Tag Archives: family health

Health: Making sick days better #VicksTricks

It’s February and we are slap bang in the middle of cold season; not that there’s ever really a time when you can’t catch a cold. With school being like it is – a festering swamp of germs. Bugs, viruses and colds can knock a whole class out for weeks at a time and kids are having sick days left, right and centre!

Inevitably the kids bring home germs and the whole family goes down. Whilst we make every effort not to take any unnecessary time off school and work, sometimes a sick day is what you need to knock the bug on the head. 

As a parent, the problem with sick days is that you don’t want them to be too much fun, you don’t want to give the idea that being at home is more fun than being at school, but you still want to be able to offer comfort and care to your child.

Health: Making sick days better #VicksTricks

The boy has had thankfully very few sick days off school. But when he has I always make sure he’s warm and comfortable. Snuggled on the sofa under a blanket is fairly standard. He might watch TV for a while, or do some colouring or work his way through an activity book. We will often read to each other and we will always have as many cuddles as he wants or needs. It’s a difficult balance to strike between keeping him entertained but not making it too exciting, so he won’t want more fun sick days at home.

In terms of looking after him when a cold hits, I let him drink as much water or watered down fruit juice as he wants. He’s not yet discovered the comforting hug in a mug a hot cordial can be, but that will come. If he’s suffering he can have some paracetamol medicine, and I encourage him to just keep blowing his nose. If he’s snuffly and coughing at night, the old trick of Vicks Vaporub on the feet really helps.

Interestingly Vicks have done some research into how parents cope with colds and bugs within their families –

• Over half (52%) of parents said that rest was the most important thing for making children feel better
• This was followed by ‘medicine’, which 40% of parents rely on
• More than a third of parents (36%) believe in the power of TLC

And when it comes to keeping children entertained: 

• Three out of four (75%) British parents put on the TV or a DVD
• Over a quarter (27%) read to their children
• 1 in 10 parents get really creative; either telling jokes (8%) or even do magic tricks (2%)

Of course prevention is always better than a cure. We are big on hand washing and trying to avoid getting the bugs in the first place. At the first sign of a cold, we adults start taking zinc supplements and praying for mercy. We’ve recently discovered Vicks First Defence. You spray it up your nose a few times a day at the first sign of a cold. It helps to stop the cold bugs in their tracks. 

Health: Making sick days better #VicksTricks

I admit to being a little skeptical, but last week I woke up with a tickly throat and reached for the Vicks First Defence Nasal Spray. It was easy to use and I used it for a couple of days and it really did seem to stop the cold in its tracks. I just don’t have the time to be fighting bugs, so this will be part of my bug battle armoury from now on. 
 

This post is an entry for the BritMums #VicksTricks campaign.

Review: EnvirOmega – Omega 3 for Vegetarians

As a vegetarian I have for a number of years been concerned about my diet lacking Omega 3. Omega 3 has so many health benefits and getting enough when you’re a pretty strict vegetarian can be problematic. I was sent a box of Efamol EnvirOmega to try out, which is a vegetarian Omega 3 supplement.

Omega 3 is most commonly found in oily fish, which is why it is recommended that people eat two portions of oily fish a week and for strict vegetarians this can be a real problem, so I’m pleased to find a supplement suitable for vegetarians.

Omega 3

EnvirOmega Omega 3 supplements can help to maintain normal brain function (DHA) and are made from algal oil. The algal oil in the capsules is from a specially cultivated plant source and the capsules contain a combination of Omega 3 fatty acids from marine mirco algae which are a good vegetarian source of DHA.

EnvirOmega comes in a box of 60 and are fish-free algal oil capsules. Each capsule is about 1cm long and is a soft, liquid filled, easy to swallow tablet. They don’t taste of anything in particular and are quite pleasant to take. The dosage is one capsule per day for adults.

Omega 3

I have taken them for a couple of weeks now and I think it’s too early to tell if they’ve had much of an impact on me, I think if I took them consistently for a few months I’d hope to notice some improvements. But it is good to know that I’m doing what I can to ensure that my body and brain are receiving the Omega 3 they need to function.

If you’re a vegetarian and you’re concerned about your Omega 3 intake, then it’s worth having a look at what supplements are available. These Efamol Enviromega Fish Free Brain Capsules are currently available for £11.99 for a box of 60.

Note: I was sent a box of capsules free of charge for review purposes, all images and opinions are my own.

