Editor's Note: The grunge has already hit my household once this winter, knocking me and my husband out with fever, combination stuffy/runny noses and huge amounts of fatigue. Don't fall victim to the germs at home, school or the office! Use Trina's tips below to build your family's defenses so you can reduce how many mornings you'll hear, "Mom, I don't feel so good."
'Tis the season of sore throats, coughs, sneezing, runny noses and — dare I say it — the nasty stomach bug. During these winter months I am searching high and low for ways to keep me and especially my kids healthy and sick free. There are many powerful tools that you can use to boost your child’s immune system naturally and speed up the healing process.
We can’t have a healthy body if all we do is put junk in it. Switching to a balanced real-food diet will boost your immune system greatly. For an added boost, serve foods that will help keep your child healthy longer. Some of our favorite foods with immune-boosting powers are high in vitamin C, zinc and vitamin E. In the winter I have some recipes that I cook on a regular basis because they give us everything we need.
Now that my boys are a bit older, it is harder and harder for them to get the sleep they need to stay healthy. Our body has many internal clocks. Your brain, lungs, liver and muscles all work together to keep your body running smoothly. When we lack sleep, our body doesn’t work as well, which increases our chances of getting sick. To make things easier on you and the little ones, start each night with the same routine and cut out TV and electronics at least one hour before bed. Listen to quiet music, use blackout shades and give your little ones a few drops of essential oils such as sleeplze or lavender to help calm them down before bed.
We’ve been using probiotics for years and for good reason. They boost the good bacteria in the body and naturally help fight off infections. It’s easy to incorporate probiotics into your child’s diet naturally by adding a powder to smoothies or giving them a probiotic chewable with breakfast.
We may not be able to control the outside world, but our home is a different story. Cutting out unnecessary toxins in your home can play a huge role in helping keep your child’s immune system strong and healthy. Start with making or purchasing toxin-free household cleaners, laundry detergents and skincare products. Once you cut out all the crap you will be amazed at how easy it is to keep your home and self clean with very few products.
This is something so easy to do that doesn’t always happen, especially with my boys. Washing your hands with good old-fashioned soap and water helps prevent illnesses by reducing the amount of germs and bacteria your immune system has to fight. Make sure their nails are cut short so dirt and germs don’t get stuck, and show them how to lather the backs of their hands and between the fingers for at least 20 seconds. Lastly, ditch the antibacterial soaps and sanitizers. They are loaded with toxins that increase the risk of creating resistant bacteria. You can make your own hand wash or purchase toxin-free soaps, then add your own essential oils with antibacterial and antimicrobial properties.
How are you keeping yourself and children illness free this winter season? Got any new tips to share? Please do as we are always looking for ways to keep our family healthy.
Trina O'Boyle is a Drexel Hill, PA mom of two boys. This post is adapted from her blog, O'Boy Organic.