This morning we woke to temperatures of 1 degree! This cold weather fills me with fear, as it signals not only the start of winter, but of “flu season.” With three little kids and two parents that need to go to work, we are desperate to stay as well as possible this winter. Over the years of coping with a million germs brought to me lovingly by a class full of children, I have learnt a few tips and tricks to survive winter.
“The Flu Shot:” A few years ago both of our workplaces introduced on site flu shots. I was pregnant with Little Miss A at the time and was a little hesitant to get it. After consulting my GP I was pleasantly surprised to not only find was it completely safe for pregnant women but recommended! A perfect way to not only protect myself but my little ones. Many workplaces now offer the flu shot with a visiting nurse or you can ask your GP.
Healthy Hands: As a family, we spend a lot of our time out and about at playgrounds, shopping centres and theme parks. I always keep some hand sanitiser handy to help keep those germs away. We keep a pump pack in the house for the kids to use after they have blown their noses and I encourage the kids to wash their hands with soap and water after they cough and sneeze. This is to help stop spreading the germs to the baby and I always keep a small hand sanitizer in my bag.
Tissues and wipes: Speaking of runny noses…….you can never have too many tissues! I keep a little pack in the kid’s bags, a few in the car, a few in my handbag and a whole heap of boxes in the house. But when little noses have been blown too many times and are red raw I find a baby wipe is a little harsh whilst still doing the job.
You are what you eat! During winter in particular I keep a close eye on what we are eating. I try to boost veggies and fruits wherever I can by adding them to smoothies, making up a big veggie mash, sneaking them into lasagna or bolognese sauce, and even into the chocolate muffins (zucchini is a great match!)
H20 to go: I am a horrible water drinker! Especially in winter when I am sweating less, I often get to the end of the day and realise I have not had any water at all! I keep a drink bottle with me and try to refill it, at least once, but eight glasses a day will keep you in tip top shape for winter
Sunny Days: This cold weather has me seeking some warmth in the sun and I find I spend more time outdoors as I can actually enjoy the weather (and not sweat off half my body weight!) We love to get out a picnic rug, enjoy lunch outside in the sun and fill up on some Vitamin D, which is great for boosting immunity. (But don’t forget to still slip, slop, slap)
Exercise: When I am feeling lousy there is nothing like a walk in the fresh air to get me out of a slump. I throw the baby in the pram and we head down to the lake to run around the playground. Keeping active in small everyday ways is hopefully burning off some of those winter hot chocolates and keeping your body in fighting condition if any winter nasties come your way.
I find the easiest way to keep up with these habits is to stay organised and create a little “Winter station” on the kitchen bench with tissues, water, hand sanitizer and some fresh fruit and veggie snacks, ready for the kids when they are hungry.
By implementing these simple but effective habits our household feels prepared to face our healthiest winter yet.
The NSW Health website also offers great flu prevention advice HERE