Yes, some of these suggestions are a little woo-woo. Some suggestions might actually be scientific, but who knows? All I know, is I do all of these things because I’m desperate for my family to stay healthy. The idea of sickness cycling through myself, my husband, or my four kids terrifies me. I do not have time for that! In my opinion, my weird mix of things works. Last year my kids only got very mild forms of any illness, it never spread, and no one was out of school more than a day at a time through the worst of the sick months. I consider that a big win. Crossing my fingers for another healthy year!
And no, this blog post is not sponsored by any of these products I may mention, and really these suggestions aren’t brand-specific. Maybe you already do some of these too, but just need a reminder. Here we go…
Morning Vitamin C/ immunity combo: This one we do every single day, but only during the school year when the kids are exposed to so much junk. We cycle through different brands (like Emergen-C and Airborne), as well as rotating through flavors to keep things interesting. Since there are 6 of us, that is 42 packets/tablets per week, which can get really expensive so I tend to buy these in bulk. However, Matt and I did the math and 2 months worth equates to the cost of 1 doctors’ visit. We decided it was all worth it if we could avoid just one extra trip to the doctor’s office every 2 months.
A “shot” of grape juice every morning: This is an old wives tale that my friend shared with me years ago. And when we do it, no one ever seems to get a bad case of the flu. I use mouthwash size cups, line 6 of them up on the counter like shot glasses, and have everyone take a drink before school. (We do it every morning when we know the flu is going around, but not every morning all year long.)
I like keeping things fresh and not getting in a rut with what we take. This is going to sound very woo-woo and un-scientific, but I specifically switch things up because I don’t want their bodies to get used to a specific remedy. Yeah, that sounded crazy as I typed it, but welcome to my brain.
Every morning, I prepare my kids breakfast and decide what “extras” I’m adding to their morning. Extras are things like probiotics, elderberry gummies, and whatever else I think they might need at the time.
Probiotics: By yogurt or by supplement, get some probiotic in your guts. I don’t give my kids probiotic supplements every morning (mostly because it would be really expensive to give all 6 of us a supplement every day), but it is in my regular morning rotation of things I give my kids. And yogurt is in our regular breakfast/snack rotation.
Elderberry gummies: I know elderberry is all the rage, and I think it’s because it is awesome. I know there are syrups, drinks, and all kinds of things, but I think the gummies are the easiest form for us to take. I use all the different brands of gummies interchangeably – as examples you can look at this one or this one for kids or this fancier one. (We only take these when we know the flu is going around, not all year.)
Nasal spray: I don’t do any name-brand kind of nose spray, we use the kind that just has salt water. I think a well moisturized nose stays healthier. This also helps with congestion. In the least, this helps avoid bloody noses, which my girls usually get in the dry winter months.
Change out toothbrushes regularly: You can decide what is best for you, but I have a reminder on my phone’s calendar to change out toothbrush heads every 6 weeks. Yep, that is often … but I actually used to do this every month, so 6 weeks seems good to me. Since we all use electric toothbrushes, I donate the free toothbrushes from the dentist to local shelters. (And I buy generic versions of our toothbrush heads on Amazon, so this isn’t as expensive as it seems. We use Oral B generic replacements and Philips generic replacements, which saves us a lot of money.)
Sanitize doorknobs, light switches, and cell phones: This may seem obvious, but keep your doorknobs and light switches clean. And clean your phones and keyboards! Really, anywhere you touch regularly, clean it regularly. Cleaning this stuff is good to do throughout the year, but crucial during flu season. I don’t keep bleach around, so I use Basic G and a cleaning cloth or Basic G wipes.
Wash hands with soap and avoid hand sanitizer: I know I said “sanitize doorknobs” in the section above, but that’s because doorknobs and light switches are things and not human. I like sanitizing stuff, but I don’t “sanitize” my kids. I believe in regular bubbly hand-washing, not a squirt of hand-sanitizer. Not only do I think it makes hands dry, but I also think it kills the good bacteria on our hands.
Fresh air: Sometimes in the middle of winter, I open up the windows and turn on the fans to try to get some fresh air circulating. A lot of germs can be carried around in the air, plus stale air starts to smell weird in the winter, right? Just me? I have a crazy-sensitive nose, so smells really matter to me. I usually do it while the kids aren’t home so they don’t have to endure the cold. I run hot-blooded, so I like the freeze-out every now and then.
Like I said, I know this post makes me sound a little out there, so take everything with a grain of salt. I’m not ever upset when someone disagrees with me, but I like the privilege to take care of my family in a way that feels right to me. And these are the things I do to keep us healthy!
Maybe some of these you already do. I’d love to hear your thoughts, even if you just tell me I’m wrong. 😉 If you have more suggestions, be sure to leave a comment on the end.
From my home to yours,
50 mg of Zinc when you feel something coming on. It boosts your immunity. If you are already sick, it’s too late. I’m only experienced in taking as an adult. Also, it can upset your tummy, so beware. I don’t take it regularly, just if I’ve been exposed to a lot of people (kids) during cold & flu season.
Thanks for the tip! Good to know. 🙂
Toni Lemley says
All of the things you mentioned make their home on the kitchen bar here also during cold/flu season. I usually avoid illness though I am around sick students daily, or I endure a short-lived head cold. But a diffuser with a combo of eucalyptus and tea tree oils helps clean the air and open up the head. Thanks for your tips (not woo-woo at all to me!), and I hope you guys stay well this winter!
I’ve been using my diffuser less since I heard it was bad for dogs. I haven’t actually researched which ones yet, but I need to so I can get that going again. I totally forgot about the diffuser. I have one in each of my kids’ rooms because it also acts like a humidifier and helps avoid their winter nose bleeds!
Lindsay Racca says
Do you give each of your kiddos the kids whole packet?
The whole packet of Emergen-C? Yes we do. We have little plastic cups leftover from small kids, and I just line those up on the counter and use between 6-8 oz of water.
The shot of grape juice is new to me, but I like it! Much of your list I do, except I’m definitely going to change my toothbrush more often and am going to use the nasal spray. My mom had cancer years ago (clean bill of health now) and she had to be really careful about germs while going through chemo. She learned to use nasal spray any time she had been out of the house/had contact with people.
I also swear by Vitamin D during the winter I also take an essential oil supplement from proterra called “Protective Blend.” I also wholly agree with switching it up so your body doesn’t get used to it.
Ooh, yes, Vitamin D! That is a good one. I’ve been forgetting about that lately, but I think it is time to pull it out. Thanks for the reminder.
My kids hated Emergen-C when they were young. I would mix it into a water bottle with some Tang and make sure the fizziness was gone. That was the only way I could get them to drink it. I would have them drink one if they felt a cold coming on.
My teens and tween are old enough to just gulp it down, but I do have to encourage the 6-year-old. He is so competitive, though, that I usually just “race” him to finish (aka, I drink really slowly and let him win, lol).