James Van Der Beek Shares How He Protects His Family From the Flu (VIDEO)

James Van Der Beek

He may always be angsty teen filmmaker Dawson Leery to legions of adults who grew up watching the WB, but these days, James Van Der Beek, who will star in the upcoming CBS series CSI: Cyber, is all adult -- and dad! He and wife Kimberly are proud parents to three adorable children: almost-4-year-old Olivia, 2-year-old Joshua, and 9-month-old Annabel. As a result, they've had reason to become extra health-conscious.

"[Olivia and Joshua] got the flu last year, when my wife was nine months pregnant, which was no fun," he explains. The experience inspired him to join a campaign to dispel common misconceptions about the nasty virus. Of course getting vaccinated, with the FluMist nasal-spray flu vaccine, is a must now for his whole family. 

At the same time, James, Kimberly, and the kids follow various other healthy habits to stave off illness. The Stir recently caught up with the TV star, and he shared his and his wife's best healthy living tips for their family of five.

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How they soothed their kids when they were sick: "They just want to be held -- they're so little! It is a 24/7 job. We just gave them a lot of attention."  

What Kimberly has taught James about food as preventative medicine: "She's incredibly knowledgeable about using food to boost your immunity. She puts a lot of great recipes on her Instagram account. She was the one who enlightened me to the whole idea that food is something you can enjoy on a holistic level for all of the benefits that it provides you and your immune system. She makes a lot of really simple, great dishes that are packed with antioxidants and vitamin C and antiviral foods that help keep up the immune system."

Their rules of thumb when it comes to preparing meals: "[My wife's recipes] are all simple, because we've got three kids! So there's not much time to whip up complex dishes. We keep it simple, keep it fresh, keep it clean, keep it unprocessed, and save some leftovers!"  

James' favorite healthy dish: "The Israeli salad my wife makes with cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, and onions! That's something we can just make a bunch of and have at any time."  

Their go-to family activities: "We go to the park, run around the backyard, we blow up the bouncy house! We just like to take the kids with us as many places as we can, so we have the opportunity to run around and play."  

More from The Stir: 8 All-Natural Ways to Ward Off the Cold & Flu (PHOTOS)

Check out James' cute new video "Just the Flu Facts," which debunks various misconceptions about the seasonal flu and vaccination.

 

What measures do you take to keep your family well during cold and flu season?

 

Image via Andrew Walker/Getty Images

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