STRATFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — The average elementary school kid catches eight to 12 colds or cases of the flu during the school year. But there may be a few natural ways to boost your kids’ immune system so they have a better chance of fighting off illness.

As a mom, Caryn Sullivan knows first-hand what it’s like when your child gets sick.

“When my son is sick, I feel awful,” Sullivan said. “You just want to curl up in a ball with them and make them better right away.”

That’s why the wellness blogger and two-time breast cancer survivor uses natural remedies to keep her son’s immune system working at full capacity.

“It’s really important for people to think of their health in a preventative way because the hope and the goal is that their kids and family are a lot less sick,” Sullivan explained. “Especially when you have a bigger family when one kid gets sick the whole house gets sick and so if we can prevent it then it’s going to be so much better for all of us.”

Sullivan’s immune boosting tip number one: Elderberry syrup.

“What’s important about elderberry is that it has a lot of flavonoids,” Sullivan said.

Those flavonoids, Sullivan says, can fight off inflammation and viruses.

“Elderberry syrup can have sugars in it so look for elderberry syrups with only a few ingredients,” Sullivan recommended.

Her trick for getting her son to eat it is to add it to smoothies.

“Just a tablespoon in a smoothie can add a lot of immunity power punching nutrients,” Sullivan said.

Her immune boosting tip number two: Apple cider vinegar.

“With apple cider vinegar, it’s actually a probiotic; it’s fermented,” Sullivan explained. “It’s fermented. Probiotics help clean and make a healthy gut which then in terms helps your immunity stay strong.”

Sullivan recommends using it to make salad dressings. Or…

“If your kid drinks spicy juices or tart juices then you can put a teaspoon in the juice,” Sullivan recommends. “Another easy way is to add it to soups.”

The third way Sullivan recommends naturally boosting your kids’ immune system is with essential oils.

“Essential oils have microbial properties so if you diffuse them throughout your home it’s actually going to kill the germs while they’re in the air,” Sullivan said.

Whenever her son gets a cut, Sullivan rubs tea tree oil on it to ward off bacteria and help it heal.

Sullivan’s final immune boosting tip is to get back to basics.

“Washing hands is so simple so easy sometimes our kids wash their hands and they only do it for about two seconds,” Sullivan explained. “We have to remind them that lathering and washing our hands is really going to you know kill all sorts of germs that are out there.”

So now that you’re armed with these natural immune boosting tips, it’s time to kick those colds to the curb. For more information about Caryn Sullivan, visit her blog