
Try my kids favorite smoothie recipe and you will never spend another day feeling guilty for missing essential nutrients in your child’s diet.
One thing I would add is to go organic with the produce that really matters. There has been a ton of research that suggests that organic produce contains a substantially higher amount of nutrients. not to mention has very few pesticides, if any. Take a look at the Dirty Dozen list and try to organize your shopping around it.
I have another suggestion – invest in a high power blender. It makes your life a lot easier and is well worth the purchase if you plan to make a lot of smoothies, shakes and healthy meals through blending. I make my own homemade baby food with it, smoothies, nut butters, soups, flours, butter and so on.
There are a number of high powered blenders on the market today but you will want to do your research to find a good quality one. I own the Vitamix and have no complaints. Find my Vitamix review here.
Give your Kids a Boost During Flu Season
Stock up on the Vitamins and supplements during flu season. Here are a handful of a few extras to have on hand, especially during the most contagous time of year december to march.
- Vitamin C – Vitamin C is always a good vitamin to keep on hand and to give a little extra during peak flu season. Vitamin C is a natural immune booster and acts to reduce the length of a cold or flu as well as minimizes the symptoms related to the common cold. A great way to get some extra Vitamin C is to be aware of how much your children are getting in their foods and making sure they are eating extra. Some foods high in Vitamin C include strawberries, berries, bell peppers, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, pineapple, kiwi, mango and oranges.
- Vitamin D – Vitamin D is essential for good bone health but it also has been proven to help reduce the chances of getting the common cold. Vitamin D is best absorbed from sunshine but this is not always possible for people to achieve. If you are not able to get your kids in the sun often enough, you may want to ensure certain foods are in their diet including fortified cereals, milk or juices, egg yolks, beef liver or a vitamin D supplement.
- Healthy Fats – An adequate amount of healthy fats are required for good immune response. Make sure your children are getting enough in their diet which include fish, avocado, eggs, nuts and even all natural butter. If you can get oil supplements in their diets you might want to research a good omega 3 oil like Krill Oil or Cod Liver Oil. Good luck getting your kids to take it though! If you find a way, please leave it in the comment section below and let me know!
Recently I discovered a supplement that is made specifically for children. Try the Kids Immunity Boost by The Honest Company if you want an easy way to add some good immunity power in 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon a day. I found it is simple to place in my children’s yogurt or smoothie as an added benefit to their diet. The main ingredients are all natural botanical ingredients that are commonly known to have immune strengthening properties, such as Elderberry and Arabinogalactan Extract.
Teach Your Kids Good Hand Hygiene
I can’t stress the hand washing enough… wash when coming home from school, a play date, a public place, etc. I don’t think I need to expand much more. As an addition, try to carry a bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse for those public trips to the grocery store or the mall.
Good Old Fashioned Exercise and Fresh Air
Getting the kids to spend more time outdoors and less time indoors with other children helps to prevent the spread of germs. When kids spend a lot of time in smaller or confined places with groups of children, they are putting themselves at a higher risk for getting infected with bugs that other children may be carrying. So get your kids to agree to more outdoor play where the air circulates better and they can spend more time breathing in fresh air.
Promoting exercise in children is always a safe option for staying healthy. See this article below by Dr. Mercola that include studies that were performed in people who exercised regularly:
“If you are exercising regularly the likelihood of your acquiring a cold or other viral illness is significantly reduced, and studies have clearly shown this. In one such study, staying active cut the risk of contracting a cold by 50 percent, and cut the severity of symptoms by 31 percent among those who did catch a cold. The researchers noted that each round of exercise may lead to a boost in circulating immune system cells that could help ward off a virus.
It is actually a well-known fact that exercise improves the circulation of immune cells in your blood. The job of these cells is to neutralize pathogens throughout your body. The better these cells circulate, the more efficient your immune system is at locating and defending against viruses and other pathogens that may otherwise opportunistically overrun your body.
Due to the key role that exercise plays in supporting your immune system, it’s crucial to treat exercise like a medicine that must be properly prescribed, monitored and maintained for you to enjoy the most benefits. Essentially, you need to have a varied routine that includes high-intensity interval training (HIIT) like Peak Fitness.”
As always, please leave a comment below or let me know how you keep your family safe from seasonal bugs.