Sneezes and Sniffles and Throat-Tickles

My Wellness Wednesday post was supposed to be about reading food labels. That was what I planned. Even did some research to make sure I was going to present the best possible information.

But it didn't happen.

It's been almost a year since I've taken the kids to the local playgroup. Fell out of the habit for numerous reasons and just never got back into it. But I resolved I would take them there as Teaghan really needs to meet some other kids.

Well, now I remember one of the reasons I stopped going: GERMS!

Darn it, we've all got a head cold now. And as the school-goer and work-goer are the only ones uninfected it's pretty obvious where it was picked up.

The morning after playgroup, the three of us woke up with super-sonic sneezes and hydro-electric capacity runny noses.

Coupled with the iron-deficiency anemia I can't seem to shake, this cold has made me exhausted. Exhausted mom with sick, clingy kids does not make for a pleasant week in the household!

But we've been working hard to keep ourselves entertained and thus less crabby. And I've been looking into ways we can beat this cold and prevent the next one.

Now that cold medicine is the most illegal thing you can give a child under the age of six, chicken soup is the best. Researchers have found that it actually does work. Use any old chicken soup, but make sure it includes things that provide heat (red pepper is good), salt (regular table salt, sea salt, or a salted broth) and some good nutrition (carrots, fresh chicken, celery). For more tips check out this discussion of one study complete with recipes and recommended store-brought brands.

We use buckwheat honey for coughs - a 1/2 tsp or so every 3-4 hours works better than anything else I've found. You'd think the kids would lap up honey like it was, well, honey, but think again. So sometimes we stir it into a little warm water with lemon and tell them it's tea. I don't think it works as well this way, as it can't coat the throat as well, but it helps.

Best way to prevent colds?

My mother-in-law swears by Echinicea, but I haven't found it to work - plus it gives me migraines. Hand-washing is definitely key and using hand sanitizers helps for sure.

Nutritionally the best thing you can do is have a lovely live-culture yogurt with fruit and all bran cereal on top for breakfast every morning. Really. The bacterial cultures in the yogurt are great at fighting off viruses such as colds and stomach flus. The fruit gives you some vitamin C. And the All-bran is a simple zinc rich food to eat. Zinc deficiency has been shown to adversly affect immunity and taking zinc during a cold is believed to help you get over it faster.

Off I go to make some chicken soup. I'll wash my hands first, of course.


  1. Maybe bringing the kids more often to be surrounded by the awful "GERMS" would help alleviate the situation as well! Over-sanitiztion and isolation are also proven to be reasons for a poor immune system. "Studies have shown..." that exposure during the pre-school years leads to fewer sick days once children start attending school as well. That being said, handwashing, handwashing, handwashing is the best and cheapest prevention around (no need for antibacterial soap, any mild cleanser and a good scrub sends those germs to the ocean!)

  2. Hi Kewe,
    Thanks for commenting. Sorry it took me so long to acknowledge - my comment submission has been acting wonky and I only just noticed your comment!

    I agree with you, actually, I think exposure is good, usually. The problem right now is that I have an asthmatic croupy baby who really can't handle a lot of exposure. And he wasn't able to get his H1N1 vaccine, though the rest of the family did. So exposure is a little scary now.

    That said, our older boy brings home plenty of germs from school to share with his family. And it's not like we regularly lysol the house. We're the "god made dirt and it doesn't hurt" kind of family.

    I think with preschoolers and older, exposure is great. With younger children, espcecially those with pre-existing health conditions, it's hard to manage the exposure - doesn't matter how much you wash their hands if they're putting toys in their mouth that another kid just snotted on.

    I just wish when kids are obviously ill, leaky faucet noses and choky coughs, their parents should keep them home.


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