I did a recent post on my basic immune boosters, but I wanted to do a follow up on what I do to specifically keep my kids’ immune systems strong during our winter season. Here are the basics of what we do to keep our kids as healthy as possible during the winter months:
Get Outside – You might notice that getting outside is a common suggestion in many of my posts. The fresh air, natural light, dirt exposure, plant energy, and incredible room for movement can’t be beat! We live in a climate that gets rather cold for a number of months a year, but I still make sure that we get outside. Sometimes we have to break it up into shorter periods of time outside, sometimes we build snow forts to break the howling wind, and sometimes we bundle up as much as possible and yet still feel pretty cold! That said, getting outside seems to be the number one way for my kids to ward off illness. If they are already under the weather, then I do prioritize warm, indoor rest, but if they have the energy to get out, we get out.
Minimize Sugar – I focus on minimizing sugar most of the time since we don’t really need it in our lives. Summer is a time that we enjoy things such as ice cream or s’mores when we are camping. During the winter months when we want our immune systems extra ready, I watch our sugar consumption more closely.
Increase Broth – We consume broth daily in the winter. My kids drink it like tea, they enjoy it in soup, and I use it to cook foods including wild rice, pasta, jasmine rice, quinoa, sauces and more.
Regular “Supplemental” Nutrition – During the winter, my kids take a Vitamin D supplement daily, they have an organ meat supplement a few days a week, they eat probiotic rich foods most days, and they take additional magnesium regularly (as a supplement or in a cream or even in a salt soak.) They have these on top of a diet rich in nourishing foods.
“If They Feel Something Coming On” Supplements – Needless to say, every winter the sniffles, colds, sore throats still come around for us. If one of these does show up for my kids, we have a few things that my kids take at the first sign of anything. This normally includes a homeopathic remedy (depending on their symptoms), supplemental bee propolis, additional vitamin C, elderberry syrup, zinc, and soothing honey tea. They get plenty of rest, fluids, and even more broth than before.
Essential Oils – I rely on essential oils to be another boost for their immune systems. I use them in my diffuser and topically. Specifically, I often diffuse Thieves, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Orange, Purification, Peace and Calming, and Peppermint essential oils (by Young Living.) Topically my kids use Thieves on their feet as often as we remember and they use diluted Eucalyptus on their chest when anything respiratory hits.
We have a few other things that are more specific depending on how they are feeling or what activity they might be into at the time, but for the most part, this is our basic, go to, immune boosting list. I like to keep it as simple as possible because keeping up with kids is already a full time gig!