12.01.2011

keeping the sickies away

Probably like most of you Moms, I've been sick of being sick throughout the winter. Its such a fun, holiday time of year and totally stinks when you're stuck inside, with illnesses. And, if you're not a fan of getting a vaccine for every little bug that goes around, you end up realizing you have to do your research to learn how to build up the immune systems and keep your brood healthy.
I'm also learning that when it comes to sickness {we're talking sickness that won't cause death}, its actually good for our bodies to learn to fight things off naturally and not constantly running to get shots or drugs to cure us from ever getting sick again {which those shots don't do anyway}. 

I'm no pro and my oldest child isn't even 7 yet, so I'm definitely not posting this to teach you ladies anything. And, for those of you with older kids, feel free to leave tips for how you keep your family healthy or natural ways to fight off colds and viruses. 

Ethan and I are prone to getting sinus infections almost every time we get a bad head cold. It totally stinks, especially when pregnant. Either way, I hate having to go to the Dr and be put on Antibiotics, again. Especially after I've learned how bad antibiotics are for the rest of our bodies! They might get rid of the infection, but they're definitely not good for you :( 
So for Ethan, I've learned that he is prone to getting sinus issues {for some reason only in the winter months} when he drinks regular milk. So we've switched him to coconut milk and thankfully he loves it. 
My all time favorite website for health and nutriton is this one. I could be there all day... 
  • Upping their water intake helps quite a bit as well as staying away from sugary drinks. Our kids don't do soda or juice barely at all, so its normal for them to only have milk or water.  I imagine for some kids, having juice and soda taken away during the winter would be awful. Maybe lemon, cucumber or lime flavored water would be a happy medium? 
  • Our kids take liquid vitamin D3 in the winter months as well. 
  • When I know we've been around sick people or I feel a cold is coming on, I usually give them water with airborne in it and then I do the nasal spray 3 times a day, to help keep the mucus from forming in their noses. We also use a humidifier at the onset of a cold. We don't wait until its full blown and horrible. 
  • Kara definitely still needs a nap, quite often. I notice on weeks that we're busy running around and she misses too many naps, she inevitably gets sick. 
  • Don't shut your house up and then blast the heater. You're just ensuring that those germs have no way of getting out and you're constantly living in a germ infested home. It gets very cold here in Washington {like today its 35 degrees out} but we still leave windows cracked. Not open too much, but cracked enough that fresh air is filtering in the house. And we resist the temptation to have the heat on too high. I'm never cold in my own home, but I definitely can't run around in a tank top or short sleeved shirt on a 35 degree day :) Our heater is usually at 67 degrees, if that helps. 
  • Don't overly sanitize your children! I learned this from my pediatrician in CA. He told me that Moms these days are obsessed with spraying their kids after every public event they're at and he said you end up killing off good bacteria and good oils. We use sanitizer after visiting public restrooms and if they've touched something totally gross, but otherwise I'm learning to accept that germs getting on them is mostly okay :) 
  • I recently learned that trying allergy meds before running to heavier drugs, is a good way of trying to get rid of things like sinus infections or just bad congestion in your head. You take way less and even though it doesn't work as fast as Antibiotics would, it still does the trick. 
  • When we get sore throats, we start drinking honey and cinnamon water, which is just as yummy as it sounds. Sometimes when the kids aren't looking, I add cayenne pepper to it as well :) 
  • Putting your head over a once boiling pot of water mixed with aloe and menthol helps a lot too. People have told me to use other things such as lavender, but those never work. I have to spring for oil of oregano, or aloe with menthol. 
  • Be sure to eat dark leafy greens, fresh food and as little processed or sugar filled foods as possible. Add garlic to everything you eat and stay away from mucus producing dairy foods while sick with a cold. Yogurt is not one of them, so feel free to yogurt up! Especially if its filled with probiotics. 
  • We take probiotics as well, but this is somewhat new for us, so I'm still learning what forms I like it in. Kiefer is probably one of my favorites, thus far. 
  • Getting on a good, consistent schedule helps too. I'm not very good with this one. Trying to get better. Our kids are on a pretty consistent one, but I'm not :-\
I'm sure I'm leaving stuff out and that's where you come into play! I'm super eager to learn other tricks people try, so please share if you have any. 
Its the most wonderful time of the year... but would be the BEST time of the year if we could all enjoy it, while healthy :)

this cough syrup works like magic for us. 
A few people have told me that their kids won't drink it, but 
my kids actually like it. Kara made a weird face the first time, but I'm mean 
and told her to deal with it :) 
One of my friend's puts it in her son's oatmeal and I've heard of people 
just mixing into the honey water as well. 
I buy it at Safeway, in the all natural section and its 100% all natural ingredients! 

I've read that Elderberry syrup is a good cure! 

{source
learned about this tea the other day and then 
found this picture on Pinterest! 

{source
thought this was interesting! 

7 {comments}:

Erin said...

I like the sound of the water with honey & spices. Nice! served warm? Yum!
I just made us smoothie with a new addition of that gnarly organic apple cider "with the mother". It is supposed to help with healing. I don't know for sure how. But Scott & I like the tartness added to the smoothie. It gives a refreshing bite!
We've been sick all week. :( But it is really the first time this season. So, I am thankful for that!
Oh, thanks for the tip about keeping the fresh air circulating. I don't tend to do that in Kendall's room, where I try to keep it warm for her. I should air it out regularly!

Volkov Family said...

I tried a homeopathic this week with my little one when he started caughing and sniffling and the sniffles only stayed 1 day and the coughing isn't bad at all. I don't know if this was more allergy than cold or if it just wasn't a bad cold, but I am going to try the homeopathic next time and see!

Stef said...

yeah, we drink the water and honey warm. I drink mine pretty hot, but for the kids I warm it and they use a straw. They love it :) I'm gonna look for that apple cider you mentioned!
Sorry you're sick, but you're right! Its okay... first of the season and it will build up your immune systems for the winter.

Rebecca what did you end up trying?

Gina said...

Elderberry is great--especially since it's antiviral. However, since it has a natural arsenic, be sure not to over dose & it's not recommended for pregnant moms (nursing moms are in the clear). Love it though & use it often. :-)

Nicola said...

Hey Stef, could I get your new mailing address please?
mrsswanson06@live.com
Thank you.

Charlotte said...

We leave our heater on a lower temp during the winter, even though I freeze. :-) And I stay away from anti bacterial stuff too. I want to try the honey and cinnamon water; sounds very soothing on a sore throat.

And my thinking is that we WILL get sick a few times a year, so we just plan on it and take it in stride. That is just part of life. And it is a good thing too; if we went a couple years without any sickness I would get worried that the following year we would get mowed down every week.

One thing I have taken in the past when I felt myself getting sick is Esberitox. It seemed to lessen the symptoms.

A couple of my friends always have sinus issues too, and they do sinus washes. I know it sounds kind of gross, but they swear by them and don't have any trouble now.

Great ideas, Stef!

Tara said...

thanks for the tips! i am also big on essential oils!! they have helped us on so many levels!!

 

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