It’s flu season, which is probably every mama’s least favorite time of the year. While we work hard all year long to keep our little ones safe and healthy, during flu season it can feel like we’re working tirelessly to keep our household healthy. And sometimes, it is really hard to know where to turn for advice. That is why we did a live interview session with Dr. Katie Friedman, a board-certified pediatrician & co-founder of foreverfreckled.com. We got down to the nitty-gritty about both the Coronavirus and the flu. Below you will find some super helpful tips for kicking the flu to the curb.
5 Steps to Avoiding the Flu
1) A HEALTHY DIET IS SUPER IMPORTANT
Time to start thinking of ways to hide the fruits and veggies into meals! Eating a variety of foods, especially foods high in antioxidants, helps your body stay healthy and strong. This will make you less susceptible to things like the flu and coronavirus. Blueberries, strawberries, and orange juice are a couple of examples of these foods that Dr. Friedman mentioned in our discussion.
Along with diet, we recommend discussing a multivitamin with your pediatrician. They can help to boost the immune system even more!
2) YOUR LITTLE ONE NEEDS A GOOD NIGHT’S SLEEP
Getting a good night’s sleep is actually so important when it comes to your overall health, so give your little one the fighting advantage by staying strict about bedtime during cold & flu season. This is especially true if you are doing any traveling with your kiddos. Try to keep them on as normal of a schedule as possible to keep their immune systems from being compromised.
3) START TEACHING PROPER HAND WASHING TECHNIQUE EARLY
Dr. Katie Friedman made it VERY clear in our interview that hand washing is one of the major keys to keeping away all sorts of nasty bugs. She said she has had her own kids practice washing their hands singing the ABCs or the Happy Birthday song since they were little, to ensure they are getting the full 30 seconds of washing and lathering in.
While your kids might not always get in the full 30 seconds, starting habits like this from a young age is still a good idea. Not to mention, when they are at school (one place where sickness gets passed around quite a bit) they will have this lesson in mind and hopefully rinse their hands just like you taught them!
4) STOCK UP ON ELDERBERRY
I love Elderberry and I was so excited to find out that Dr. Friedman agrees! Elderberry is packed with antioxidants and vitamins that help to boost your immune system, just like eating a healthy diet does. Unfortunately, it isn’t a magic pill but it will help your body stand strong against the viruses going around!
I personally love Zarabee’s Elderberry for Adults and Zarabee’s Children’s Elderberry Immune Support. They have no artificial flavors, no artificial sweeteners, are gluten-free, and contain no gelatin. Our family has taken these for a couple of years, and I truly believe they have been some of the best support for our immune systems.
5) IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO CONSIDER GETTING A FLU SHOT
Last but certainly not least, we discussed getting the flu shot with Dr. Friedman. We were happy to find out that it’s actually not too late to get the flu shot! It is recommended you get the shot back in October or September (especially since it takes two weeks to build immunity), but if you have not gotten one yet you should know we are actually just entering the peak of flu season. Cases of the flu are often still seen into March and sometimes even into May! While the flu shot isn’t guaranteed protection, it is thought to help lessen symptoms if you do happen to get sick. Keep in mind, getting the flu shot is not only protection for yourself but for all the people around you that are most vulnerable. That’s children under 5, adults 65 and older, pregnant women, and people with certain chronic illnesses.
*Side note, try to find a shot clinic or book the very first doctor’s appointment of the day. This way you can avoid being around other people who may already have the flu or a bug you don’t want to catch.
I hope these tips help you to keep the flu far away from your family this year! Remember to wash those hands and chow down on healthy antioxidant-packed foods!