1.03.2018

Top Five Ways to Equip Your Body to Fight Winter Viruses


This time of year is always so hard on our bodies as we are bombarded with exposure to so many different viruses every time we leave the house. I know for many, especially those with multiple children, it can feel like a rotating door of illness. If one person gets sick, it doesn't take much to spread it throughout the house, and just as you feel like everyone is getting healthy, someone picks something up again. 

In an effort to prepare for this winter and my son (two years old) starting a mothers-day-out program at a local church, I decided to research ways to naturally boost and support our immune system. In late June 2017, I started the routine below for my son (my husband and I have a very similar routine but our dosage and products obviously differ) and thus far have seen incredible results in not only in our overall wellbeing, but our body's ability to naturally fight off the viruses we encounter. 

While I don't think there is a magic pill that will keep you from ever getting sick, I do believe you can equip and support your body to do what God intended it to do when it encounters viruses, and this routine has been a huge part of that for us. 

OUR TODDLER'S DAILY ROUTINE 

After a full breakfast: 
  • Zarbee's Naturals Toddler Multivitamin Gummies | 2 Gummies: These are designed for ages 2-4 and have been the only multivitamin that my son will consistently take. While I'm not a huge fan of gummy vitamins for children due to their high sugar content, Zarbee's uses honey to sweeten their product which I appreciate. They have no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial sweeteners and no artificial flavors. Their vitamin profile also covers all the main areas I want to focus on for a toddler. 
  • Childlife Liquid Vitamin C | 2.5 ML: Vitamin C has long been one of the best antioxidants for immune deficiencies, but this year I learned just how powerful it really is when my father-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and one of his first medications was a very high dose of Vitamin C. Most people run to it after they get sick, but it was important to me that each of us receive our daily value consistently. The multivitamin mentioned above contains 50% of the daily value needed and this additional supplement covers 208%. I love this brand because the flavor is great and it's gluten, casein and alcohol free. It also contains no milk, eggs, soy, wheat or yeast and uses no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. 
  • Nature's Way Sambucus for Kids, Organic Elderberry Syrup | 5 ML
  • Elderberry is a rich source of vitamins A and C, which are crucial in helping the body maintain optimal health. The bioflavonoids in elderberry syrup also boost the body's immune system by increasing antioxidant levels and viruses that damage cell walls. We have made our own Elderberry gummy bears many times using this recipe, but recently we've been using this liquid form. I mix this with the liquid vitamin C and give it to my toddler in a medicine cup. He is pretty picky on flavors and I've never had an issue with this. 
  • Wedderspoon Raw Manuka Honey | 1 Tbl.: I mix this in his yogurt or morning smoothie.  Manuka honey is produced in New Zealand by bees that pollinate the native manuka bush. While most honey has natural antibacterial qualities through the production of Hydrogen peroxide, Manuka Honey has one of the highest degrees of antibacterial qualities because it also has the antibacterial component methylglyoxal (MG) is some of the highest quantities. I addition to it's antibacterial benefits it also can help with SIBO, acne, eczema, MRSA, tooth decay, gingivitis, IBS, and allergies.
  • LoveBug Tiny Tummies Probiotics | 1 Packet: Treating and or supporting the source of any system is ALWAYS the best route which is why probiotics are a must in our house. I love this powder from Lovebug. It has the most CFUs of active probiotics on this list, coming in at 15 billion active cultures! It is tasteless and odorless which make it easy for my son to take. I will either mix it in his morning smoothie or in water.  
In addition to the supplements above, we have implemented the following practices which I believe have made a huge difference!
  1. Essential Oils (Thieves from Young Living): I made a roller bottle of Thieves (20 drops of Thieves and then fill the rest up with Beautycounter's soothing baby oil) which I apply to the bottom of his feet before he gets dressed every morning and apply again at night after bath. I also defuse this in his room with lavender and in our main living areas.
  2. Move Up Bath Time: On school days or days where we have been playing for extended periods of time in public areas (like a jump house) we take our bath right when we get home and put on new clothes or pjs. I used to believe that keeping them in "germs" was just part of building their immune system, and I still believe exposure is important, but I don't think they need to "bath" in it all day. I honestly feel this is a huge part to stopping the spread of germs in your home.
  3. Wash Hands: It might be the oldest trick in the book but boy is it important. We always make sure to wash our hands before every snack or meal and we also wash our hands frequently when we are out. 
  4. Well Rounded Diet: I know if you have a toddler, this can feel like a never ending battle at times. We certainly have had our struggles with our son as it relates to food, but I know just how important it is that I try to fuel and fill his body with as much nutrients as possible. One way I do this with a picky eater is through smoothies. We have found a daily smoothie that is pant and protein based that he loves and I love because it includes spinach, zucchini, avocado, chia seed, hemp heart, banana, fresh almond butter and water or almond milk. We have this every day (with breakfast, lunch or as a snack) and no matter how well he eats during the day, I know I've gotten in healthy fats, protein and plenty of greens!
  5. Consistent Sleep: I think in the fall with all the holidays and festivities it becomes so easy to get out of a consistent sleep routine. As much as we can I try to make sure we stick to our nap time and bed time every day to help support his body as much as possible.
  6. Plenty of Water: It is easy to get dehydrated in the Winter months so we try to keep water out at all times. Our son drinks almond milk or pea protein milk (Ripple is amazing) but we really try to limit his juice intake to a few times a week and just stick with water. It is so important for overall health but especially important when you up your supplement game.
  7. LASTLY, CONSISTENCY IS EVERYTHING! With any routine, consistency is the most important to understand the impact and benefit it may have for you and your family. In the beginning I had an alarm that went off during breakfast time every morning. It was the perfect reminder to get everything out and ready for our little one and ourselves. Now it is second nature and I don't need any reminders.
Before I leave you I just want to note a few things:
  1. I'm not a doctor and have no medical background in the immune system. I am a woman who has an auto-immune disease, and has always suffered from a weak immune system so I've chosen to educate myself and naturally equip my family to the best of my ability. This post is just sharing what has been successful in keeping my family healthy the past seven months. 
  2. You should always consult your doctor before starting any supplements for yourself or children. 
  3. I've had many people ask for the specific products we use, which is why I've chosen to share the brands. I have no affiliation to these brands and have received no compensation for this post. 
I hope you have found this post helpful and I'd love to hear how you naturally protect and equip your family to fight common viruses! 

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