This article comes from guest writer, Caitlyn Vanderhaeghe, aka This Healthy Mom. She’s talking germs and sniffles and ways to avoid them this cold and flu season.
So, I spent last night sucking the snot from my 4-month-old daughter’s nose with the Nosefrida, which is a nasal aspirator. Instead of being disgusted, I thought it was cool that it worked! And worked enough to get two hours of sleep.
My oldest child started kindergarten this year and within the first month, she got a cold. Like clockwork, 10 days later my 2-year-old and 4-month-old got the same cold. With everyone sneezing in my face, I have my fingers and toes crossed that I don’t get sick. Now that school has started, along with the cold and flu season, we have many months to endure until the warm weather returns, and the kids have built some immunity to new viruses.
Nutrients to the Rescue
You may have heard about vitamin C and vitamin D3 to fight the common cold, and there is a lot of research about probiotics strengthening the immune system to keep infections at bay. But what isn’t well known is probiotics can’t do the job of building your immune system if they aren’t fed properly.
Treat Your Gut to Fight Viruses
Probiotics are the good guys in your gut that make for a strong immune army, but probiotics need to be fed or fueled by prebiotics. Unfortunately, the foods that are high in prebiotics are the ones children won’t eat (cooked onions, garlic, raw asparagus, chicory root, leeks, Jerusalem artichokes). So instead, we give our kids ages two years old and up prebiotics from the prebiotic fibre found in Regular Girl, which contains 5 grams of prebiotic fibre and 8 billion good Bifidobacterium lactis. No need to convince the kids to eat chicory root and raw asparagus!
The best part about Regular Girl is that it has no taste and goes clear in water, so your child won’t know they are getting a dose of prebiotics and probiotics. Bananas are another source of prebiotics. As an added benefit, before using Regular Girl, one of my kids always had constipation. Now that is no longer a problem. For children under the age of one, I use BioGaia, an infant probiotic which helps the good microorganisms restore a natural balance in the gut.
Wash Your Hands
I like to put a baby wipe in a baggie in my child’s school lunch box so that she can wipe her hands. We know that hand washing is a great way to reduce the number of infections we get. It’s important not to use chemical hand sanitizers as most don’t kill viruses and they can kill the good bacteria that protect us and cause bacterial resistance in our environment.
If your child does get sick with an infection, just remember every cold and flu they get is teaching their developing immune system to recognize and destroy that identical virus the next time they are exposed. It is called building immunity.
About the Author: I live in a busy household in Vancouver; I am a wife a mother of three awesome girls under six and two fur pets. I am fuelled by a passion for health and my family. I come by this obsession naturally as my mom, Lorna Vanderhaeghe, always put the health of her family first. Growing up, mom encouraged my three siblings and me to ask questions about our health and seek alternative answers when needed. Of course, she still chimes in about ways to keep her grandkids healthy.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences from Simon Fraser University and a Bachelor’s degree in Education from the University of British Columbia. For the past nine years, I have managed the supply chain for my mom’s women’s supplement company. The best part of my job is learning about new and exciting advancements in natural health. This inspired my venture into the world of blogging. I look forward to sharing these great ideas and giving unsolicited advice to a larger audience. Find me on Facebook @thishealthymom, Instagram @thishealthycaitlyn and on my website, www.thishealthymom.com