Winter can feel very long for many Canadians, and, for households with school-aged children, exposure to common viruses can seem endless.
Colds and flu are highly transmissible, especially between children, and while they often run their course with mild to moderate symptoms, they can sometimes be more serious, drag on longer than expected, or lead to secondary issues like ear infections or sinusitis. Keeping kids healthy in the winter can be challenging, but there are strategies that can help to optimize their health, immunity, and ability to bounce back!
1. Build a Healthy Foundation
Diet, exercise, and sleep are all lifestyle factors that help to define your child’s everyday health and their resistance to infection. Supporting these pillars of the daily routine can strengthen kids’ immunity.
Nourishment is essential for growth, energy, development, and immune function in kids. A focus on fruit and vegetables (whether fresh, frozen, or canned) as well as nourishing seasonal dishes like soups and stews gives kids fuel and nutrients to fortify their health. Tip: Get kids engaged in meal planning or lunch packing to help develop their food preparation skills and understanding of healthy choices.
Sweet dreams. Embrace the coziness of winter with a comforting bedtime routine that incorporates plenty of wind-down time. A warm bath followed by quiet play or curling up with a book can help to soothe kids and prepare them for sleep. For restless bodies and minds, there is Tiliacalm® – an herbal sleep support tonic that helps to gently ease children into restful sleep.
Outside play. There’s plenty of fun to be had in the winter. Gear kids up and encourage outdoor adventures, whether it be sledding, snow forts or exploring parks of forests in your neighborhood. Outdoor play for kids has been linked to many benefits for children, both emotional and physical – as does taking advantage of sunlight on the shorter winter days.
Tip: Organize an outdoor scavenger hunt or “I spy” for your neighborhood to get kids excited to explore the winter landscape.
2. Deepen Their Immunity
Supporting all facets of kids’ lifestyle will help support immunity, but specific herbs can enhance the strength of their natural defences by helping to balance them. These plant medicines are known as adaptogens.
While they promote whole-body health, certain adaptogens are specifically supportive of the immune system – including astragalus and codonopsis, both of which are safe and highly effective for children.
- Astragalus – boosts immunity by strengthening both innate and adaptive immunity for a robust defensive system.
- Codonopsis – is immune-restorative, supports the body from fatigue, and defends against frequent infection.
We have also just introduced our NEW Deep Immune® Kids Honey & Berry – an alcohol-free version of our Deep Immune® Kids, with berry juice and honey – offering a touch of sweetness to help the medicine go down.
For the most effective support, doses should be taken twice daily – ideally in a little water on an empty stomach. Dosages for different ages as follows:
- Children (2-4 years): 0.75-1 ml (scant ¼ teaspoon)
- Children (5-9 years): 1-1.5 ml (1/4 teaspoon)
- Adolescents (10-14 years): 2-3 ml (1/2 teaspoon)
- Adults & adolescents (15 & over): 4.5-6 ml (1 teaspoon)
Vitamin D is an essential nutrient for immune health – and winter is when we really need to supplement due to the shorter days and less sunlight exposure. Vitamin D3 For-All provides this vital nutrient in convenient and highly absorbable liquid format, providing 1,000 IU of vitamin D3 per drop.
Tip: Keep supplements in a visible, high-traffic spot, like next to the sink or even on the dining table as a visual reminder to take them consistently.
3. Be Realistic – and Prepared!
It’s inevitable that kids will pick up a virus or two throughout cold & flu season, but having herbal support on hand can help decrease the duration and severity of symptoms.
Echinacea 2+ Kids helps to fight back against infection with 2 synergistic strains of echinacea, clinically proven to offer optimal bioavailability and anti-infective power. Echinacea 2+ with Elderberry is our NEW, alcohol-free version of echinacea for kids and is better tasting than ever with a touch of elderberry juice, making it perfect for younger children and those with sensitive tastebuds.
This cold and flu season, a little extra support can help kids stay healthy and get well sooner, so they can get the most out of winter.