For most of us, winter break has ended, and the snowstorm that many nicknamed the “snowcopolypse” is in our review mirror. Yes! Finally, our kids are back in school, which means that the rest of us get some semblance of a break…right?
Unfortunately, the truth is that a break for us is about as distant as summer vacation. Instead of relaxing with our feet up, we’re back to balancing the busy schedules of school, work, family and home – and it’s possible that when you walked in the door a week ago, finally thinking life was back to “normal”, what you actually found were the suspicious signs of sniffles, colds and flus lurking around the corner.
But never fear – although they aren’t always a substitute for more conventional medications, we have a team of employees that love a few natural cold remedies for suffering kids. Read below to see what favorites we’ve pooled that we use to keep our kids a little happier through the cold season.
Never underestimate a warm drink.
Fluids, fluids, fluids. The #1 piece of advice doctors always provide is to keep any suffering child filled to the brim with fluids. Obviously water and juice are well-known go-tos; but if you’re looking for a little bit of variety that packs an extra punch, don’t be afraid to brew up some herbal tea at the first sign of any illness. Not only will the warm water sooth sore throats and hydrate little bodies, but mixing in a little sweetness – like lemon or honey – will make those taste buds happy too. For a few other ideas, you can check out these ideas for herbal teas at this blog.
Stock up on herbs – and don’t forget to sneak them into foods!
Herbs are an easy way to incorporate cold prevention into your family’s daily diet. One of our favorites includes powdered thyme, which can improve the effectiveness of your coughs (meaning that you can clear some of that nasty gunk out of your throat a little bit faster) and which can be easily incorporated into any meal. We also highly recommend garlic, which can provide an immune boost in cooked form, and which some research has shown can prevent and shorten colds when taken as a daily supplement.
Pack a punch with Vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a critical addition to any diet because it not only has a positive impact on the creation of white blood cells, but it can also reduce mucus and inflammation in the nasal passages. Vitamin C supplements are easy to find, but it’s just as easy to find additional Vitamin C in yummy snacks, like oranges, peaches, kiwi and broccoli. See a full list here to pick out a few favorites.
Don’t forget the ear oil.
Ear oil can be a lifesaver if you want to avoid a trip to the doctor and the ensuring antibiotics for an ear infection. Bonus: it’s pretty easy to make yourself, with the right ingredients on hand. We found this recipe to be pretty easy to follow, or you can use the good old Google to buy some ready to go.
Feel free to gargle.
Not every child loves to gargle something like warm salt water, but it might be worth the battle. Gurgling salt water can actually help clear bacteria from your child’s mouth and throat, and all it requires is a ½ tsp. of sea salt dissolved in an 8 oz. glass of warm water. Trouble convincing your five year old to gargle something gross tasting? Make it into a game and see who can gargle the longest in the family, and reward everyone with something sweet afterwards.
Yes, this is still advice for you and your kids! Steam can help clear out sinuses, relax muscles and relieve congestion. Take the time to treat your little one to a steamy hot bath or shower (of course making sure the water isn’t overly hot), and finish the night by running a humidifier while they sleep. At the very least, it will help them sleep a little more easily, and hopefully hasten their bodies to a quicker recovery.
All these natural cold remedies are ways to either prevent, treat or smooth a stubborn cold or flu. Of course, they are not always a substitute for more conventional, direct methods of medication – but they give you some easy ways to help boost your family’s immune system, and maybe give YOU a little bit of the break that you deserve.