Cold and flu season is a rough time of year, especially if you have lots of little ones at home. You can’t stop everyone from getting sick all the time, but if you’re hoping to keep your family as healthy as possible this year, try these 7 natural ways to fend off flu season.
1. Get plenty of Vitamin D
During the colder months of the year, it’s tempting to spend all your time inside where it’s warm and cozy. Getting outside and absorbing sunlight, however, is just as critical during the winter months! Try to spend a little time outside each day, and get moving while you do it. Moving around, whether you’re going for a walk or chasing the kids around the back yard, will keep you from getting cold and help improve your overall health at the same time.
2. Get the sleep you need
You’re busy all day long. When the kids finally go to bed at night, you cherish those few hours of peace before you have to go to bed yourself. There’s just one problem: going too short on sleep is weakening your immune system, which means that you’re more likely to get sick. Learn what your optimal amount of sleep is–some people need exactly eight hours, while others require more–and try to make sure that you’re getting at least that much every night.
3. Mix up a pot of soup
Don’t underestimate the value of keeping the bones in your meat until the last minute. Mixing up a pot of bone broth is also an excellent way to be sure everyone is getting plenty of nutrients that will help keep the flu away.
4. Add in more garlic
Garlic is known for its cold and flu fighting properties, so have an Italian night and add more of this hearty seasoning to your foods. It’s great in soups, perfect on pizza or breadsticks, and will even spice up your popcorn!
5. Wash your hands, a lot
And wash them, and wash them, and wash them. Wash your kids’ hands every time you wash yours. You don’t have to use an antibacterial soap–in fact, some studies suggest that you shouldn’t–but making sure that you use good old soap and water on a regular basis will help keep the germs at bay and your family healthier throughout the season.
6. Stock up on honey, ginger, and lemon
These ingredients make a great tea that will help fight off sore throats and deal with cold symptoms. You can mix it up ahead of time to give the ingredients time to combine or put it together whenever your family needs a dose. It’s safe for every member of your family, and unlike many cold and flu teas on the market, contains no medications or chemicals. Drinking this tea at the first sign of a sore throat or cough can help alleviate symptoms and make the cold run its course faster. Note: you should never give honey to a child under the age of two, so for younger children, look for other remedies when a cold strikes.
7. Try out elderberry syrup
This flu fighter is actually tasty enough to be kid-approved! In fact, you may find that the real challenge is keeping them from pretending to be sick just to give it a try. You can buy elderberry syrup or make your own depending on how much time you prefer to spend in the kitchen.
Keeping your family safe throughout the cold and flu season can be a challenge, but as long as you’re prepared, you’ll be able to handle it! Keeping the germs out of your home is your first line of defense. When they creep in anyway, however, you’ll be prepared. Keep your pantry stocked with the natural remedies described above this winter and youÕll be just fine.