Family Nutrition Q&A with Dr Sarah Brewer‏

family nutrition

Dr Sarah Brewer

One of the hot topics of conversation when I get together with my mummy-mates is food; what will they eat, what won’t they eat, are they eating enough, what will stop them and us getting stinking colds, all of that and more. So when Nurture Drinks gave me the opportunity to have a chat with top nutritionist Dr Sarah Brewer, I saw my chance to answer all our questions and more.

What are the main concerns about family nutrition at the moment?
Lack of vitamin D is a concern, a study in Southampton found that a third of children seen in an orthopaedic clinic had low levels of vitamin D and were at risk of developing rickets, 15 minutes of sensible sun exposure is a healthy way to top up vitamin D levels.

Are supplements for children worth it?
Up to the age of 5 the government currently recommend children take supplements of vitamins A, C and D, a good children’s multivitamin should cover it. Over the age of 5 it depends on how well they eat and how good their diet is. The Imune Nurture drink is a great way for children to top up their vitamin levels too.

Does vitamin C help with colds?
If you’re stressed or have an active lifestyle then it can help, but a balanced, healthy diet is key. Zinc lozenges can reduce the length of cold symptoms too. Olbas oil is excellent to helping with snuffly noses.

What can we do to look after ourselves as parents and boost our immune health?
Take a good multivitamin, don’t skip meals. Taking a rhodiola supplement may help reduce stress. Getting plenty of sleep is the key, but it’s not always easy as a parent. Try meditating before bed, aroma baths and power naps can help too.

How important are Omega 3 oils?
Omega 3 fish oils are really important and key for brain and eye function. There is evidence that omega 3 deficiency can contribute to ADHD, poor attention and behavioural problems. If you can incorporate oily fish in to your families’ diet that will help, so eating homemade salmon fish fingers and nuts are a great way to add omega 3 to diets. Two to four servings of oily fish a week is the current recommendation, though this is less if you are pregnant or trying to conceive.

Omega 3 is now added to some follow on milks and if you’re concerned about your family getting enough omega 3, then fish oil supplements are available and there’s an algae supplement for vegetarians. Omega 3 is an brilliant brain booster, and if you take it with evening primrose it can also reduce wrinkles and scaly skin.

We like cooking together as a family. What’s good to make together?
Things like homemade chicken nuggets or fish fingers are good, dip in egg and roll in breadcrumbs; make your fish fingers from salmon and that’s a great way to get some oily fish into your diet. Pizzas made with your own sauce and fresh toppings are fun to make too.

Should you hide veg in food, or it best to be upfront?
I hide veg, when I make a bolognaise for example I grate veg into the sauce and cook it out, chopped mushrooms are good because they can taste quite meaty, maybe add some soy protein or lentils too. All veg, hidden or not is good.

How should we deal with picky eating phases?
Keep offering healthy options and they’ll eventually eat them, try saying eat half and leave half, some is better than none. Kids won’t go hungry so keep offering them good things.

Fruit and veg. Is it 5 or 7 a day now?
It’s still 5 a day as a minimum, most people average about 4 a day, in America they recommend 10 portions a day. I have an “open fruit” policy at home, I have a large fruit bowl and the family can eat as much fruit from it as they want, variety is important.

Is diluted squash better than pure juices?
Squash is a good option for getting then to drink water, it’s best to dilute more than the bottle recommends, dilute as far as you can get away with. I prefer squash with natural sweeteners. Again with pure juices you should dilute them down, so half juice, half water. Like the Nurture drinks which are half juice and half water.

Is it true you shouldn’t eat after 8pm?
If you do it regularly it’s not great for you, but every so often won’t hurt. It can slow down your metabolism if you consistently eat late at night.

What’s good for strengthening hair and nails?
Nail strength is largely genetic, but biotin, silica and fish oils can help with your nails. Poor hair strength and condition can be a sign that your diet is poor or you’re under stress, a good multivitamin can help, as can eating more protein and taking a protein supplement. Stress causes constriction to the scalp so stimulating the scalp can help as can caffeine shampoo. Nourkrin supplements and treatments are expensive, but can help with hair growth too.

Are there any links between diet and asthma?
I’ve written a book about that subject, Overcoming Asthma: The Complete Complementary Health Program. Sensitivity to certain foods can trigger asthma, for example sulphites such as those found in wine and tartrazine in drinks can have an impact. Coffee, an apple a day, oily fish and a whole food diet can help.

Why do you recommend Nurture drinks?
It’s an exciting new development, Nurture have no added sugar and the no spill cap is great. The flavours are interesting and they can really help boost immune health. They contain beta glucans which can help reduce the chance of catching a cold and can reduce the length of the cold too.

Thank you to Dr Sarah Brewer for kindly giving her time to speak to me. This is not a sponsored post.