Thoughtful Parenting: 8 natural ways to avoid the new school year illnesses |

Thoughtful Parenting: 8 natural ways to avoid the new school year illnesses

Meghan Holpuch/For Steamboat Pilot & Today
Disclaimer This post is not meant to treat, cure, prevent, or diagnose conditions or diseases and is meant for educational purposes. As always, please consult your doctor before trying any new treatments or supplements as each child has different dosage requirements and health considerations. These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

It is exciting to get the kids back to school. I am there with you. But, do you also dread it knowing full-well you are going to start having to take time off work when that new cold or flu being passed around at school strikes your household? The new school year is around the corner and, yes, that means more coughs, colds and cases of the flu are ready to strike.

This does not have to be how it goes this school year. Along with covering your mouth and washing your hands, there are a number of natural ways to keep your family from being one of those that has to take the week off to care for your kiddos while they are home sick.

  • Exercise and outdoor time every day: As we increase our metabolism and connect with the great outdoors, we are encouraging our bodies to regenerate and move white blood cells around our body which, in turn, strengthens our immune system.
  • Choose water: Keeping hydrated should be No. 1 on your list. Good, old fashion, plain water is all you need and the only liquid you need to encourage during the winter season.
  • Eating fruits and vegetables: Get to the root of all things essential. Eating a wide range of fresh veggies and fruits sustains us with all our essential nutrients. These nutrients lay the foundation for health.
  • Multivitamin: For those days our kids decide a chocolate bar is a well-rounded meal and refuses to eat anything healthy, we can rely on a quality multivitamin. Making sure our kids have all the essential vitamins, minerals and nutrients each day is important for keeping our immune system active as well as increasing the absorption and efficacy of the nutrients we get from our whole foods.
  • Increase vitamin D: Vitamin D enhances our immune function and reduces the risk of respiratory infections. As it is, most children and adults are low in vitamin D, and during winter months, it gets worse as kids spend more time inside with less sunlight exposure.
  • Immune supporting herbs: Astragalus root, echinacea root, reishi mushroom, prickly ash bark, licorice and goldenseal are some herbs to take preventatively, or at onset and throughout an illness, as they are immune-modulating and anti-microbial. You can find most of these herbs in combination formulas in a glycerine base that tastes yummy to your kids.
  • Immune supporting foods: Raw honey is one good addition to a kiddos daily routine, and they will not complain. Honey is packed full of enzymes that are anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-viral as well as being very immune stimulating. Do not give children younger than 12 months old raw honey. Other foods include garlic, citrus fruits, ginger and dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach.
  • Avoiding high intake of dairy and sugar: As it is, the cold air promotes more mucus production in our noses, throats and lungs, but these foods also encourage mucus production. When we eat foods that encourage mucus production, we are creating a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses to inhabit and grow.

Dr. Meghan Holpuch at Sumovia Naturopathic Healthcare is a registered naturopathic doctor in the state of Colorado, but more importantly an educator and an advocate for your health. Naturopathic medicine is a form of medicine that takes a comprehensive approach to your health by taking into account your physical, mental and emotional health and finding the root cause of your ailments. Holpuch is about treating the cause and using preventative and lifestyle medicine to get you from sickness to wellness. Holpuch’s practice focuses on pediatric and family medicine as well as chronic illness treatment and prevention. Visit for more information about Holpuch and how to become a patient.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Steamboat and Routt County make the Steamboat Pilot & Today’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Tap into Health: The importance of life vests

Each spring and early summer, when the Yampa River flows swiftly through the heart of our community, I can’t help but wonder how many close calls our children have had with this body of water.

See more