With three boys, two of which go to school, we have GERMS! They bring home everything, and it’s tough to keep your family healthy during flu season. Here are a few ways we try to combat those nasty viruses:
- Hand-washing – I know this should go without saying, but it’s not an obvious one for kids. If we don’t teach our little ones healthy habits, who will? Washing hands the minute you get home from being out and about is a great routine to get everyone into.
- Disinfecting wipes – I use so many of these that sometimes I think I should buy stock in the company! We aren’t always around a sink, and after playing at the park, riding the carousel or pick-up from preschool, wipes are my go-to tool. Since I have a baby who sucks his thumb, I stay away from hand-sanitizer or anything with too much alcohol.
- Pump the vitamin C – How lucky are we that flu season coincides with orange season? This is the best time to get great citrus, and both my boys love little tangerines. If your kid isn’t fond of oranges, you can always try freshly-squeezed citrus juice. Juice is a treat in our home, so Little Man will take any juice we give him and he will suck it down.
- Eat your veggies! – What you put into your body matters. If you want your body to have the right fuel to combat viruses, you have to feed it correctly. It’s next to impossible to get my kids to eat as many veggies and fruit as they probably should, so I have also added in Juice Plus gummies (which they LOVE!). Each gummy contains over 20 different fruits, veggiess and grains to help bridge the gap with what they should be eating and what they actually eat. I have been taking the adult capsules for two years and have totally noticed my health improving.
- Give each person their own toothpaste – I know it may seem strange, but I have bought (and labeled) three small travel-size toothpastes for my boys. It’s a small way to ensure they aren’t passing germs back and forth. On that note, if they do end up with the flu, get them a new toothbrush afterwards. No need to put those germs back into their mouths.
- Keep doorknobs and surfaces clean – I have a spray bottle with equal parts water and white vinegar, which I use to pretty much clean my whole house. Vinegar is a natural bacteria-fighting cleaner, and anytime I am in need of a distraction for my toddler, I give him the job of wiping down every doorknob in the house. He loves having a task to complete, and I get a healthier home. Win-win!
- Teach the elbow cough – Even with our best efforts, our kids will inevitably get sick. It’s our job to teach them appropriate ways to handle runny noses and coughs to keep germs at bay. We taught Little Man to blow his nose by the age of 2 1/2 and the elbow cough shortly after. It doesn’t always work, but at least he tries to keep his germs to himself!
- Get enough sleep! – When kids are tired, their immune systems are more likely to get run down. Preschoolers still need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night. So keeping a steady bedtime helps your kids be at their best to fend off all the bugs they encounter throughout the day.
What do you do to keep your family healthy during flu season?