Tips For Keeping Well Through Winter, Naturally

Photography: Frankie Apothecary

By Michele Wilson

Winter is almost here in all its wet, windy glory. Things in our whanau have changed so much since this time last year. Eva is now in school and Frankie is in preschool three days a week, which means more exposure to nasty bugs. Frankie Apothecary is keeping me occupied, and with dad back on night shifts, we’re all a bit busier and more tired – so it’s really important to make sure we stay as well as we can this winter.

From experience, there is very little we can do to treat bugs and colds, so this year I’ve chosen to instead focus on keeping our immune systems in tip-top shape. Here are a few of the tweaks I’ve found work well for us recently.

Sleep

Good quality sleep is one of the best ways to boost our immune systems. My children go to bed earlier in the winter months and enjoy a warm Epsom salt bath followed by a massage with Frankie Apothecary Kawakawa Body Oil. A gentle massage before bed can be very effective for helping babies and young ones sleep deeper and longer. For my girls, having their little backs and chests massaged by mum has become a lovely nighttime ritual.

We also use our Frankie Apothecary Breathe Easy natural chest rub and my eldest loves applying her own Breathe Roll On. Both designed to help the whole family sleep deeply through the night, with an essential oil blend of eucalyptus, peppermint, cypress and lemon. Kanuka is included for its traditional use as a decongestant according to Rongoā Māori, and the organic beeswax and hemp seed oil base is incredibly moisturising.

Nutrition

As a family we stick to a very nutritious, non-processed diet, but I try to up the vitamin C and zinc-rich foods during winter. That means lots of leafy greens in smoothies, and lots of kiwifruit, oranges, lemons, grapefruit and feijoas in my daughters’ juice and snacks. Leftover dinner or warm vegetable-rich soups for breakfast is my best tip for getting extra veggies into little ones’ tummies. Where possible, we try to grow as much fresh veggies as we can in our garden so these are easily accessible through the seasons.

Bone broth is an integral part of my family’s diet in winter and is a very economical way of getting in a super high dose of minerals. The glycine in bone broth has been shown to help promote a better night’s sleep, and is a powerful immune booster.

Frankie has drunk a warm mug of broth every morning since she was small. Eva is a wee bit fussier, so I add the broth to all of her meals and she’s none the wiser. Bone broth is also a powerful gut healing probiotic, and you will undoubtedly see improvements in your skin if you suffer with eczema in the colder months.

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