It’s the most wonderful time of the year! With a catch. Every year when school starts, we also begin our myriad of kid friendly immunity boosters. Cold and flu season is in full force, and I will do everything in my power to prevent and/or shorten the duration of it in this household! I dread any kind of sickness, not so much for myself but because seeing my children suffering is the absolute worst thing in the world. So today I would like to share with you the supplement & wellness routine we have in place at our house. So far since starting this routine 2 years ago, none of my kids have had the flu, and the few colds they do get haven’t lasted more than 3 days at the most. I’m really hoping that my supplements continue to help keep us healthy! Here is our routine, in order of importance and priority:
First of all, my biggest rule is just to wash hands. As soon as we walk in the house, my kids know what I’m going to say: “hang up your coats and wash your hands!” My kids love foaming hand soap. We get Method Naturally Derived Foaming Hand Wash in bulk from Amazon’s subscribe & save. With the amount I tell my kids to wash their hands, we also need to apply hand lotion every day because their hands can get very dry from all the washing. My favorite is Perfectly Posh’s non-greasy Big Fat Yummy Hand Creme, because within 3 minutes of rubbing it in, your hands don’t feel greasy any more. They feel dry yet moisturized! And the cherry on top: there are so many delicious scents! For on the go, we keep Babyganics Hand Sanitizing Wipes to use if we are unable to access a sink!
Every morning with breakfast, we take a probiotic. When we are fighting something we take one before bed as well. Probiotics are “good” bacteria that can lessen the number of “bad” bacteria in your gut that lead to illness and inflammation. 2 years ago when Felicity was hospitalized for 4 days (she was 1 at the time, caught a common cold that developed into viral meningitis), the doctor she had at discharge highly recommended Culturelle probiotics to help boost her immunity. I found out that the cheapest way to get Culturelle was through Amazon’s subscribe & save. We take the adult’s version and the girls take the chewable version, but you can also open the adult’s version and pour the powder over food or mix it in a drink for kids. It’s the same dosage amount. I am so grateful that we gave it a try, because not only do probiotics boost our immunity, they have eliminated my acne, Cadence’s eczema, and when Malachi had a yeast rash that wouldn’t go away for 3 months this summer, I bought him Culturelle’s baby probiotics and that was the thing that finally got rid of his rash within a couple days!!! If you can only afford to do one of the kid friendly immunity boosters, this is the number one thing I would recommend!!!
UPDATE: Do NOT take probiotics when you are on an antibiotic. Wait for at least 3 weeks after finishing your antibiotic before you start taking your probiotics again. Read about why.
Instead of taking a multivitamin (we try to get all our vitamins and minerals naturally through food) we just take a vitamin D supplement. Living in Wisconsin, it’s hard to soak in enough vitamin D in the winter! And vitamin D is an important part of immunity. A simple google search will confirm this, as well as explaining why vitamin D3 is superior to other kinds of vitamin D supplements. Marshal and I take NatureWise Vitamin D3 and the kids take Zahler Junior D3.
I usually diffuse a few drops of Lemon + Lavender at bedtime in the girls’ room to clean the air and promote calm. If they’ve been around a lot of germs, I diffuse a protective blend like Doterra’s On Guard or Melaleuca’s Armor. I also have a bottle of it diluted that we roll on feet before bedtime some nights. If they are sick, I diffuse a respiratory blend like Doterra’s Breathe or Melaleuca’s Vapor. If they have a really nasty cough I’ll add a drop of Frankincense (I actually haven’t had to do this yet, but I plan on doing it if I ever need to). It’s also just nice to have the diffuser going because it is also a humidifier to keep their room from getting so dry. I use this diffuser! Please follow proper precautions when using essential oils!
A lot of people sip elderberry “juice” every morning. Some people make or buy homemade recipes that taste kinda like a sweet and spicy berry tea. Kudos to them, I wish that was my life!!! Haha… I do recommend this but we don’t have time for the homemade stuff. I buy Nature’s Way Sambucus Elderberry Syrup, which is actually mostly echinacea (another good immune booster) and a little elderberry extract. It’s probably not as healthy as the homemade stuff, but it is still good and tastes delicious! We don’t sip it every morning because a lot of times we are running out the door and don’t have time to carefully measure out a teaspoon of syrup for each child. But when we feel something coming on or are around other sick kids, we make sure to add this to our routine.
I have no idea how to pronounce this, but my kids call them sugar pills. Because that is what they are – sugar pills with some sort of duck liver extract. I heard good things about it so we gave it a try. I kept it on hand for a while and never needed it, then one day both girls started getting a fever. I followed the package directions, the girls loved eating them, and their fevers never got higher than 100.2. They never were too miserable and didn’t get a cough or bad congestion. I’m not sure how bad it would have got without the oscillococcinum, but I like to think it helped. We’ve used it 3 separate occasions over the year and it’s gone this way every time. The one time I didn’t use it, we tried the ColdCalm instead, and it got a lot worse (about 3 days of feeling miserable, congestion, fever, and post-nasal drip). So lesson learned, never buying ColdCalm again but definitely using Oscillococcinum as a kid friendly immunity booster!!!
Rich in omega 3s, boosting immunity, and a whole company of other health benefits, cod liver oil is a wellness powerhouse. It’s also famously gross tasting (like fish). But it doesn’t have to be! When I’m feeling particularly ambitious, I buy a bottle of lemon flavored cod liver oil and we add it to our smoothies – the ultimate kid friendly immunity boosters version of this supplement! It transforms a simple fruit & yogurt smoothie into a lemon poppyseed muffin smoothie. It actually tastes very good, even my pickiest eater loves it. We are taking a break from it right now, because sometimes you just want your smoothie to taste like strawberry banana. But maybe in a couple months we will go for the lemon poppyseed again. You can also add your elderberry syrup to your smoothie if you want!
Those are the main kid friendly immunity boosters we use with our kids! And for Marshal and I we also take Airborne when we feel like we need an extra immunity boost. They make Airborne gummies for kids, but I don’t like to give my kids gummy vitamins unless I know that they will brush their teeth thoroughly afterward – and a lot of times when giving them supplements it’s not at a convenient time to brush their teeth.
Do you like to use any of these supplements? Do you have other kid friendly immunity boosters you LOVE that I should try???
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