'I have 4 kids. This is how I help prevent all of them getting sick at once.'

Blis Probiotics
Thanks to our brand partner, Blis Probiotics

People often ask me what the hardest thing is about raising a big family.

Aside from the sheer busyness of managing four little people’s lives, and keeping on top of the washing (an empty laundry basket is about as rare as a lunar eclipse!) the biggest challenge is keeping everyone well.

Last year we spent more time at the doctors than we did at the shoe shop. Which is to say a lot – as any parent knows, kids’ feet grow at an alarming speed!

Last winter we seemed to be perpetually sick. My youngest would bring germs home from childcare (a melting pot for infections) and sprinkle those germs around like confetti. We were hit with recurrent ear, nose and throat infections (yes, plural) and lingering tummy bugs. It was a nightmare.

When one went down, we all toppled like dominoes and inevitably I would hit the deck too.

So, during these winter months, I have taken all measures to support the family’s immunity and keep everyone protected as much as I can.

Here are couple of the things we’ve been doing in our household to avoid last year’s tumble-down effect:

1. Sneaking in a few immunity-supporting foods.

We all know that a good diet is essential for good health. It’s a no brainer, really. But getting kids to eat healthy food can be a challenge. I have found that instead of telling my kids to eat healthy foods, explaining to them why it is important has more of an impact.

I am forever banging on about “brain food” and consequently my girls have developed quite the taste for oily fish. They frequently request sardines in their sandwiches and even anchovies on pizza.

My youngest, however, is incredibly fussy with food, so adopting an educational stance doesn’t work. Instead, I sneak immune-supporting foods into her diet as I find the “disguise and deceive” approach works best with toddler. A handful of kale in her smoothie and she’s none the wiser!

I am also conscious of minimising the amount of sugar the kids consume, especially “hidden” sugars that aren’t naturally occurring in food. We have dedicated SFDs (Sugar-Free Days) and allow for small treats occasionally.

When the kids do get sick, they don’t feel like eating much. On these occasions I feed the older ones miso soup and the younger ones home-made hummus. The garlic in the hummus is great, as some studies have shown it may help make you less prone to catching a cold. And even when my kids aren’t well they can usually manage dipping a carrot stick into hummus. Plus, it’s super easy to make.

2. Hand washing. A lot of it.

We are pretty strict in our household about washing our hands well and often, especially before eating or preparing food. This is one the best ways to keep kids well and prevent the spreading of germs.


When kids come into contact with germs, they can become infected just by touching their eyes, nose, or mouth. And once they’re infected, it’s usually just a matter of time before the whole family gets taken down.

A simple equation is ‘more time at the sink equals less time at the doctor’s surgery’. It’s a simple enough thing we can all do to protect ourselves in such close quarters.

3. Taking probiotics.

Throat infections seem to be so common, especially around changes of seasons. My girls are more susceptible to these types of infections, so this winter we took a pre-emptive strike. As well as the usual vitamins, I introduced a probiotic into their diets and we are almost through winter without a single infection.

It’s worth checking out what’s on the market that can give extra support to your child’s immunity. One that’s new to Australia is BLIS Probiotics’ Daily Defence Junior – a targeted daily probiotic to support immunity and throat health. Unlike most probiotics, which work to protect the gut, the BLIS K12™ strain in these probiotics targets and protects the gateway to the body – the mouth and throat.

You can sprinkle the powder directly onto your child’s tongue, or over cool food like yoghurt just before serving.

4. Having a sleep ritual.

I am a huge believer in the importance of a good night’s sleep. The reason sleep is so important for the whole family is it helps set our body clocks and moods.

Getting enough sleep is particularly important for kids because it helps them grow. Plus, it helps the body recover quickly from illness or fight off infections, combined with other factors like diet and exercise.

In our family we follow a lovely sleep ritual every evening. After dinner it’s a nice, warm bath with a few drops of lavender oil, followed by books, a mindfulness meditation, and then cuddles in bed.

Sleep hygiene is a top priority. Three out of my four kids understand, and even enjoy, the benefits of sleep.

The fourth child is yet to fully embrace just how wonderful sleep really is. She’s a work in progress!

Michaela Fox is a freelance writer, blogger and mother of four. On her blog Not Another Slippery Dip she muses on the many shades of motherhood, from the serious to the lighthearted and humorous.

What are your tips for keeping your family from all getting sick at once?

Blis Probiotics

"BLIS PROBIOTICS is a world first targeted throat probiotic protecting the gateway to the body – the mouth and throat – for a new approach to throat health this winter.

It is a probiotic lozenge containing the naturally occurring BLIS K12 strain, which targets the mouth and throat, helping to support the balance of good bacteria in the mouth.

BLIS PROBIOTICS is backed by more than 30 years of research.*

*Tagg, J R et al. “Bacteriocins of gram-positive bacteria” Bacteriological reviews vol. 40,3 (1976): 722-56.

Available in pharmacies.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use.
For more information, visit"