During uncertain times and the sick season of winter, it's wonderful to be a natural mama – we are preppers and are ready for whatever may come! I have ingredients to cook real food from scratch always on-hand (even if grocery shelves are bare) and I have a natural health cabinet full of essential oils and supplements. I feel ready for whatever may come our way and wanted to share with you how I prep as a natural mama for uncertain times like these and also have fun and make memories during what could be a very stressful time.
With all that is going on around the world right now, it has reminded me of how very important it is to be prepped all throughout the year for uncertain times. Not just being totally stocked up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, but how to be stocked with immune supporting foods and supplements, too.
I'm not advocating for living in fear or anxiety, but for being prepped and prepared for whatever life may bring. Being prepped is not the same thing as living in fear!
I may not have medical degree, but I have done years of research in what works to support our immunity and how to be as healthy as we can be. Many of the things in this post we do every year, starting in September and October, just to be prepared for all of the sickness that comes in the winter months. I am not saying these things will cure or completely prevent common illnesses, but I have found they keep my family stronger so that when we do get sick, we recover much more quickly.
Click on the links to buy them on Amazon. I've linked to my favorite ones!
Pro Tip – look for vitamins that are based in real food. Our bodies know the difference between lab created vitamins and ones that are sourced from food. Our bodies absorb and use vitamins based in whole foods much better than lab created ones!
I could list a million supplements, but I'm purposefully keeping this list to a minimum so as not to overwhelm you.
- Vitamin C – this one is a super vitamin packed with elderberries, Zinc, and Vitamin C.
- Vitamin D – these are gummies sourced from whole foods and also include Vitamin D! Get these drops for babies.
- Probiotics – probiotics are amazing for keeping your immune system strong!
- Digestive Enzymes (read more about how they keep you healthier here)
- Make your own elderberry syrup – get my recipe here. And/or make elderberry gummies (get my recipe here).
- Essential Oils – see how to use them for babies and kids in that link, and also check out this post on recipes to use for school-aged kids.
- Essential Oil Diffusers – make sure you have some diffusers to run while you all sleep at night to keep your immune and respiratory systems strong!
- Detox Baths with Epsom Salts – these gives you a good dose of magnesium and are super relaxing during stressful times – great for kids and adults!
Make Your Own Santizers
Hand sanitizers are completely out of stock right now, so this is a great time to be making your own! Here are my recipes:
Healthy Foods and Drinks
This is the time to be making more recipes from scratch! Buy flour, sugar, butter, milk, salt. Stock your freezer with healthy meats and frozen veggies. Stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables. And by all means, buy the chocolate and wine, too, so you can enjoy yourself if you find yourself stuck inside!
Also, I have a giant deep freezer in my garage. It is a lifesaver as a family of six! I have enough food in there to feed us for several weeks. Lots of meat, vegetables and bread. That gives me SO much peace of mind as a mom. I try and keep my pantry full as well, so I'm not having to make mad dashes to the grocery store. I plan my meals a week out and only have to shop (most weeks) once a week!
- Grape Kefir Soda – healthy alternative to soda that contains probtiocs that support your immune system!
- Kombucha – another tasty homemade drink that contains probiotics.
- Healthy snacks – I really try to stock my kitchen with citrus fruits for all of their Vitamin C, apples, bananas, and other fruits that do well and are readily available. I try to buy junk as little as possible so it's not tempting to eat it! The most important thing when it comes to snacking is to try to eat REAL food – stay away from processed as much as you can!
- Cook More from Scratch – this is healthier because you're limiting the amount of chemicals you're eating. I have a lot of yummy recipes you can make while stuck at home with your family, like:
- Healthy blueberry waffles
- Healthy cinnamon waffles
- Hearty and Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Healthy German Pancakes
- Berry Smoothies – smoothies are an amazing way to sneak in super healthy ingredients without noticing!
- Homemade Larabars
- Easy Fermented Sauerkraut Recipe – loaded with probiotics!
- Paleo & Keto-Friendly Cereal
- Easy Breakfast Casserole (gluten free)
- Bone Broth – amazing for your gut health – use in homemade soups to really add nutritional value.
- Bacon and Veggie Quiche – Grain and Dairy Free
- Real Food Jello – healthy dessert for the kids, and SO easy to make!
In the winter months and times like these, I really feel like nature tells us to have more of an attitude of hibernation. Viruses THRIVE in colder weather and in weakened, tired bodies. Taking care of yourself is the best way to give your body a fighting chance!
Follow Nature and Slow Down
My mindset during the winter is follow nature and to SLOW DOWN. When my kids are sick or coming down with something, I don't hesitate to keep them home, both to protect other kids at school and to protect my own kids while their immune systems are weakened.
Be like a Bear and Get More Sleep
I sometimes wonder if during the winter we really are meant to hibernate like bears! Haha! So I do take my cues from them and really try to help my kids and I get more sleep. We go to bed earlier and prioritize sleep so that our bodies can stay strong – see my tips on getting a great night's sleep here.
Listen to Your Body
It's so important that we listen to the signals our bodies are sending us. When you're feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, strung out – it's usually a sign your body, mind and spirit need rest. Take a detox bath, ask for help with the kids, go to bed early, drink more water, Netflix in bed (let your kids watch more TV so you can get a break), etc.
I do not push my kids or myself during these more difficult times to go-go-go. We listen to our bodies and slow down when necessary.
Drink More Water
Staying hydrated helps to flush out toxins, including viruses! It's no coincidence that doctors tell you to drink fluids when you have a virus. Here's your friendly reminder to keep that water bottle with you all day long and keep drinking.
Find Fun and Creative Things to Do with Your Kids Around the House
I am excited about the intentional time to spend with my kids with nowhere to really go! We can have such quality time together, and I intend to make it as fun as possible for all of us.
- Have markers and crayons on-hand to color
- Play board games and card games
- Play hide and seek
- Print off free word searches, crossword puzzles, color by number and other fun worksheets. We do this all the time! Just Google what you want and you'll find something for free.
- Go for a nature walk (read my post on that here and get a free booklet)
- Play charades (my kids LOVE to play this! We make our own game.)
- Have a dance party (music instantly changes the mood and energy of a household for the better!)
- Watch more TV than usual (it's okay!)
- Paint with watercolors
- Get outside! Go for walks, ride bikes, go hiking, play a game of kickball, throw balls, etc.
- Do your favorite crafts together
- Spend time individually with each kid doing what they want to do for 10-20 minutes – follow their lead
- Carve out time for yourself, too. This is when I have no problem using the TV and iPads as babysitters – the kids need a happy mama, not a strung out one!
- Read aloud to your kids – such a wonderful time to connect!
- Watch movies together and pop popcorn, make it special!
- Make a bucket list as a family and let your kids decide what they'd like to do so they have ownership in the time away from school