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Well Rounded Wellness: Flu Season

6 Foods to help mamas-to-be boost their immunity during cold & flu season.

Well Rounded Wellness: Flu Season

The depths of winter have arrived and with that comes cold and flu season. When the temperatures drop to punishing cold it can be hard to avoid catching the various bugs being passed around the city. Nothing is worse than having a cold when you are pregnant--you feel totally wiped out and miserable.

Since you may not be reaching for any over-the-counter meds during your pregnancy, you need to keep your immunity in tip-top shape. And the foods you’re putting into your body is a great place to start. Here are a few favorite foods to include in your diet to help build your immunity and fight off colds this winter.

Dark Leafy Greens

Dark leafy greens such as spinach, kale, collards and swiss chard are packed with immune-boosting Vitamin C. The darker the green, the more nutrient dense, so make sure you are eating plenty of greens all winter long. An easy way to incorporate greens into your day is by throwing a few handfuls into a smoothie. You can consume higher quantities of greens when they are blended than you can a salad.

Goji Berries

Goji berries are considered a superfood for good reason. Not only are they rich in Cold-fighting Vitamin C and zinc, they also contain polysaccharides which are known for their ability to support a healthy immune system. Goji berries are delicious on their own as a snack or can be a great addition to salads and smoothies.

Nettles

Nettles are incredibly beneficial to pregnant mamas. They have huge immune-boosting properties and can even help alleviate and shorten the duration of a cold if you do happen to catch one. In addition, nettles help strengthen fetus growth and development and also can aid in milk production for nursing mamas. The easiest ways to consume nettles is in tea form, which can be easily found at most health food markets.

Shitake Mushrooms

Shitake mushrooms help increases production of white blood cells which in turn help build and strengthen your immune system. They also have antiviral, antibacterial and antifungal effects that also help you fight off the common cold. Shitakes are delicious sautéed with a little garlic and coconut oil or roasted dry with sea salt and any herbs you choose.

Garlic

Garlic is an immune-boosting powerhouse. Its anti-inflammatory, antifungal and antiviral values are off the charts, which helps make it a major immune booster. If you do happen to get sick, increasing the garlic in your diet will help shorten your cold significantly. Garlic can be used in a variety of recipes so be sure to add it to as much of your food as you can this winter.

Lemon

Lemons are packed with Vitamin C making them a great immune booster. They are also a highly alkaline food (despite their acidic taste) and help keep your internal system healthy and disease free. Drinking a glass of warm water with the juice of half a lemon every morning is a great habit for anyone to get into--pregnant or not!

Get more wellness tips from Sara Jane Mercer here.

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

$30

Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

$75

Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

$40

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

$120

Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

$30

Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

$100

Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

$40

Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

$121

Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

$100

Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

$45

Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

$179

Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

$100

Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

$33

Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

$88

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