In my house, back to school is an exciting time for everyone. The kids can’t wait to see their friends and I love the fact that we can get back to a regular routine.  This time of year also brings with it cooler weather, apple picking and sweaters.  I love fall, it is probably my favorite time of year as leaves change into beautiful colors of red, orange and yellow.

Another thing that comes with the fall season is usually runny noses, sneezing and the flu.  Especially if your kids are young and are just starting day care, it can be so hard to keep them healthy. I remember when my first son first started nursery, it seemed like he was sick every other week.  My husband and I constantly had to take time off work to stay with him and we would usually catch what he had a week later. It was just a terrible cycle that was hard to break.

At one point we couldn’t take it anymore and I started doing research on how we are going to survive the winter! I found some great tips that really helped reduce the amount of times we were sick, and also the duration of the sickness. Don’t get me wrong, we still got sick but definitely at a lower frequency. The habits below should become part of the family’s daily routine and you should get your kids used to them before they catch something and become sick.

Hand washing


Everyone knows how important hand washing is. But do we REALLY know? It turns out that hand washing is the number one way to prevent flu and colds. I have a friend who literally washes her kids in the shower when they come home from school. I don’t do that, but I do get them to wash their hands as soon as they walk in the door to minimize any germs infiltrating my house.

Vitamin D3 and other supplements


There are many immune boosting supplements out there like Vitamin D3 and Vitamin C that are perfectly safe for kids and can be taken in liquid form. No longer are the days of having to hide a pill in a cheese sandwich. A healthy gut is essential in the winter because 60 to 80 percent of our immune cells are associated with the gut. This makes probiotic an important supplement in keeping your gut healthy and helping in fighting colds. That works for me!

No sharing drinks


This is a big problem in my house because my kids like to share water bottles, utensils, lollypops, you name it! Especially during the winter months I put a stop to all the sharing, because if one child is sick, the last thing I need is another one getting sick as well. I train them that everyone has their own water bottles and we keep them separate.

Improve their diet


 Endless research shows that the types of foods that you eat can increase your immune system and help you fight all those nasty bugs. There are so many easy options to incorporate into your diet like: fermented foods that help build your gut flora, homemade bone broth, garlic and ginger which are anti inflammatory and immune boosters etc.…You need to do a bit of research and find out what foods your kids will actually eat and don’t rule anything out! It turns out my kids love fermented sauerkraut! Who could have ever imagined?

Stay healthy yourself


All of the above apply to you as well because if you get sick then you cannot take care of anyone. As mothers we tend to do all of the heavy lifting for our kids and we usually forget to take care of ourselves. This is a huge mistake because if we are worn down and sleep deprived, our immune system is down and we are more likely to pick up the flue at the office or on a crowded bus or train while commuting to work. Make sure to take as much care of yourself as you do your kids.