We all know that back to school also means back to germs. This time of year is known as the “Fall Spike” because it’s when our lovely children bring home all sorts of viruses and germs to infect the entire family, from colds to severe asthma flare-ups to the flu. Gee, thanks.
I’ve already gotten that dreaded phone call once this month: “Come get your barfy kid!” Fortunately, there are some preventative measures we can take to help our families stay healthier and get us through the Fall Spike.
Of course it’s important to make healthy food choices year round, but it’s even more so during cold and flu season. Feed your family nutrient-rich foods to ensure their bodies have the resources needed to stay healthy. Pay extra attention to what goes in your shopping cart and make sure you’re picking the right kind of foods that will help keep your immune systems strong during the Fall Spike and heading into this year’s cold and flu season.
If you could use a little extra help (and don’t we all?) head in to your local Loblaws or Your Independent Grocer to book a consultation with the in-store registered dietitian. He or she can assess your dietary habits, provide one-on-one nutrition counselling to help you make healthy food choices for your family, assist with meal planning, and provide guidance around best ways to eat for chronic conditions like diabetes, high blood pressure, or high cholesterol. Learn how to prepare for cold and flu season with nutrient-rich foods and recipes that help support good overall and immune health for you and your family.
Wash Your Hands
One of the easiest things you can do to limit the spread of germs this fall is to wash your hands often. Teach your kids how to wash their hands properly too! That means washing with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds, scrubbing the front and back of their hands, between their fingers, and under their nails. I taught my girls that 20 seconds is about as long as it takes to sing the Alphabet Song. Luckily they’ve also learned to sing the Alphabet Song quietly in their heads!
If you or your child is vomiting or running a fever over 100, please, please do everyone a favour and keep your germs at home. Stay home and take care of yourself instead. You should be vomit-free and fever-free for at least 24 hours before returning to work or school.
Oh, and while you’re home sick, forget that myth about starving a fever. Feed your body’s immune response with healthy, nutrition-rich foods like this homemade chicken vegetable soup made with sweet potatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and zucchini.
Get Your Flu Shot
Regardless of what else you do, flu season will be here before you know it. Taking a few minutes to get your flu shot could save you from 14 days of misery or even more serious health complications. In 2015, over 5,000 Canadians were hospitalized with the flu, including more than 1,500 kids. Not only is a flu shot your first defense against the flu, but you’ll also help protect others from getting sick, including children, the elderly, and immuno-compromised people. Flu shots are available now at your local Real Canadian Superstore pharmacy.
From the food aisle to the pharmacy, your local Loblaws or Superstore is your one stop shop to help you and your family stay healthy during cold and flu season. Book a free appointment with an in-store registered dietitian to learn more about the foods that can help support a healthy immune system, and while you’re there, consider visiting the in-store pharmacist for your flu shot at the same time.
Disclosure: This a sponsored conversation. Nevertheless, all opinions in this post are completely honest and my own.