A healthy immune system all winter long

The long winter months, the cold, the darker days, the lack of vitamin D... it’s cold and flu season and there’s no escaping it! Viruses are out there, and you know how easy it is to pick them up, especially if you have kids.

Children's Health | Cold and Flu

Cheryl Vincelette
Audrey Sckoropad
@AVogel_ca


27 February 2020

Eat healthy

Healthy eating is the foundation of our health and vitality. It's a very good idea to choose organic food as often as possible. For their nutritional value, choose superfoods rich in trace elements, vitamins and minerals. Superfoods come in many different forms. I like spirulina, wild blueberry powder, chia seeds and elderberry juice. At home, we add superfoods to our smoothie recipes, like this one:
Immune-booster Fruit Smoothie

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Kids love this smoothie for its sweet, fruity taste, so they don't even need to know it's good for them! Elderberry juice is a strong antioxidant packed with magnesium and potassium... but mum's the word! (And by the way, it's good for you too!)

Essential oils

I use essential oils daily in our house, especially to clean, deodorize and purify the air to eliminate germs. In addition to smelling good, some oils have a positive effect on your mood, which is good news to hear during cold season.

Mix essential oils and water in a spray bottle or simply put a few drops in a diffuser. Make sure to use high-quality oils, such as those in the Aromaforce range of pure and organic essential oils.
Here are four essential oils that purify the air:

  • Citronella essential oil  This oil has a very invigorating scent, making it an excellent oil to diffuse in the morning before starting your day.
  • Tea tree essential oil  Tea tree essential oil combined with lavender helps purify the air—handy when you have people with colds confined to the house!
  • Lavender essential oil  An oil with a soothing scent that I use in the evening just before bedtime. I put a few drops into a diffuser to help the kids have sweet dreams.
  • Eucalyptus essential oil  This is my number-one choice for purifying the air. Its scent creates a spa atmosphere.

Supplements

A healthy diet rich in fruits and vegetables isn't always enough to avoid deficiencies and keep your immune system strong. In our home, the whole family takes a few supplements every day to help their bodies maintain good health. We take a multivitamin and probiotics to ensure that we get the necessary vitamins and minerals and to nourish the intestinal flora, because good digestion is also vital to good overall health.

For preventing and treating cold and flu symptoms, a must-have for the whole family is Echinacea (Echinaforce for adults and Echinaforce Junior for children). I've been taking Echinacea for so many years. Unlike many supplements, it's safe and effective for pregnant and breastfeeding women too.

Made with fresh, organic Echinacea, this supplement is a rich antioxidant clinically proven to be effective in preventing and treating cold and flu symptoms. It comes either in tablet or liquid form. A big bonus is that the children's tablets taste good, which you can't always say about children's supplements.

Hydration

I'm probably not telling you anything you didn't already know when I say that keeping hydrated is key to maintaining physical vitality. It's important to drink enough water every day for proper digestive function, mood, eliminating toxins, circulation, and so much more.

I love to drink water—I've made a morning ritual out of having a litre of water before anything else. But my husband and daughter aren't such big fans, so we've come up with a few little tricks to make getting enough water more enjoyable.

For example, my daughter drinks more water when I put fruit pieces and chlorophyll in it, whereas for my husband, hot water with lemon really does the trick. I do the same thing, but I add a thin slice of fresh ginger—the perfect hot drink for boosting the immune system.

Hopefully my tips will inspire you to create your own family wellness routine!