Our List of Cold and Flu Season MUST HAVES

It only took me a few late night, foggy, feverish trips to the store before I finally learned to STOCK UP.
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This conversation is sponsored by Sinex available at Walmart. All opinions are my own.

As I type this, my girl is sitting on the couch, in a pile of pillows watching The Great British Baking Show on Netflix because she’s home sick from school.

It’s our first sick day of the school year.

I’ve already made a delicious smoothie and used my iPhone light to inspect her throat no less than three times.

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Oh, what’s this? No joke, my other child just called from school to be picked up because he doesn’t feel good.

Alright, everyone scoot over, we’ve got another man down.

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RIGHT NOW is the time to stock up (obviously, as my ill household can attest) and you can score some fantastic savings on Sinex products at Walmart (bonus points for using Walmart Grocery pickup.)

Grab the BrandSAVER coupon from the 10/28 newspaper to get $1 off any Sinex product at Walmart.

Use iBotta started 11/7 to get $3 rebates on Sinex liquicaps, Sinex mist, and Sinex VapoCOOL at Walmart.

Or roll up to Walmart through 11/10 to get $4 off Sinex products when you combine offers!

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It only took me a few late night, foggy, feverish trips to the store to load up on supplies before I finally learned to stock up while I’m clear headed and showered. No parent, and I mean, NO PARENT has ever been disappointed to discover an extra bottle of medicine in the cabinet or regretted giving up freezer space for an “emergency only” batch of Chicken Noodle Soup.

My “in the moment” decisions are terrible when I’m ill. Because I will straight up order pizza to be delivered to my door. Or I will buy myself donuts on the way home from buying meds for myself. These are bad decisions. No cold virus has ever been threatened by the appearance of a powdered donut.

Our COLD AND FLU STOCKPILE breaks down to four critical categories; food and drink, medicines, supplies, and “for parents.”

FOOD + DRINK

Electrolyte Drinks

A few years ago, one of my kids got really dehydrated during a nasty bout of Strep Throat. It was awful. Now I harass any sick person within reach of my voice about keeping up on their fluids. I’m a big believer in keeping your families favorite flavor of sports drink stashed away in the pantry for sick days.

Soup + Noodles

Something gentle on the belly and soothing on the throat. April keeps a batch of chicken noodle soup and rolls in the freezer just for a sick day emergency. I’ve got chicken bone broth in the pantry as a good gluten-free option for me, and I’ve always got elbow macaroni on hand for “buttered noodles,” a sick kid favorite around here.

Smoothie Supplies

A smoothie is a great way to pack in nutrients and soothe a sore throat. I keep frozen fruit in my freezer and blend with orange juice, water, and a big handful of spinach. Frozen fruit completely overpowers the taste of the spinach and you still get some leafy greens in a sick person’s belly. (Pro Tip: frozen raspberries and blueberries will mask the color of the spinach, if you’ve got a kiddo, or grown up, that’s going to turn up their nose at a green smoothie.)

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Can you see the hidden spinach? Neither could my kiddo.*

MEDICINES

Nasal Spray

I was a nasal spray late bloomer. Until I realized what a difference it makes for helping keep my nose clear and moist—especially on the go, or at work. Cold winter air is so hard on sinuses and Vicks® Sinex™ Scent Free Nasal Decongestantavailable at Walmart travels well and is easy to use.

Nighttime Cold + Flu Medicine

I’ve never, NOT EVER, been given advance notice about getting walloped by a cold or flu virus. I’ve had very productive days devolve into fever and misery in the short time between homework and bedtime. So now, I’m not EVER without Vicks®Sinex™ Severe VapoCOOL Nighttime Congestion medicine (available at Walmart).

Cough Drops

A dry throat and mouth is so awful. Keeping your throat moist will also help you (or you kiddo) from a crazy coughing fit. Hopefully.

Daytime Cold and Flu Medicine

In a perfect world, I could lounge in bed until I am back to 100% fighting shape, but I have bills to pay and my mortgage lender doesn’t accept hugs as payment. So a good daytime medicine is a MUST for keeping back on your feet while you’re under the weather. I keep Sinex Severe Sinus Pressure & Pain Non-Drowsy LiquiCaps (available at Walmart) in my bag at all times, and in my travel toiletry bag so I’m ready to handle anything that might pop up while I’m on the go.

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SUPPLIES

Tissues with Lotion

Extra soft tissues are a must during cold and flu season. Children would rather their nose fall off their head, than allow you to help them wipe a super chapped nose.

Humidifier

If you’ve already got one, make sure it’s clean. If you don’t, GET ONE. They make such a huge difference, especially in climates that are already really dry. Dry, winter air, on top of a sore throat and stuffy head? MISERY.

Heating Pad

Achy neck and shoulders? How about when you have the insane chills or your feet are extra cold? A heating pad is a lifesaver!

Epsom Salts

A nice hot, detoxing bath is a great way to not only feel better, but to also give your eyeballs a break from your binge-watching. Bonus points for a formula with Eucalyptus that helps clear your head!

Vicks VapoRub + Socks

There is something magical about slathering the bottoms of your feet with Vicks VapoRub and then putting on a pair of warm socks before bed. Whether it’s an old wives’ tale or not, it’s legitimately comforting and that’s a win in my book.

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FOR PARENTS

Sleep

If you (the parent) are sick, ask for help so you can get some sleep. Sleep = healing. If you’re looking for a “put your oxygen mask on first” moment, THIS IS IT. If your kiddos are sick and you’re juggling work, sick kiddos, and general life responsibilities, give yourself a pass on doing the dishes or working out and go to bed early. Sleep = a better immune system.

Cut Out Sugar

I know. I’m telling you to go to bed early AND cut down (or cut out) sugar, I’m a super drag. But hear me out—sugar does you no favors. You’ll sleep better and be less moody/anxious without it. What parent couldn’t use a bit more patience when nursing a houseful of ill people?

Boost Your Immune System

Help your own immune system (and the other people in the house who aren’t already sick.) Take your probiotics, load up on Vitamin C, get your leafy greens. Give yourself and the remaining healthy people the best chance to STAY HEALTHY.

Break Up The Screen Time

Streaming is a gift. Really. But too much time parked in bed or on the couch can make everyone a bit stir-crazy by the end of the day. Break up the day with baths, reading time, and quiet time in the kiddo’s room on their own. This is a great time to disinfect...well...everything. Especially bathrooms, doorknobs, sinks, remotes, and handheld devices.

May your stockpile of chicken noodle soup be delicious, may your tissues be tender, and may your cold and flu season be mild.

GOOD LUCK!

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