5 Ways to Protect Your Child’s Immune System This Winter

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child's immune system
Graphics by: Anna Wissler

Editor’s Note: Always seek the advice of your child’s pediatrician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding the health of your child.

If you’re tired of being taken out by sickness every other week by your precious little one’s tiny germy hands, this is the article for you. I’m pretty sure everyone has been subjected to the revolving door of illnesses this season has thrust upon us. I personally don’t know one family that hasn’t complained about their kids being sick at least once since the beginning of fall, and it’s only escalating with the temps dropping. These germs have no qualms about when and who they strike. We spent our Thanksgiving week drowning in a pile of tissues and practically begging our 2-year-old to take the dang cough medicine. It’s getting old, fast. 

We have to take into consideration that the world spent the last couple years at home in efforts to minimize the spread of COVID, which was vital in order to protect each other. However, it also didn’t do any favors to our kids’ immune systems. It’s not their fault either when they feel just as miserable as we do. So what can we really do to keep all this sickness at bay? After doing some desperate late night research while coughing my life away, I saved a few tips on how we can beef up our immunity in preparation for winter. From one sniffly mom to another, here are five things we can do to help our kids stay healthy.

 

1. Nutrient-Packed Meals

If you have the type of kiddo who loves to chow down on fruits and veggies, you’ve practically won the lottery. Seriously, how does it feel to be the chosen one? I was not blessed with such luck, so Little Spoon has become a saving grace for ensuring that both of our kids get the vitamins and nutrients they need. Their Babyblends and Smoothies are jam-packed with great immune-boosting ingredients such as vitamin C, vitamin B, and potassium. Both my toddler and 8-month-old can’t get enough of the flavors and actually finish their meals.

Little Spoon’s meals are made fresh every week with no artificial ingredients and are delivered right to your door, so you can kiss the mom guilt goodbye. They have meals for every age and stage, and it’s so easy to choose your desired plan once you sign up for a subscription. And with more than 100 different ingredients, many of them perfect for increasing immunity, your LO is pretty much guaranteed to find a meal they love.

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2. Get Plenty of Sleep

This may seem like an impossible task when your kids find any excuse under the sun to postpone bedtime and wake up frequently throughout the night, but a great night’s sleep is essential to maintaining a healthy immune system. Little ones of different ages require different amounts of sleep, so it’s important to know how many hours your child should be getting. If your household is struggling to get a good night’s rest, consider looking into helpful sleep resources or revising your bedtime routine. 

Hatch

Rest Smart Sound Machine

Customize sound, color, and light intensity settings to create the perfect sleep environment for your child to fall asleep—and stay asleep.

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Dream Sack Wearable Blanket

A soft and durable wearable blanket made of two layers of fabric for added comfort.

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3. Stay Up-to-Date on Vaccines

Kids aren’t always comfortable with doctor’s visits, but keeping their shots updated is the most surefire way to protect them against illnesses. There are many ways to help ease their anxiety and prepare them for their shots. As a parent, it’s also natural to feel nervous about new immunizations like the COVID vaccine for children, but experts agree that it’s perfectly safe and highly recommended. 

 

 

4. Keep Them Active

Physical activity will help children’s bodies battle infections more efficiently. Making sure they’re active can be as simple as going for a walk around the neighborhood or visiting your local playground. I’m the type of parent that’s not overly fond of exercising, so this is one tip I’ve had to work on in our home. Kids always imitate what their parents do, so it’s important for me to set a good example, which will also help improve their overall health.

 

5. Wash Those Tiny Hands

Oh, how our kids love to touch everything. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t utter the words “don’t touch that, it’s dirty!” Developmentally, they truly cannot help those impulses. So while we can always discourage them from drawing on dirty cars with their fingers, it’s probably more effective to regularly wash their hands (and perhaps bathe them in hand sanitizer when we’re out in public). While catching germs will never be completely avoidable, we can try our best to ensure their immune systems have strong defenses. 

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Faucet Extender

Make hand washing a breeze with these Munchkin faucet extenders. They also help promote independence with their ease of use.

 

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This post was in partnership with Little Spoon but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.