Looking for some simple ways to keep your family healthy this fall and winter? Try some of these family friendly, budget-friendly suggestions.
October is nearing an end and upon that realization today we lingered a little longer on our walk through the neighborhood and looked at pictures of fall trees online (that’s about as close as we get to fall here in the desert). Yesterday I made grain-free biscuits and gravy and savored each delicious morsel that reminded me of winter with my Grandma. I love November, but I’m really trying to hold on to these last moments of October as best I can.
Having kids brings a whole new joyous discovery to the seasons. I want them to linger.
What I don’t want to linger is the sickness that seems to come with the cooler weather. That’s why this year I have a plan.
How I’m Keeping my Family Healthy Through the Fall and Winter
- More Sun – During these last days of warmer weather I’m making sure that we are spending time outside soaking up the glorious warmth of the sun (and vitamin D) before we have to break out the winter jackets. Oh, who am I kidding, we don’t use winter jackets, it’s more like long sleeve shirts and a scarf. (Did I mention we live in the desert?)
- Cod Liver Oil – We have been taking cod liver oil sporadically for years, but I am really going to try hard to be consistent with it this winter. Cod liver oil is rich in vitamin A, vitamin D, and omega 3’s, all of which are needed for a healthy immune system! I wish we could afford this brand, but we’re on a budget and I have to maximize the supplements I want to give my family, so we are going with this one.
- Reteach my children how to wash their hands – I think my children could all use a nice review lesson on how (and when) to properly wash their hands.
- Probiotics – Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the health benefits of taking probiotics. They are critical for gut health and a large part of our immune system is dependent on our gut health. I’ve really been making an effort to get some into my children after each meal. The bottled kind can be expensive, so we do sauerkraut at one meal (Trader Joes has raw sauerkraut for $3.99, I believe.), this kind after another meal (except I get it way cheaper at my local Sprouts – often on sale), and then I rotate around between water kefir, milk kefir, yogurt, and other fermented foods. (Read how I make “soda” with water kefir.)
- Soup – lots and lots of soup – I love when the weather cools down and I can heat up the kitchen with delicious soups. On top of being delicious, soups made with real bone broth are full of nourishing minerals and easily digestible. I also love that I can load them up with veggies. In short, you can squeeze a lot of nutrition into a bowl of soup when it’s made with real food ingredients. Read how to make bone broth. Try our broccoli cheddar soup, taco soup, or chicken soup. Right now we are loving butternut squash soup!
- Magnesium – Along with fall and winter come Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. I not-so-affectionately call this sugar season. Sugar is harmful to our immune systems in so many ways. It’s no wonder that the flu is so rampant during the winter, everyone’s immune systems are under attack from all the sweets! I’ve written several posts about sugar that you can read here and here. Sugar depletes the body of magnesium, so I make sure to supplement this important mineral throughout the year, especially when refined sugar has been consumed. I make my own magnesium lotion using this recipe and these magnesium salts, but you can also buy magnesium oil, drink a magnesium drink, and soak in a bath tub with epsom salts. The skin is one of the best methods of absorbing magnesium.
- Laughter – Proverbs 22:17 says “A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” There is definitely something to this. Having a cheerful heart is the opposite of being stressed out and worried and anxious which are all emotions that can plague people during this time of year. This season, I am going to make every effort to keep things simple, relaxed, and to find joy in those little moments. I honestly pray for reasons to belly laugh every day. Laughing is awesome and it’s something we all need to do more.
And there you have it friends.
My simple, mostly budget-friendly plan to try and ward off winter sickness and to keep my family healthy through the fall and winter.