Here are 5 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy this Winter with tips for parents on boosting immune function with elderberry syrup, detoxing with mineral baths, and freshening your home with non-toxic cleaning supplies.
Ahh… winter. Time to cozy up by the fire and watch the snow fly. Time to sip hot chocolate and do everything possible to avoid going out in the cold.
But what’s that I hear? A cough. A sniffle. A sneeze. A small child complaining of a tummy ache moments before emptying contents of said stomach.
It must be cold and flu season!
Um, when is it going to be spring?
Okay, I get it. The winter months tend to bring a lot of sickness. If your kids go to public school (or daycare or really, any place there are other kids) it’s likely to be even worse.
So what can we as parents do to help keep our families healthy? While these tips won’t guarantee perfect health, they are definitely going to help everyone in the family boost their immune systems!
5 Simple Ways to Stay Healthy this Winter
Eat Healthy in Winter
Food is the healthy family’s number one medicine. A health conscious parent will limit the amount of processed foods she feeds her family. Processed foods, unhealthy comfort foods, and sugars aren’t easy for our bodies to process, thus using up our body’s precious resources (which would otherwise be fighting off germs!).
Commercially raised meats are full of GMOs, antibiotics, hormones and who knows what all else. As well, it’s no longer mandatory that grocery store meats contain country of origin labels. Buying your meat from a local farmer is the best way to get quality meat…
But if you don’t have a local farm or co/op nearby, I suggest getting your meat from Butcher Box. I shared my experience and reviewed Butcher Box in these posts:
- My Personal Experience and Honest Review of Butcher Box
- Butcher Box Review
- How to Make Butcher Box Worth the Cost
Staying Healthy Out in the Cold
One thing that makes it hard to eat healthy is when you work outside the home.
I did for years, and my husband still does. He manages, though, by taking a considerably healthy lunch everyday. Here are some healthy lunch ideas that I use for my kid’s school lunches to get you started. Healthy snacks are also important, especially with little ones.
Many fall foods are still available, and these in particular will keep your body strong. Choosing in-season produce will also help you stay healthy. Use this guide on Seasonal Produce in January to get you started!
Keep Your Home Fresh
By fresh, I mean opening windows and letting clean air in.
Yes, I said it. Opening windows. And I am referring to doing this in the cold winter months.
Did you know the pollution levels inside your home are often worse than those along interstate highways? Everything off gasses – from painted walls and furniture, to carpeting and bedding. And many homes use air fresheners, and other chemicals to clean/kill germs.
All these chemicals are trapped within the home and do great damage to our immune systems. Winter temperatures (in the North) typically run below freezing, so when you get 40 degree days, especially 40 degree days with sunshine, it’s a good idea to open the windows for a bit. Just opening windows for 10-20 minutes will really help clear things up.
Too cold to open windows? Here are a couple of other things that will help keep your home fresh.
- Use this “recipe” on your carpets, to kill germs and give the house an immediate clean smell.
- Use Thieves Household Cleaner to clean/disinfect surfaces in your home.
- Finally, find an essential oil diffuser and diffuse oils like Lemon and Lavender, or blends like Thieves to clear the air (and also clear nasal passages when sick).
Get Proper Immune Support
Food is the first step to staying healthy, but even the best we can do often leaves us lacking different vitamins and minerals.
Around our house, elderberry syrup is one of the things we grab when we start feeling a little “off”. Herbal tea is another thing we like to drink lots of. A good probiotic is also important as it keeps your gut working properly.
Getting the right support to kids can be tricky. However, I’ve started making gummy vitamins and they are amazing! Take your pick from Elderberry Gummies or Healthy Homemade Gummies made with fresh fruit juice (or both!). My kids loves these and I’m sure yours will as well!
Detoxify to Stay Healthy
Get rid of your chemical cleaners and personal care products. I could go into huge detail here, but will try to keep it simple. Currently there are over 10,000 different chemicals being used in our cleaning and personal care products. These chemicals are not regulated in any way for safety and hundreds of new ones are added each year.
If you aren’t sure where to start, these super easy DIY tutorials are good places to start:
- Homemade Hand Soap
- Homemade Carpet Deodorizer
- Citrus-infused Vinegar Cleaner
- All-purpose Cleaner (no vinegar)
Once you’ve removed the chemicals from your home, it would be wise to help your body remove toxins that have built up within.
Mr. Crumbs once did a 10-day water fast. You can read about his experience here.
I recommend taking detox baths. For people who cannot do regular cleanses, since this method works and is very gentle.
And if you get sick anyway…
Sometimes it just happens. Our bodies will fight like warriors and then all of a sudden lose a battle and we find ourselves sick. Rather than reaching for an over the counter drug, or calling the doctor for an antibiotic, listen to your body first.
In the end, if you do get sick, try the old fashioned methods of getting lots of rest, use natural remedies, and drink plenty of water. Also, according to the CDC, studies have shown that washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water helps to prevent the spread of germs.
Sickness happens to the healthiest of us, so eat healthy, support your immune system, remove toxins and get rest. You can also spend that resting time counting down the days until spring!