Disclosure: I was asked by Loblaw to create this post and have been compensated. Opinions are my own.
We’ve already dodged a bullet. Over a full month into the new school year, I thought Chels was coming down with her first doozy of a cold. She fought it off though, and now I’m putting into place my plan of attack to prevent her from succumbing to the germs the next go around. Because when she gets it, I get it and I’m not going down without a fight.
The Fall Spike
Studies show school children bring germs home from school and spread them to their parents and younger siblings, causing sickness ranging from colds to severe asthma flare-ups – known as the Fall Spike.
- The Ontario Lung Association notes that when children go back to school, it’s back to close quarters with classmates – and the viruses they carry.
- A study from the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology also shows a link between peaks in asthma hospitalizations and higher rates of respiratory tract infection after students return to school, particularly after the summer vacation.
Maximizing Nutrition, Both During the Fall Spike and Year Round
It’s important to make healthy food choices all year but even more so during cold and flu season to ensure you’re getting the nutrients your body needs. (I also personally think that a good diet helps us mentally fare better through the long, cold, Canadian winter). For example:
- Vitamin C and E are antioxidants important for the maintenance of good health and are found in citrus fruits and seeds/nuts, respectively, while zinc, which can be found in nuts and seeds, as well as vitamin A, found as beta carotene in orange vegetables like sweet potato and butternut squash, have been shown to help maintain immune function.
- There is also interesting research that probiotics modulate the immune system, making these important to include as well.
- Protein, found in meats, eggs, seafood (e.g. salmon, tuna and trout), milk products, legumes, and nuts and seeds, helps build and repair body tissues and antibodies.
- The B vitamins, which help to maintain good health, are found in abundance in leafy greens, whole grains, and winter squashes, to name a few.
- Everyone (barring any dietary restrictions, of course) should include these foods on their grocery list to maintain good health this fall.
A Good Pharmacist & the Flu Shot – Key Prevention
From the food aisle to the pharmacy, your local Atlantic Superstore has important resources to keep you healthy during flu season:
- Atlantic Superstore’s in-store dietitians can help you prepare for cold and flu season with nutrient-rich foods and recipes that help support good overall and immune health.
- The flu shot is the best way to prevent the flu, and is available through in-store pharmacists at Atlantic Superstore stores across the region starting in mid-October.
I know the flu shot is the subject of many heated conversations, both around the kitchen table and online. Sometimes the flu that comes around is not the flu that we’ve been immunized against, and we still get sick. I get it, it happens (it totally happened to me last season and I got slammed). No, it won’t stop you from catching the common cold virus (that’s a whole other can of worms), but it does help, it protects both you and those around you who may be more susceptible to the flu, it’s free and easily obtainable – even while you grocery shop.
So, once they are available, please visit your local Atlantic Superstore and get your flu shot. While you are there, book a free appointment with a registered dietitian if you feel you need some help getting you and your families meals maximized for optimum health.
Oh, and wash your hands with good ol’ soap and water. All. The. Time. #momtip