Surviving a Cold: Supplements and Products

As a Certified Health Education Specialist with a Bachelors degree in nutrtion and a background teaching culinary classes, I whole heartedly believe we need to focus on the foods we eat year round to help prevent illness. (Read more about cold and flu prevention here)

However, no matter how well we eat, at some point in time we all catch a cold and surviving it (especially with a toddler and as a parent) means we need some backup!

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I will be sharing the products that we personally use in times of need but this does not take the place of individualized medical advise from your families general practitioner. Most colds aren’t serious, but they can turn into more serious illnesses (such as pnemonia or croup). It’s vital to have your pediatrician look at your baby if they have a cold and are under 6 months old — especially if they’re running a high fever or have other symptoms. Typically, a cold will run its course in a week or two, and in typcially healthy toddlers, children, and adults will usually get better on their own, without traditional (western) medication. With most colds we have to let them run their course however there are some products and supplements that can both ease the symptoms during and cold and in some cases help shorten the duration.

Products

We have several items that are my “go-to” when someone in my home comes down with a cold.

Congestion and Cough Relief (for the Whole Family)

Stuffy Nose Relief (for infants)

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This post contains affiliate links. These cost no additional price to you but I recieve a small commission. Full disclaimer here.

Having a baby with a cold is one of the hardest things as a new parent. You just want them to feel better! I remember Jax’s first “stuffy nose” and how I just wanted to make it all better for him. I literally sat on the floor holding him by a humidifier for an entire night.

Even though every part of me was disgusted by the idea of this- the Nose Frida is one of the BEST inventions. It allows you to help get all of that congestion out of you little one in a safe and gentle way.

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Stuffy Nose and Cough Relief (for Babies 6m+)

Oilogic was one of my favorite finds when Jax was younger! They make several products that utilize the power of essential oils to safely help open up your little one’s sinuses and soothe their cough. To be honest, I have absolutely soaked in a bubble bath full of this and loved every second of it!

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Humidifier (For all ages)

A cool-air humidifier can be your best friend when dealing with a little one who has a cough! It helps with relieving dry, stuffed up nasal passages by adding moisture to the air in a room. This humidifier goes the extra mile by also working to diffuse essential oils, acting a nightlight (with 7 colors), and also has a adjustable mist output.

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While a humidifier can help relieve congestion, mold and mildew can build up and be sprayed into the air if not cleaned properly each and every time.

Essential Oils

If your do decide to diffuse essential oils in combination with a humidifier there are a few great options to consider:

Supplements

Supplements are an amazing marvel of modern science but they aren’t safe for everyone. However, in the United States they are not federally regulated making it vitally important to make sure you know what you are purchasing and trust who/where it comes from. Always, always, ALWAYS consult your child’s pediatrician before administering any supplements or over the counter medication.

Epsom Salt

This post contains affiliate links. These cost no additional price to you but I recieve a small commission. Full disclaimer here.

Epsom salt is NOT for eating or drinking. However I did group it with supplements because it can offer nutrtional benefits even when NOT being consumed orally. Epsom salt is a great way to increase magnesium because magnesium is one of the few nutrients that can be absorbed through our skin (transdermal absorption). Epsom salts when added to a bath can help to relieve some of the achiness by easing the pain and reducing inflammation. Which means a nice, relaxing bath with epsom salts an amazing remedy for a cold! Read more about espsom salt baths here.

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Elderberry Syrup (Age 2-12)

I could rave all day about the benefits of elderberry syrup! In fact, I wrote an entire article on elderberry and everything you need to know about it. (Read more here)

While they do make elderberry products for children under 2 years old, I highly advise you to consult your child’s pediatrican. The main reason that I stick to this brand of elderberry is because they do thrid party purity testing which helps ensure safety standards being that supplements are not federally regulated in the USA.

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Elderberry Gummies (Age 4+)

As an adult, I really don’t like the elderberry syrup however I can handle these gummies. I do recommned NOT offering gummies to children as long as possible due to the fact that they can easily be confused with “candies/treats” and also because they can potentially be a choking hazard to littles. If your little one will take the syrup, try to stick to that as long as possible.

CBD Products (Adults Only)

CBD Isolate

A majority of the ashiness we feel with a cold is due to inflammation. My personal secret weapon for combatting inflamation is with CBD isolate. CBD is still undergoing a lot of research so I, personally, do not administer it to my toddler nor advocate for administering it to children but as an adult I do choose to use it. And I LOVE it. The term “isolate” means that there is absolutely no THC. Like all other supplements that I use, I opt for those that opt for third party purity testing. The only brand of CBD oil that I use is ThoughtCloud. Read more about CBD here.

