Staying healthy with kids during the winter is hard for anyone. If you are a mom of little ones, it can seem impossible. If you are a mom of lots of little people, it can seem…daunting, to say the least.
Thankfully, my family has been pretty healthy over the years. We only caught the flu once a few years ago, and it was the B strain, which is the milder of the two. We do get colds and some respiratory stuff, but I have learned how to boost our immune systems over the years so we can stay pretty healthy. With a family of nine, it takes an eternity for an illness to go through our whole house! So, I do my best to be preventative during cold and flu season, without losing my sanity,
There are a few things I do to boost our immune systems and to stay healthy throughout the fall and winter seasons. Some of them are easy to implement, and others take a little more time and patience, like eliminating sugar in our diets.
WAYS TO STAY HEALTHY WITH KIDS DURING THE WINTER
I think every mom wants this to be a goal, but it is hard to implement. There is sugar hidden in everything. I have been a “label reader” for many years and it can be a scary thing. Over the last two years or so, I have implemented a keto diet for myself and a modified low carb/high fat diet for the rest of my family. It has done wonders for our health! When you are not consuming carbs, you are naturally not consuming sugars. I feel better than I have in years! Look on Netflix and you will find quite a few great documentaries that you can watch with your kids about the effects sugar has on the body. There is one all about the keto diet too, if you are interested.
LOTS OF WATER
Water is crucial for optimal health. When we are dehydrated, it effects every system in our body, including our immune system. Aim for half your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you are an avid coffee drinker like me, have an extra glass of water for each cup of coffee. I am a big sparkling water fan! As long as there are no additives, that is a great option to get your water in. Tea works too, just don’t add sweetener!
Depending on your season of life (babies, anyone?), sleep can be hard to come by. Even if you can’t get 8 hours a sleep each night, you should make it a habit to go to sleep and wake up at a consistent time. The consistency will help your body tremendously!
I know you are probably groaning right now. But trust me, there’s enough research out there, and you can go look for yourself. Being active daily helps your immune system. You do not need to go and start HIIT, but being active for 20-30 minutes each day will do a lot for your health. Take a quick walk around your neighborhood, go up and down your stairs, get a set of hand weights for your living room, or put in a quick DVD workout. I don’t leave my home to workout, and most times I have children with me, but I am conscious about being active daily. If you struggle in this area, send me a message on Instagram and I will help you!
My whole family takes Vitamin C each day. When one of us gets sick, we up the dosage. I use Nature’s Way Vitamin C on Amazon, but you could probably find some in your local pharmacy as well. Just make sure it is from a quality source and not loaded with sugar.
Many people aren’t aware, but Vitamin D plays an important role in our immune systems. It makes sense that we tend to get sick more often in the winter months, when we are lacking in Vitamin D from the sun. We use Nature Made High Potency Vitamin D, which has zinc included.
We started using Elderberry last year and will continue again this year. If the younger kids can’t take a capsule, I open one up and put it in their tea or smoothie. You can buy elderberries and make your own syrup; I just haven’t gotten there yet. I highly encourage you to research elderberry for immune support and make your own decision, just like everything. My son got the flu last year – during one of the worst flu seasons! I had just had a new baby, with 5 other girls. We upped our Elderberry and Vitamin C and everyone else stayed healthy! This Elderberry has zinc in it for added support.
The only essential oils I use are from Young Living. I have used essential oils for years and there are a few I stock up on before cold and flu season hits – Thieves, RC, Raven, Lavender, Oregano, and Peppermint. You can read how and why I use essential oils with my family if you are interested.
I have a roller bottle we call our “bedtime oil”; it is lavender, cedarwood, and thieves diluted with a carrier oil. We roll it down the spine before bed each night. So helpful!
We also have a “tummy troubles” roller bottle made with peppermint and Digize, diluted with a carrier oil. It is great for any tummy troubles, young or old! I even loved it when I was in the throws of first trimester!
The possibilities are really endless with essential oils. There are so many that help with immune support, and respiratory support, emotional support…if you can think of it, I can probably tell you, “there’s an oil for that!”
ANTIBACTERIAL HAND WIPES
I stopped using gel hand sanitizer a little while ago in exchange for hand wipes. It is so much easier when you have a car-full of kids!
I also find wipes much more versatile than gel antibacterial. I can throw a pack in my purse, keep one in the car , and give one to each of the kids. Yes, we can use them to sanitize our hands, but we also use them to wipe down carts and other things when at public places. This not only helps us keep germs away, but it ensures we won’t accidentally encounter any peanut butter smears by accident.
WHAT ELSE DO YOU DO TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY HEALTHY DURING THE WINTER?