Winter for us as a family is typically made up of endless streaming noses punctuated by periods of actual sickness, a cycle of colds and coughs that roll through each member. As the kids get older, the sicknesses are of a shorter duration, and far less often, I guess just by nature of building a stronger immune to common bugs. I much prefer this to the days where I had several in preschool in once and they were constantly running bugs, ills, chills and the worst of all, vomiting and diarrhea bugs – blergh. However, in the last 13 years I have absolutely noticed that the severity is increasing each year. We roll along with the usual colds and sniffles and then once or twice a year something really horrific knocks us. I do hear from doctors and friends that they feel similar, whether this is perceived or an actual ‘thing’ though, I am unsure.

A few weeks ago, we were slammed by a very very nasty bug. Daddy, who has by far the strongest immune in this house, went down heavy, leaving me nursing all the children. In between catching vomit, measuring temperatures, pumping in fluids, making soft foods and soups, mopping up bleeding noses, changing beds and endless washing, and pleading with the grandmothers for more supplies (namely lemonade ice blocks), I was on the phone a lot with Healthline. We are so blessed to have this free service in NZ, a 24/7 reassuring ear at the end of the phone. Before Healthline, we spent many a night in A&E with massive fevers and ills and bumps, now I have saved myself so many trips by seeking assurance from a nurse on the phone first.

Anyway, once everyone got over it, I took stock of our essentials and it cost a fair bit to top up. Healthcare in itself is very expensive, wellness even more so. Again, NZ is so blessed to have free doctor visits and prescriptions for our children, and it is so wonderful to know I can pop into the GP to quickly check ears, throat, rashes etc. But if you want to take the wellness route, well, that can quickly add up. I’ve tried hundreds of different potions, but these ones have become staples in our first aid kit. 

BePure One and Three are my essentials. I’ve tried getting them into the kids with no luck, but for me I absolutely take every day so that I don’t regress in my health. Even though we eat well, so much of our food in NZ is deficient in minerals etc, and this provides such a complete daily multi-vit. I’ve been on it a couple years now and highly recommend. For the kids, I add Concentrated Mineral Drops to our food when I am cooking instead, and keep up the fruit and vege intake.

Lemons, garlic and manuka honey are remedies as old as the hills, for good reason! Plus, they’re probably the cheapest of natural alternatives! I made up a drink for the sickies that they refused to drink, and the Manuka Immune for Kids by Biobalance, which is essentially the same damn thing, obviously tastes better so the kids had that instead. Weleda Ear drops and throat sucky-things are staples in our kit, but the new Wild Dispensary throat spray works fab too. The Wild Dispensary Chest Tonic worked AMAZING and doesnt taste too bad either. I really love this and it has replaced my previous favourite cough mixture. Viralex works really well for us as a cold and flu treatment.

We go through mega amounts of Vit C here, and the inhaler, not at all traditional, is a life saver and it has its place in our lives (ideally with a spacer). Throat lozenges round off our winter essentials, I’ve tried lots of natural ones but I personally prefer the Vicks ones so they stay!

Little bottles of eucalyptus, lavender, peppermint and lemon essential oils are handy for the diffuser and I prefer Tui Throat and Chest balm for skin.

Anyway, I hope that helps if you are looking for some essentials for your own winter survival kit. We also keep lemonade ice blocks in the freezer for keeping up hydration, I have made my own natural electrolyte drinks and we have tried supermarket and prescription ones as well, but the ice blocks are cheap, easy to store and don’t go off quickly, and the kids like them, which at the end of the day is the important thing. And even though we prefer natural first, we have panadol and pamol in our cupboard as well, because everyone needs some sleep to get better 😉



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