How Can I Keep My Kids From Getting the Flu?
Kids generally suffer from ten colds a year. The majority of their illnesses occur during the winter season. Though we have had a pretty mild winter up to this point, winter is still upon us for several more weeks and we are in the height of Flu season. Keeping kids healthy is always a challenge, however, there are several measures you can take to stay ahead of the germs.
Give Kids Foods That Boost Their Immune System & Satisfy Sweet Cravings
First and foremost, eliminate added sugar from your child’s diet. Consuming processed sugar can tax the immune system by putting your white blood cells into a coma for several hours. The white blood cells are our bodies defense against bacteria and viruses. Therefore, offer fruits to satisfy any sweet cravings. Fruits are loaded with immune boosting vitamins and minerals as well as keep our bodies hydrated.
Make Sure Kids Get Plenty of Vitamin D from the Sun and Foods
Vitamin D in addition to supporting growth of bone and teeth has an impact on our immune system as well. The main source of vitamin D is the sun. Needless to say, most people are deficient in vitamin D during the winter season.
In addition to sunshine, other sources of vitamin D include the following foods and drinks:
- Cod liver oil
- Tuna (light is preferable as it has less mercury)
- Egg yolk (preferably pasture raised)
- Fortified foods such as cow’s milk, orange juice, cereal and oatmeal
Drink Water to Flush Out Waste Products and Toxins
Drinking plenty of water to keep our bodies well hydrated is very beneficial. Water helps our flush out waste products and toxins. We tend not to be as thirsty during the colder weather thus we often do not realize we are dehydrated. Thirst actually happens once our bodies have already become depleted. Drinking half your weight in ounces of water a day is generally the rule of thumb.
Eat Fruits and Vegetables Daily for their Healing Powers
Incorporating fruits and vegetables into your daily diet will provide many important vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that have enormous healing powers. Not only do they support the immune system, they to detoxify our bodies, reduce inflammation and keep us strong. Be sure to eat the color of the rainbow every day. Each color has added benefits.
Encourage Regular Exercise and Sleep for Good Health
Exercise and sleep are important when we think about staying healthy. Our bodies repair during sleep and exercise keeps our blood circulating.
Use Natural Remedies that Reduce Inflammation and the Spread of Germs
Most germs are spread through droplets in the air that we inhale through our nose and mouth. Xlear, a saline solution with the added benefit of xylitol and grapefruit seed extract is useful in keeping our nasal passages free of germs. Xylitol acts as an antimicrobial, kills germs and grapefruit seed extract has anti-inflammatory properties.
Here are some other natural remedies to have on hand:
- Elderberry syrup
- Bone broth
- Raw honey
Cindy Wechsler is an Integrative Pediatric Nurse Practitioner She received her Masters of Science in Nursing degree from Yale University and has been treating children for over 30 years. She specializes in the natural treatment of common childhood conditions. Her compassion and understanding of the body’s innate ability to heal itself fuels her passion to bridge the gap between traditional and integrative medicine.