My kids rarely get sick. They’re 4 and 1.5 years old. They should be boogery, coughing, and have monthly fevers during winter. It’s kind of expected for these ages, amiright? #kidsaregross
Sure, the occasional cold will hit our house, but overall my kids have avoided super contagious illnesses like croup, hand food & mouth, bronchitis, impetigo, and the flu. My daughter did have RSV when she was a few months old, but she had the lightest case of it and thankfully didn’t need hospitalization, steroids, or medication. I’m talking a total of 2 ear infections, 2 bouts of puking, and 1 strange post-vaccine rash in 4 years. It’s astonishing, really.
I see so many mamas sick and tired of their little ones being sick and tired.
It’s no fun when your little one is feeling under the weather. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, especially with daycare, school, church, community playtime, etc. Kids will inevitably spread germs and not cover their mouth or wash their hands after play, but there are ways to maintain a healthy immune system and combat the yuckiness I’m not sure if we were blessed with great immunity or if our diet/lifestyle plays a role (maybe both?), but I’m here to give a little sneak peek into how I keep my kids healthy all winter long.
Here are 11 ways I keep my kids from getting sick
- Elderberry syrup or gummies – We make our own elderberry syrup, but you can buy it or gummies from local stores and the co-op. It’s brimming with antioxidants and immunity-boosting properties. We do a gummy or a spoonful every day, and more when they’re actually feeling sick. I swear it helps reduce cold symptoms, even reducing the number of days you feel cruddy!
- Vitamin C, Vitamin D3 and a multivitamin – We take vitamins every day, even when it’s not the sick season. I chose these three rock star vitamins in chewable/gummy form so my kids enjoy taking them!
- Probiotics – Everything starts in the gut! By ensuring their digestive systems are working, it actually helps build their immunity. I personally use a probiotic powder that I keep in the fridge – I add it to smoothies, water, juice, apple sauce, etc. but there are sachets, chewables, and pills as well.
- We wash hands and use natural sanitizer – We wash hands before every meal and after play/going outside of the home. I also use spritzes of hand sanitizer spray. It smells so yummy and doesn’t reek of alcohol or dry up!). It’s small and fits in my purse. A lifesaver and must-have for every mama to spray away sick germs.
- We eat our fruits & veggies – Our kids LOVE fruit, but veggies can be hard. We sneak them into different foods and have even tried cauliflower crackers, broccoli rice, and kale and cheese bites. Fruits and veggies are crucial for them to get their vitamins in and we’re pretty adamant about them getting them in. Food can be medicine when kids are sick, so up their intake!
- We breastfed – I know this is a sensitive topic, but hear me out. There are unique antibodies in breastmilk that I truly believe helped keep my kids healthy and helped set the stage for a functioning immunity because they’ve been less sick than others in their class. I kept some of my first breast milk (colostrum) and stored it in the freezer. I break it out when the kids get a sniffle. We put it into juices, smoothies, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.
- Strict bedtime – When 7 pm hits, it’s lights out. This keeps them on a routine and encourages a full 11 hours of sleep. Sleep and rest time is so important for growing little bodies! When your little one is feeling sick, be sure they’re going to bed earlier so they can fight off the germs!
- Sanitize toys—We make sure to sanitize toys they play with once a month–more often when they have a cough/cold. Bathe toys in bleach, wash them in the washer or sometimes a few sprays of vinegar water does the trick. Sanitizing the sick germs helps keep them from spreading and reinfecting.
- Raw juice –We love to make fresh-pressed juices at home on occasion. We make it with oranges, apples, pineapple, spinach, etc. and it’s a fun treat that’s also healthy. Or if it’s easier, just make a yummy nutrient-packed smoothie!
- Humidifiers/diffusers & essential oils – I have the humidifier going every night to help keep the air pure and their airways moist. I put a few drops of gentle essential oils in their diffusers as well that help calm them and also reduce cold/cough symptoms if they have one.
- We let fevers ride out – A fever is the body’s way of fighting infection, so 80% of the time (if it’s lower than 100.5 and they’re not in visible pain), we let the fever ride out instead of giving them children’s pain reliever. [Obviously this is more of a personal preference than medical advice. Always consult your doctor and go with your gut on if your little one needs medication].
It’s made a huge difference in our life and our kids’ health by sticking to these routines. And because the kids aren’t as sick, mom and dad reap the benefits by not having to take time off of work! It’s a win-win!
What are some other ways you keep your kids healthy this winter?
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