Hey Frugal Friends! In the midst of cold and flu season, I thought I would share my tips and tricks on kicking colds for kids! Despite what people think, my family does get sick, but the difference is we usually kick it sooner and don’t get hit as hard. I am more for the holistic or natural approach. I first started this route to save money (like DIY) but eventually embraced the lifestyle and have found it to be a better way of life for me and my family! So here are my “secrets” to kicking colds quickly! (Say that 5x fast!)
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This one is SO important to me. We just do not get the proper nutrition from our food source. Vitamins fill in the gaps. Most of the vitamins that are actually good for you: that don’t have tons of dyes, flavors, sugar, etc are usually super expensive. We stick to a couple. We take Vitamin C & Probiotics. Probiotics are amazing for not just gut health, but overall health. I would encourage you to do your own research on vitamins, different ones, different brands, etc However, I definitely equate a lot of our immunity and overcoming illness quickly due to these. My 4-year-old asks for his vitamins daily!
2. Healthy diet
This is THEE most important aspect of a healthy immune system. Organic is best. I have had people fight me tooth and nail on this subject and I just can’t stress it enough. GMOs and pesticides are horrible chemicals causing harm to our bodies. Take it or leave it. As with anything, do your own research. I can’t always afford organic because until everyone demands this type of food source, the cost will remain high. I do the best I can. By sticking to the dirty dozen and clean fifteen. We also eat things like whole grains, lean meats, minimal to no processed food, and watch our sugar intake. Again, do your own research, but this is by far the answer to most, if not all, of our society’s heath issues.
We buy local honey at our farmer’s market. It is great for sore throats and coughs. It is also extremely easy to get my 4-year-old to take some! ;]
We try to avoid mainstream pharmaceuticals as much as possible, but that doesn’t mean we suffer either. Our go to for cold and flu is Elderberry Syrup. I won’t lie, it tastes like COMPLETE GARBAGE! However, anytime any of us start to feel the least bit sick, we take a spoonful of this and it is gone within hours. If the baby is getting stuffy, I take some and nurse like crazy and he usually is better in half the time than his peers.
5. Detox Bath
We LOVE detox baths. We use a handful of epsom salt, baking soda, and a drop of lavendar essential oil (we do about 6 drops for adults). We do them once a week and I swear, it has helped so much this cold & flu season. It releases those yucky toxins. Make sure to hydrate afterwards! The baby and I take one together and I nurse while in there.
This may sound silly, but fluids are extremely important. My 4-year-old drinks water. Period. He drinks the occasional milk while out to eat or for breakfast, but other than that, it’s water. When he’s sick, it isn’t hard to have him drink plenty of water because he’s used to it. I think that makes a huge difference. A lot of kids these days are hopped up on chocolate milk and fruity drinks. All that sugar is bogging down the immune system.
Visiting your chiropractor boosts your immune system. It’s amazing! The kids started going 2 months ago and have had one cold. ONE. And it wasn’t even a bad one. My niece and nephew have been sick a handful of times since then. We all go as a family. It has done wonders for mama too, but especially for the kiddos! (If you’re local,check ours out and use us as a referral!)
8. Hand Washing/Dental Hygiene
This is so obvious, but I shutter at hand sanitizer. I suppose its better than nothing, but it sure doesn’t beat warm water and soap. Anytime my 4-year-old (or baby for that matter) does anything, they must wash hands. Surprisingly, I am not a major germaphobe. I believe many germs are necessary for healthy immune systems, but sometimes, you need to wash hands to avoid illness. After you go to the restroom, after grocery shopping, after church nursery, after drop in daycare, after picking your nose, before eating, get the picture? We also make sure we brush our teeth twice a day and floss before bed. I also do Oil Pulling, which I would only recommend for kids old enough to not swallow. (I may just do a whole post on that!) A clean mouth rids germs.
9. Minimize Germs
I know not everyone has the option to stay home full time with their kids. I think this one is also a biggie when it comes to kicking colds or preventing them altogether. However, my kids are not hermits. We go to the library weekly, if not multiple times a week, go on homeschool field trips, visit friends and family, and go to church weekly. They are surrounded by peers multiple times a week, but I think staying home with them helps a lot.
Roll with me here. Fevers are not bad, they are actually good! They are the bodies way of attacking the illness. If we keep taking the fever away, it takes even longer for the virus to run its course. Of course, having an extremely high fever is dangerous (not to mention scary). For my oldest, anytime his temperature was over normal I would freak out and give tylenol *shutters internally*. Now, with small infants, under 100.4, we let it run its course. You can give a bath, skin to skin, lots of nursing or fluids, etc to try and lower it naturally. I have found that there are actually only a few times I have even had to give meds for a fever and that was when he had RSV. It usually went away after a bath and a nap and he was over the illness in a day or two.
Well, I hope I helped you with a few ideas on boosting your little ones immune system. Do you do any of these? Do you do any that may help someone else? Share them in the comments!