Hi busy moms, dads and all caregivers!
Winter is upon us and with that, unfortunately, comes the dreadful winter colds. As busy mom’s/caregivers, we don’t have time to stay home every time our child gets sick and we’d rather not waste work days off caring for our sick kids and save those for when we can have fun with them!
I’m proud to share that ever since my family embarked on our healthy living journey, I can’t even count on one hand the number of days I had to take off due to illness over the last couple of years. Rewind a few years before that, my younger son was one ear infection away from needing tubes and my older son seemed to get any stomach bug that was going around.
Without further ado, I’m happy to share my top 5 Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet tips for fighting this year’s dreadful winter cold.
- Drink lots of water: Our bodies are comprised of over 60% water and our bodies need to be hydrated for all processes to be efficient. If our bodies aren’t functioning as optimal as possible, our immune system is compromised and we become more susceptible to getting sick. How much water should your kids be drinking? A good busy mom’s cheat sheet metric to help you gauge is to drink ½ oz. to 1 oz. per pound of body weight. For example, a 50 lb. child should drink 25-50 oz. water per day. Did you know that all water isn’t created equal? So in addition to making sure that you are drinking enough water, you want to be drinking the ‘good’ water and not the ‘not so good’ water. Check out my water experiment video where I test common water bottle brands and prepare to be shocked!
- Vitamins/Supplements: I recommend that during your kid’s annual check-up you request they get blood tests to determine if they have any vitamin/mineral deficiencies. This is not something doctors usually do as common practice due to rising health insurance costs, but I found that if you ask for them, they usually oblige. For example, I discovered that my son was low on calcium and since he doesn’t eat a lot of dairy or calcium-rich vegetables, I got him a supplement called Bluebonnet Calcium Magnesium Citrate Plus Vitamin D3 Dietary Supplement to help close the gap.
The vitamins listed below can work wonders in helping our immune system fight the winter cold, because let’s be real our kids are most likely not eating all of the vitamins/nutrients they need in their diets despite our best efforts:
Vitamin C: We grow up hearing that vitamin C mainly from orange juice is the cure-all for colds. Since most of the OJ sold in the supermarket is pasteurized, a lot of the nutrients get destroyed during the pasteurization process. Strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, and mango actually have more vitamin C than oranges and are great for smoothies. My kids also love our homemade lemonade and even make it themselves. Recipe: Squeeze a half lemon or lime into an 8 ounce glass of water and add a teaspoon of maple syrup or honey to sweeten it. Watch the Busy Moms Lemonade video to see how easy it is to get kids involved in making this alkaline friendly beverage with antibacterial and antiviral benefits to ease cold and flu symptoms. Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet Tip: Serve this drink with a straw since lemon juice can erode tooth enamel.
Vitamin D: This vitamin has the ability to fight infections and is an overall mood booster. The best way is through sun exposure. So even in the cooler winter months, it is important to get outside even for 10 minutes a day without sunblock to get a good natural dose. Since it is tough to get enough vitamin D through food, I made sure the vitamins I give my kids (see below) include vitamin D.
Probiotic: Health begins in the gut! Probiotics are good and helpful bacteria because they help keep your gut healthy which in turn boosts your immune system. This is especially needed if you need to take antibiotics which in addition to killing the bad bacteria kills the good gut bacteria as well. I use hyperbiotics Pro-Kids for my kids.
Elderberry Syrup: This syrup is general immune booster that claims to reduce severity and duration of colds and flu. I give my kids 1-2 teaspoons a day at the signs of sickness. The brand I buy for my kids is available on Amazon here.
I’ve used these vitamin brands for my kids:
- Juice Plus+ which is subscription based and prides themselves in providing a product that bridges the gap between what kids eat and what they should eat. If you are interested in finding about more about their products, please email me at Lilly@busymomscheatsheet.com requesting more information.
- Smarty Pants vitamins tastes great and is an all-in-one product containing a multivitamin, omega 3 EPA & DHA, prebiotic, vitamin D3, and available on Amazon.
- Yummy bears organics gummy vitamins contains 16 essential vitamins and minerals and is dairy free, allergen free, gluten free and GMO-free and also available on Amazon.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor nor do I claim to have any formal medical background. This is an opinion blog based on my personal experience. Please consult your child’s pediatrician before administering any vitamins or supplements.
- Chicken soup supercharged!
This is not an old wives tale. Chicken soup is a proven healing liquid handed down to us over many generations. The key to its healing is to simmer the bones with vegetables and herbs over many hours to pull out all the amazing vitamins, minerals, proteins and amino acids. This nutrient dense broth lines the stomach and protects it from toxins. The healing effects of broth are not limited to chicken. Bone broth from Beef, Lamb or even fish can have similar healing properties. Check out my chicken soup recipe that is perfect for a cool winter night.
- Wash those hands A LOT!
Another oldie but goodie! Since we are surrounded by germs, especially during the winter months when we are more confined to indoor spaces, washing hands is super important. We want to get our kids in the habit to wash hands before school snack and lunchtime and the first thing they do when they come home from school.
- Sleep and get enough of it!
Our bodies need to recharge from the day and strengthen itself for the day ahead. Getting the proper amount of sleep curbs inflammation, which is linked to conditions like heart disease, stroke, diabetes, etc. The number of hours of sleep our kids need, according to The National Sleep Foundation, is listed below:
How many hours of sleep per night are your kids getting? Read more about sleep and how to get your kids on a sleep schedule in my sleep blog.
|AGE||HOURS OF SLEEP|
|Young Adults||7-9 hours|
|Older Adults||7-8 hours|
Wishing us all a sick-free winter, be well!
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P.S. Is one of your New Year’s resolutions to get healthier? Give yourself or a loved one the gift of health and get my award-winning book, “Busy Mom’s Cheat Sheet: Raising Happy Healthy Kids”. Learn the tools to lead and teach your kids to have a healthy happy life, including 45 easy, quick, healthy delicious recipes even the pickiest bellies at home will love!