How to survive your next cold or flu in Chicago

Frost has hit the Chicagoland area and with that comes the beginning of cold and flu season for many families. For us it started about a month ago when we were returning from a family vacation in Florida. You probably know what I’m talking about – the dreaded airport. The hotbed of all cold and flu germs and almost impossible for little hands not to run into contact with.

We returned from our lovely vacation with a nasty bug that progressed one by one through all five of us. We were out of commission for a week – ugh! Like most bugs, there isn’t a pill to make it all better. Sure you can take Tylenol or adults can take an over-the-counter medicine to alleviate symptoms, but pretty much it just needs to run it’s course.

So before your family is caught with your next bug – here are some natural remedies for helping your sick family survive your next cold or flu.

Warm Liquid

This will help sooth sore throats, loosens phlegm and keeps people hydrated. So bring on the tea and broths.

Note: If you are not up to making soup for your family, Panera has a wonderful selection of soups you can pick up and take home with you!

Hot Showers

Steam from a good hot shower will help clear out your stuffy nose, will ease achy muscles and will help with ear pressure due to sinus congestion. Make sure to close the bathroom door and not turn on the fan to allow the steam to build up.

Note: If you have an infant just leave them in their car seat (or your arm) and sit in the bathroom while someone takes a steamy shower. Johnson’s also has a soothing vapor baby bath that helps alleviate stuffy noses – great for kids at any age.


I know it seems obvious, but rest is essential when your body is working hard to fight off a bug. Sleep is best, but just resting on a couch and watching something on TV is the next best thing.

Make Every Bite Count

When you are sick often times you don’t eat as much. So, like infants, you need to make every bite count. Eat nutritious food like lean chicken, steamed veggies, oranges and warm broths. Limit sugars which will only weekend your immune system even more.

Note: If you have an upset stomach stick to the BRAT diet – Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, (plain) Toast and lots of water.

Limit Outings

Besides not wanting to give your germs to everyone else (which we all appreciate!), you and your child have weakened immune systems. You will more readily catch anything you come into contact with. So take it easy and stay close to home until you are feeling better.

Visiting the Doctor

If you have a sore throat for more than seven days, a fever that is not brought down with Tylenol or other symptoms that concern you, make sure to give your doctor a call.

 Here's hoping for a healthy cold and flu season.
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