Beating the back to school bugs with #SuperstoreFluCrew

Back to School Flu Fall Spike

I remember when A was just about to start school and all my friends starting warning me to be prepared for the first back to school plague, the never ending onslaught of sickness from colds, runny noses, flus, fevers, the works! I’m a pretty diligent mom when it comes to germs so I totally thought I was in the clear, there was no way our house would be that house always getting sick, right?

Wrong. So very, very wrong. I made a very grave error thinking we would be in the clear. While we may have great hygiene habits at home the same cannot be said for 400 children in one tiny building folks, the germs they are creating over there are doozies! As a mom with a little one who struggles quite hard with Asthma when she is sick, I will pretty much do everything I can to make sure she stays healthy, simple germs from an everyday cold can be enough to send A into a very dangerous Asthma attack and can amplify already dangerous symptoms.

On the West Coast, rain or shine, kids are outside at recess and lunch, runny noses a plenty and germs flowing –this is pretty much the perfect breeding ground for the spike in germs, so how can you get ahead?

If you feel like your family is being hit with one sickness right after another right around back-to-school it isn’t just you! Once children are back at school after summer vacation there is a phenomenon called the “Fall Spike”, this happens right around back to school time and rolls into the upcoming flu season.

In 2015, more than 5,000 Canadians were hospitalized with the flu, including more than 1,500 kids. Often times kids spread germs from school to their parents and younger siblings at home, causing sickness ranging from colds to severe asthma flare-ups. 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 infections after students return to school, particularly after the summer vacation… the Fall Spike, right there.

So how can you get ahead of the Back to School Bugs? We’ve partnered with Real Canadian Superstore to share tips that can help you face them head on, and help to keep your family happy, healthy and hopefully flu free this Fall Spike season!

Back to School Flu Fall Spike Vitamin C

  1. While it’s important to make healthy food choices throughout the year, it’s even more important to do so during cold and flu season to ensure your body has the vitamins and nutrients it needs to fend off the bugs. Make sure to choose whole foods when available so you can enjoy the benefits of all the vitamins, not just what is included in a supplement.

– 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, has been shown to help maintain immune function. Even adding an additional serving of a Vitamin C rich fruit to your kids’ lunch bags can help give them a boost!

– There is also interesting research that probiotics modulate the immune system, making these another important addition to the shopping list. You can find probiotics in kefir and yogurt, but try to avoid ones high in sugar.

– 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. Roast up any of your fave winter vegetables and toss in to a salad for a delicious vitamin boost.

Back to School Flu Fall Spike Probiotics

  1. Book your appointment with a Real Canadian Superstore in-store dietitian! Curious about how you can incorporate these ingredients into your everyday menu planning? Or have any special dietary needs that require a bit more attention? Real Canadian Superstore offers a free in-store dietitian program that can help you prepare for cold & flu season by helping you discover nutrient-rich foods and delicious recipes that support good overall and immune health – and in case you missed the first part.. It’s FREE. Head over here to read about our experience with Jessica from Loblaw City Market and how she helped our family!

Real Canadian Superstore has some delicious and easy vitamin-rich recipes that can help introduce new ingredients, textures, and tastes into your family’s fall menus! I can’t wait to try the Bacon Maple Spiced Nuts and the Sweet Potato and Carrot Miso Soup.

Back to School Flu Fall Spike FluShot

  1. Get your flu shot – while a good diet and staying healthy is a great defense against the flu, it isn’t the best defense. Getting your flu shot helps to protect your family from different strains that may make their way in to your home. You can walk in to your local Real Canadian Superstore location and meet with an in-store pharmacist to get your flu shot starting NOW.

From the food aisle to the pharmacy, your local Real Canadian Superstore has great products, produce, resources and so much more to help you maintain your health during the cold and flu season. With wonderful staff on hand to answer any questions you may have, you can not only get ahead of the Fall Spike, you can beat it!

{Disclosure: I am part of the Real Canadian Superstore Flu Crew, I was compensated to share this information with you, but as a mom to a child with severe Asthma, I don’t take flu prep lightly – all opinions are my own.}

Tara Jensen
Tara is a parenting influencer based on the West Coast. With her full time career in health care, she focuses on green living, healthy family choices and encouraging families to live a fabulously frugal lifestyle. She lives on coffee, cuddles and post-its, generally in that order. When she isn’t working, she can be found outdoors exploring beautiful British Columbia with her family.