Our Winter Arsenal: 12 Natural Cold and Flu Remedies for Kids (and Parents, Too!)Selena Mills
The sun disappears around 5:30 p.m. now where I live. The sniffles and coughs are to be heard in abundance when I drop the kids off at school and daycare.
Since we can’t go into quarantine for the next four months, all this mama has in her cold and flu busting arsenal is a nutrient-dense diet, a few daily vitamin supplements (quality is key), and a couple of naturally healing and soothing elixirs in case we do get hit with a case of the nasties.
For those who are wary of the science behind natural health, please know that The American Academy of Pediatrics does not recommend over the counter cough and cold medications for young children. For very good reasons. Always thoroughly check over your child’s symptoms to make sure you shouldn’t be making a trip to your doctor!
So, if you’re looking to soothe your sick child (or yourself), or are interested in taking preventative measures throughout the cold and flu season, I’m sharing what’s worked for my family. These 12 natural cold and flu remedies will kick a cold and/or flu in the butt and keep sickness from getting you and/or your little ones down at all!
Skip Over-the-Counter Medicine… 1 of 13
A selection of natural treatments and supplements that our family regularly takes. And they work.
Mom’s Magical Elixer 2 of 13
This homemade, natural cold and flu remedy does just that. It's a hot drink I make, boasting many of the ingredients I discuss in detail throughout the rest of the slides. Read on to find out just how they help our bodies heal and recover from the symptoms that come with getting sick.
Learn more from me, over on le petit reve
Homemade Elderberry Syrup 3 of 13
I used to buy Sambucol and now I make this easy syrup for a fraction of the cost. Elderberries contain high levels of vitamins A, B, and C and stimulate the immune system. They've been shown to prevent flu and speed recovery in those who have the flu.
Follow this easy recipe courtesy of Green Child Magazine
Fermented Cod Liver Oil 4 of 13
Not gonna lie, the chocolate cream flavor of this brand that we use does improve the taste — but it's still pretty nasty. Coupled with the aforementioned elderberry syrup, however, and it's totally doable. Founded and recommended by the Weston A. Price Foundation, cod liver oil is a fantastic source of the healthy fats our bodies need to reduce inflammation and lead to healthy cell, brain, and hormone development. Thus, cod liver oil is especially good for pregnant women and children to consume! Cod Liver Oil/High Vitamin Butter Oil is also a great source of vitamins A,D, E and K.
Purchase some via Amazon, $69.99
Raw Probiotics for Kids 5 of 13
The more I read, the more I learn that gut health is imperative to our overall health. The lack of probiotics in our regular, everyday diets is quite large, compared to what our bodies actually need or really, really benefit from. In both children and adults, probiotics support colon health, bowel regularity and overall digestive function, gut-related immune system function and overall immune system health as well as promoting healthy bacteria in the gut and healthy nutrient absorption and assimilation.
I'm seeing a big comeback in traditional foodies preserving food by fermenting it for this very reason. A great source of probiotics for kids (and you too!) is kombucha, fermented foods and straight up probiotics. We use the latter and I sneak them in smoothies.
Purchase your own via Amazon, $18.87
Honey & Cinnamon 6 of 13
Immunity Boosting Juice 7 of 13
One that your kids will actually drink that is. There are some other fabulous recipes that you might drink, but my kids wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. All is not lost, however.
This recipe by Reboot With Joe has been approved by our toddlers!
Vitamin C 8 of 13
The quality of supplement you choose really is important. There is a lot of conflicting research (shocking in the world of heath, I know!) regarding whether or not you should be taking them at all. For me, the issue exists in people thinking that vitamins can replace all of the goodness they should be getting from nutrient-rich foods. There is no replacement for that. If you're not eating healthy, then taking a whack of vitamins every day isn't going to reverse or make anything all that much better for your health. We only take a few supplements each day.
Quality vitamin C is especially good to take during the cold and flu season, as it is a powerful antioxidant that the body uses to keep you strong and healthy. Used in the maintenance of bones, muscle, and blood vessels, vitamin C also helps the body in the formation of collagen and helps the body absorb iron.
For the Mamas and the Papas – Vitamin B12 9 of 13
Hey now, if Dr. Oz says that taking B-12 will end your energy crisis, who am I to disagree, right? I'm about to take anything that claims to increase my energy. Seriously though, vitamin B12 is a nutrient that helps keep the body's nerve and blood cells healthy. It also helps prevent a type of anemia called megaloblastic anemia that makes people tired and weak, especially important when the days are long and dark (bye bye sun, hello winter), yet just as busy.
Grapeseed Extract 10 of 13
I have to thank my good friend Emily for turning me onto this one. Grapeseed extract is extremely rich in antioxidants, boosts the immune system, a wide range of healing therapeutic properties and a ton of other fascinating stuff. Seriously, you should read this article. My kids take a few drops in their OJ in the morning as do I and the mister along with our B12 and vitamin D.
Vitamin D-3 11 of 13
We don't take this in the summer, as we get all of the vitamin D we need from the sun. In the winter however, those sun-drenched rays are unfortunately long gone here in Northern Canada, so bring on the vitamin D.
Learn more about vitamin D-3 in your child's diet via The Globe & Mail
For the Mamas and the Papas – Oil of Oregano 12 of 13
Some of this goes under our tongue when a scratchy throat comes along. It's far too strong-tasting and potent to give to your kids, but great for you! Oil of oregano has a long list of benefits, those specific to helping you along in your cold and flu however are that it's an antimicrobial and antiparasitic herb, analgesic (numbing that sore throat) and anti-inflammatory (reducing inflammation and discomfort associated with infection).
Bye Bye Sugar 13 of 13
Cut out the sugar, even in store-bought juice! Water and herbal teas are the best things to drink when sick. We're constantly sipping on hot teas (warm for the kids), bone broth, water and even hot water with just lemon juice and honey when sick around here. Oh alright, I absolutely put some whiskey in there for us (adults, questionably), too. Sugar loves infection and vice versa, thus dramatically decreasing your immune function, which you obviously don't want when you're sick.
More Babbles From Selena…
- Is There a Safer Way To Vaccinate?
- 10 Ways Having a Toddler is the Best Thing in the Universe
- My Toddlers, AKA: Joni Mitchell & Neil Young
- My Toddler’s Fever Led To a Febrile Seizure What You Should Know
- Toddler Approved: DIY Lego Figure Crayons
- 5 Ways To Do Date Night In: Parental Advisement Edition
- The Evolution of the Cabbage Patch Kid: It’s Been 30 Years!
- Momfession: I Do Time-Outs and Sometimes I Yell Too…
Elsewhere on the internets…
Via her humble beginnings, mastering in general mayhem: le petit rêve