Thank you, Maty’s Healthy Products, for being my partner for this post. When school starts back and the temperature drops, one thing is for sure, cold and flu season is just around the corner. As a mom of four, with all four in school at some point during the week, I know that germs abound. Walking down the halls of the school, I see them. Fingers up noses, sneezing, coughing into the air, washing hands by shoving them under water but that's it. Germs are everywhere.
At the first sign of sniffles and sneezes, we up our vitamin C and make sure everyone is taking their probiotic. Taking elderberry syrup becomes a ritual. We apply essential oils to help boost our immune systems, and I pray that no one falls prey to the germs.
With four kids, germs come and stay for a long time. Stomach bugs are the worst, but even colds get passed around like candy. While I've tried quarantining the sick ones, it never really works out. The boys share a room and the girls share a room, so they've already shared germs before I even knew someone was sick.
While colds are inevitable, you can be prepared. When we fight back at the first sign of the sickies, sometimes we can stop the germs in their tracks and no one else gets sick. Those moments I feel deserve a trophy.
Surviving Cold and Flu Season
Some of these tips for surviving cold and flu season will seem simple. It's those simple tasks that can make the most impact and the ones that we sometimes forget. Thank you, Maty's Healthy Products, for partnering with me on this post. All opinions are my own and work for our family.
1. Wash your hands. This can be easily overlooked but it's so simple. It's not about just washing hands after going to the bathroom, although that is important. It's about washing your hands when you come home from running errands, or the kids come home from school. It's washing your hands before eating a snack, a meal, or after you sneeze or blow your nose. Using soap and warm water is the best, but for those times when the sink isn't convenient, hand sanitizer works in a pinch.
2. Make bone broth to have on hand. Bone broth is not only delicious, it's also nourishing and healing. It's super easy to make bone broth at home and you can add all the immune boosting vegetables like garlic and onions to the bones and let it cook. We also add a splash of apple cider vinegar to draw the nutrients out and sometimes eggshells for calcium. Don't worry. You strain it all before using the broth so you won't be eating egg shells or bones. You can use the bone broth to make soup or to drink it to help heal your body and get the nutrients you need to stay healthy.
3. Use a neti pot. When we went to a family doctor for the first time in Charlotte, he gave my husband and I both a neti pot. It was weird. I basically looked at him like he was crazy. I had a sinus infection and was pregnant and nursing so he didn't want to prescribe me anything. Neti pots are just for when you are already sick. They are a great way to wash out the germs in your sinuses before they have a chance to make you sick. Try it! It is a little weird at first, but you get used to it.
4. Take elderberry syrup and up your probiotics. Elderberries can help boost your immune system and shorten the length colds and reduce the symptoms. Probiotics are great for gut health, which is important for your overall health. If your gut isn't healthy, your body won't be able to fight off what it needs to in order to keep you healthy. Vitamin D is another to boost. This can be as easy as getting outside in the sun or supplementing.
5. Stock up paper plates and plasticware. Go ahead and stock up on paper plates, plasticware, toilet paper, paper towels, and make sure you have all the household cleaning supplies you'll need, including laundry detergent. You never know when colds and the flu will strike, so it's better to be prepared.
6. At the first sign of sniffles and sneezes, disinfect everything. Honestly, I do this even when it's not cold and flu season, but do go a little crazy when flu season is upon us. All toys need to be disinfected, sheets and bedding need to be washed and dried, all the surfaces need to be wiped down, and tissues need to be thrown in the trash can and the area cleaned. Germs don't automatically die as soon as they leave the body, they stick around and have a party. My kids think I'm a little crazy when it comes to cleaning when someone is sick, but really I'm just protecting everyone else so we aren't stuck in the house for a whole month trying to get better.
7. Gargle with salt water. If you can feel it in your throat, try gargling with salt water. The salt water will help break down the yuck that is in the back of your throat, as well as killing the germs that are there.
8. Sleep. It never fails. The weeks that I'm up late to meet deadlines are the weeks that my body gets run down and I can feel those cold symptoms coming on. I know sleep is hard when you have young children, but it's essential for everyone. Coffee will not keep you from catching a cold, but sleep might.
9. Stock up on Maty's whole food health alternatives when you're at the store. We have been using Maty's Healthy Products for years. We first found their All Natural Baby Chest Rub at the grocery store when our oldest was a baby and we were hooked. It was exactly what I would make at home, with ingredients I could pronounce, but I didn't have to because they made it for me. We also love their Organic Cough Syrups, All Natural Children’s Cough Syrup, All Natural Acid Indigestion Relief, and Organic Children’s Cough Syrup. They are made with whole foods, which I love, so I can rest knowing that they are working with our bodies to help us get better and boost our immune systems. There's something for the whole family.
10. Use a cool mist humidifier. I knew that humidity was important, but it wasn't until we moved to Colorado that I understood how important it is to keep the air humid. Not hot and humid in a way that promotes mold growth, but to keep the air humid enough that we can breathe easily.
11. Stay hydrated. Water is great but you can also drink bone broth or decaffeinated tea to keep your body hydrated. This will help thin the mucus so it's easier to get out and will help flush out the yuckies.
Surviving Cold and Flu Season Shopping List
Now that you know how to survive, it's time to stock up. Honestly, I wouldn't wait until someone falls ill. Cold and flu season is upon us so we must prepare. Go ahead and stock up on these items now so you are prepared when it happens. Print out this list for your next shopping trip and you will be prepared.
|bag of lemons||garlic|
|Maty’s All Natural Children’s Cough Syrup||orange juice|
|cool mist humidifier||Maty’s All Natural Vapor Rub|
|decaf tea||bone broth|
|Maty’s All Natural Children’s Goodnight Cough Syrup||Neti pot|
|honey||Maty’s All Natural Baby Chest Rub|
|Maty’s All Natural Children’s Mucus Cough Syrup||Real Salt (for saltwater)|
|Chicken soup ingredients||household cleaners|
|hand soap||paper plates/bowls|
|Paper towels||hand sanitizer|
|Books and DVDs||toilet paper|
|Maty’s All Natural Cough Syrup||Maty’s All Natural Goodnight Cough Syrup|
You won't regret going ahead and stocking up. Colds and the flu seem to be inevitable in the cold winter months, but now you have the tools to fight back and stop those germs in their tracks.