Use the code “SNAX” at checkout to save extra!

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Topical Pain Relief Balm

If you are still on the fence about taking CBD, a great starting place is with this topical pain relief balm. You simply rub it onto your skin anywhere that you feel achy!

Use the code “SNAX” at checkout to save extra!

CBD Bath Bomb

If you are already planning on soaking in an epsom salt bath, you might as well toss one of these in there too! These bath bombs also help to reduce inflammation and come in a variety of scents that can also help open up your stuffiness such as eucalyptus, lavender and peppermint.

Use the code “SNAX” at checkout to save extra!

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When to Call a Doctor

While not every single sniffle or cough warrants a trip to the doctor, there are some signs, syptoms, and reasons to call your child’s pediatrican.

For all children, call a doctor if you see any of these symptoms:

  • A fever in an infant 6 months or younger
  • A fever of 102 degrees or higher at any age
  • Blue lips
  • Labored breathing, including nostrils widening with each breath, wheezing, fast breathing, the ribs showing with each breath or shortness of breath
  • Not eating or drinking, with signs of dehydration (such as decreased urination however a decrease in appetite is normal when ill)
  • Excessive crankiness or sleepiness
  • Persistent ear pain
  • If the cough lasts for more than three weeks
  • If the child is getting worse

These symptoms can signal that your child may have something more serious than a cold.

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Having a sick toddler or being a sick caregiver can be exhausting so most importantly prioritize rest when possible! Most colds will run their course within about 10 days but these products and supplements can help relieve the syptoms and shorten the duration of your little one’s cold!

When I am sick, surviving is most important and “thriving” gets put to the side. Here is a simple and balanced lunch that I made for Jax and I when I was sick.

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Lunch Time! ➕peanut butter and honey (no honey under 1) sandwich ➕unsweetened applesauce ➕strawberry ➕cucumber —————- Swipe over to see what Jax(2year old) ate! Additional servings noted 👇 —————- *We start all meals with SMALLER PORTIONS however he is able to ask for MORE of ANYTHING we are eating at that particular meal- this reduces food waste and teaches intuitive eating. See “portion size” highlight for more information* ————— Sick mom day meal 🤧 I’ve been feeling poorly the past few days and now (day 3) I’m really running on low battery. But an important part of taking care of Jax is taking care of MYSELF. Even though I wasn’t really in the mood to eat I still made a plate and sat down to eat with him (you can swipe over twice to see my plate!) . Jax was the opposite of me- he was ravenous at lunch! He ate his sandwich and ANOTHER piece (typically one of mine but that’s fine because I was happier with MY apples & peanut butter-choking hazards for under 4yo), MORE applesauce, and more strawberries. He chewed up and spat out one cucumber but there’s plenty more to offer throughout this week! . This meal is great for sickies 🤧(like me) because it offers: 🥒🍎hydrating fruits/veggies- hydration is top priority for recovery 🍓 vitamin c rich foods (3 medium strawberries offers 21mg of vitamin c- meeting a toddlers daily needs) 🥜 protein and fat- to help provide longer lasting fullness (2tbsp of peanut butter offers 8g of protein which is half of a toddlers daily needs) 🍞whole wheat bread- in combination peanut butter and whole wheat bread offer all 9 essential amino acids to make a complete protein 🍯 raw local honey is great for a sore throat (but not safe for babies under 1 year) . For more ideas on what to feed you toddler (and yourself) when you are sick check out my blog post “Feeding a Sick Toddler” 🤒 and my other post about “Preventative Care During Cold & Flu Season”!

A post shared by Toddler Nutrition & Meal Ideas (@snackswithjax) on

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For more information on important foods and beverages to offer your little one (and yourself) when sick, check out this post!

Stay strong, stay hydrated, and don’t stress the little details (like laundry) right now!

**The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition. No information on this site should be relied upon to determine diet, make a medical diagnosis, or determine treatment for a medical condition. The information on this website is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. For more information please read our full disclaimer here.**

Published by snackswithjax

Sarah is the creator and mom behind "Snacks with Jax", a social media community of over 85,000 parents/caregivers, where she shares her son's meals, nutrition information, and evidence-based tips for feeding children. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist with a Bachelor's degree in Nutrition emphasizing in Wellness from Texas Woman's University and years of experience as a culinary instructor working with ages 2+. She has coached hundreds of parents & caregivers through the journey introducing solids to babies and also navigating picky eating with toddlers and older children. Her focus is on establishing a life-long healthy relationship with food for children while also empowering, encouraging, and educating their adult caregivers.

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