HEALTHY LIVING  |  11.5.15  |  by Julie Rhodins

babyganics in shopping cart

Photo Courtesy: Facebook / Babyganics

We’re coming up on that time of the year — cold and flu season.  It’s particularly hard for families with two working parents, juggling work with children who get sick and have to stay home for days at a time.  We like to look for ways at preventing the common cold as much as possible.  Everyone will be happier and healthier.  So in the spirit of loading up good things to do to stay healthy this fall and winter, here’s a helpful cold prevention list to try.

Read on for our list of ways to help prevent the common cold 

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Wash Hands

Train your kids and yourself to not touch your face or eat without washing your hands.  We also wash our hands after being out in public.  For example, we wash our hands right after grocery shopping.

Keep a bottle of hand sanitizer in your purse for hand sanitizing in the car, at the movie theatre, and anywhere on the go.  Put a bottle of hand sanitizer in your child’s backpack — this is especially important for children who are moving from school desk to school desk during the day; use the hand sanitizer in between classes so that they are not picking up germs from the last five students who sat in that seat and touched the desk.

If you travel on an airplane, wipe down the tray, seatbelt, entertainment touch screen, and arm rests with sanitizing wipes.

We like Babyganics hand sanitizers because they tend to be fairly non-toxic and have a “1” score at Environmental Working Group – very good!  You’ve be surprised just how many chemicals are in most hand sanitizers.

Vitamin C

There’s a bit of controversy over what vitamin C does or does not do for you regarding the common cold.  This is what Mayo Clinic says —

In most cases, vitamin C supplements won’t help prevent colds. However, taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms may shorten the duration of symptoms. Vitamin C may provide benefit for people at high risk of colds due to frequent exposure: for example, children who attend group child care during the winter.

We like natural food sources of vitamin C because you get so much more — other vitamins and nutrients, including fiber.  Citrus is great — oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, and more.  Also, mangos have a lot of vitamin C and can be chopped up and added to Greek yogurt, top a serving of waffles, added to a leaf salad, or eaten on their own.  Potatoes surprisingly have a huge amount of vitamin C, especially if you also eat the skin, and they tend to fill you up as well.

mango waffles

Mango Waffles are a quick and fun way for kids to get their vitamin C. Photo: National Mango Board

Reduce Stress

There is a connection between your immunity and stress.  And while it may be different for each person, common helps include getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and having positive social interactions.  Knowing how to better manage the stress that is out of your control is also helpful.

For parents, if you are struggling with a child, parenting classes can help give you options and reduce stress.

Planning ahead of the holidays and making them less about gifts and more about time with each other can also be comforting and stress relieving.