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Keeping the Cooties Away this Flu Season

Being sick is never fun. Having kids that are sick takes the unpleasantness, discomfort and worry to a whole new level. 

For the past 6.5 years of being a mom, my kids and I have been very fortunate to have avoided most of the “sick bugs” that go around each year. From the flu to stomach bugs to day care (yes, I’m lumping in day care with sickness because we all know how the first few months go) and everything in between, there’s some scary stuff out there. I like to think that some of that good luck was due to preventative strategies, however, even with a regular routine of strengthening my kids’ bodies with lots of the good stuff, the bugs got the best of us this winter. And not just our little family. Pretty much every person I know has been sick… as well as their kids… and their kids’ kids. What is going on here?! I thought the Flu vaccine (which we don’t get) was supposed to decrease the flu, not increase the rate of incidences.

Whether us getting sick was related to me easing up on our usual routine this winter or the fact that bugs are truly getting stronger (in San Diego alone, the number of confirmed flu cases (16,078) is four times the prior three-year average for San Diego County), (1) I’ve decided to stick to my regular regimen of healthy eating, probiotics, food based vitamins, and adaptogens (for myself) in order to hopefully prevent the family sick-cycle from continuing. I know you know what I’m talking about, mamas. Keeping the Cooties away involves two parts: Prevention (for making sure they don’t show up in the first place) and Intervention (being prepared when they do). This week we’re talking about prevention!


So, let me “gut” right to the chase. Probiotics, my friend. P-R-O-B-I-O-T-I-C-S. They have changed my life. If you have a family (or if you don’t), you need to start taking this lifesaver. I never took probiotics prior to my oldest kiddo starting preschool, but as soon as she started, the bugs began and I had to make a change. It all started with a nice little fermented coconut kefir water called Inner-Eco. This naturally probiotic rich drink - aka “a serious probiotic with a bubbly personality” - contains 100 BILLION probiotic CFUs per 1 tablespoon serving so I started giving it to the whole fam each day. That became our routine (occasionally rotating in Garden of Life chewable probiotics for kids, which are refrigerated - always a plus!) and suddenly something amazing happened. She stopped getting sick and so did I. For real though. Even if we’d start feeling sick, it would go away in a day or so and would never fully develop. Our bodies were equipped with so many good forms of bacteria, I think they fought off and outnumbered the bad stuff whenever one of those bad bugs tried to invade.


Giving probiotics is not the only thing that has helped us fight off the bad stuff. I’ve also made sure my girls eat mostly organic and stay away from processed sugars (for the most part – I’m certainly not perfect with this, but believe it’s what you do most of the time that counts). We’ve also been gluten-free (again for the most part) for the past year. 


Rainbow Light Kid’s One chewable vitamins have also been a go-to for us recently. I like them (and so do my kids) because they’re 100% food based and deliver important nutrition kids may not get from diet alone. (2) Since we live in an age where our soils are often depleted and there are environmental toxins all around us, I like to take the extra precaution of giving my family some food based vitamins to ensure they’re getting everything they need. If you’re looking for a kid’s vitamin, definitely make sure it’s food based, otherwise you’re wasting your money (in my opinion). Vitamins work together in their natural state but not when they are synthetically isolated which is an important distinction because it directly affects their ability to be absorbed and used in the body. (3) Spend the extra money and get something that’s as close to the farm as possible.

Remember, even though it feels like it will never end when you’re in the thick, of it, IT DOES END. Trying to prevent it in first place makes your life that much easier, but if those nasty germs sneak by, we’ve got some helpful intervention tips as well… next week on the blog!


Cassandra Curtis, Co-founder + Chief Innovation Officer, Once Upon a Farm

Cassandra is a mother of 3 girls. She lives in San Diego with her husband, daughters, 2 cats and a dog. Cassandra works full time as co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Once Upon a Farm and as a mom. In the rare free time that she does get, she loves to do Yoga (she is a certified yoga teacher), cook healthy meals, run, travel, and spend time with friends and family.


1) Sisson, Paul. “San Diego's second flu surge continues to grow.”, 14 Feb. 2018,