*Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own!*
One reason I was dreading Andrew starting school (other than the typical ‘growing up too fast’ reasons) is the germ factor. The dreaded Fall Spike – when school-age kids bring germs home from school and spread them to their parents and younger siblings. Not only are colds and flu spread, but there are higher rates of asthma hospitalization and respiratory infections after kids return to school. Ugh. Not good for moms or kids. So far (knocking on wood here), Lily has managed to avoid severe colds, flus, or respiratory infections…and I would like to keep it that way!
To help cope with the Fall Spike, I have partnered with the Real Canadian Superstore to put together a battle plan! Here are a few of my favourite tips:
- Hand Washing: handwashing is so crucial…and unfortunately not at the top of kids’ priorities. To encourage good hand-washing habits, buy a soap that your kids will be excited to use. Look for unique scents or branding that will appeal to your kids. At this moment, we have a Spiderman hand soap sitting in our powder room!
- The elbow cough/sneeze: This one is still a work in progress in our house. Ideally, teach kids to cough into their elbow to avoid the transmission of germs. At this point, I think I would be happy if the kids used anything to cover their mouths when they cough or sneeze. Sigh. We’re totally getting sick any day now.
- The Flu Shot: Ok, I know this is a touchy subject, and I’m not trying to start a debate around vaccinations…but my husband and I both get our flu shot every year. So if you choose to get you flu shot, now is the time!
- Saline rinse: When I feel little tickle starting in the back of my throat or nose, I use a saline rinse in the morning and night. I’m pretty sure I can feel the germs leaving my body and my nose feels SO clear afterwards!
- Eat healthy to keep your body healthy: Stock up on foods that have nutrients that contribute to good overall and immune health during the Fall Spike.
- Know which foods have the nutrients you’re looking for. Some examples are:
- Vitamin C: anti-oxidant for overall health, found in citrus fruits
- Vitamin E: another anti-oxidant important for good overall health, found in seeds/nuts
- Zinc: helps with immune function, found in nuts and seeds
- Vitamin A: for immune health, found in orange vegetables such as sweet potato and butternut squash
- Protein: helps build and repair body tissues and antibodies, found in meats, eggs, seafood, milk products, legumes, nuts and seeds
Now, I know including all these and understanding what they are is easier said than done. You can introduce your family to new ingredients that have the nutrients you’re looking for by trying different textures and colours, and adding them individually to meals so everyone grows accustomed to eating them – Real Canadian Superstore even has in-store registered dietitians that can work with you to understand what nutrient-rich foods you should be eating, and provide recipes to try them in.
My local Real Canadian Superstore has become a crucial part of my Fall Spike Battle Plan – it is a one-stop shop for all the products to help you stay healthy during cold and flu season. You can get your flu shot in the Superstore pharmacy, access dieticians to help ensure you are getting all the needed nutrients into your families’ tummies, buy all the food while you’re there…and if the dreaded cold or flu still manages to hit your house, you can still visit your local Superstore for all the tissues, disinfectants and medications you’ll need!
What is your Fall Spike Battle Plan? Is there anything I am missing on my list to prevent illness now that Andrew is in school?