Find out how to boost your child’s immune health through diet with these expert tips.
Sparing our little ones from disease would be every parent’s dream, but ashamed of keeping them in a germ-free bubble, that just isn’t possible. Colds, viruses, infections and all their unpleasant symptoms – stuffy nose, fever, sore throat, abdominal pain to name a few – present a particular challenge to children who are still very innocent of their effects. But, there is a lot we parents can do to help revitalize their immune system, such as filling their plates with nutrient-rich foods, especially those rich in vitamins C, D and E, zinc and probiotics, which will help them strengthen their bodies’ natural ability to fight disease now and as they grow.
Babies come into this world with an immature immune system that gets its first infection-fighting antibodies from mother’s milk. This resistance grows as the child grows into maturity in the early teenage years. As they grow, they are exposed to more germs and bugs (especially in those early years of school), and this is how their immune system learns to fight them. But small bodies can’t fight nearly as effectively without nutrient-dense fuel!
Good nutrition is an important way to build and maintain a healthy immune system. Research shows that there is a relationship between diet and immunity, meaning that essential nutrients — vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and essential fatty acids — fuel cells in the immune system that fight off disease-carrying organisms. The gut is where 25% of those immune cells live, which provide 50% of the body’s immune response – it is home to more than 500 species of bacteria. Feeding the gut with probiotics – live microorganisms with health benefits – can lead to immune benefits. A number of studies show that live bacteria and yeasts found in foods such as fermented foods can help keep children healthy. many of studies It showed that children in nurseries and daycares do not get sick as often or as severely when they consume probiotics.
This vitamin plays an important role in immune function, helping to protect the body from disease. Offer a rainbow of fruits—from oranges and strawberries to kiwis and blueberries—and vegetables like broccoli, tomatoes, red peppers, and potatoes. Offer their favorite things, but be sure to introduce something new regularly. There are also many great tasty and smart ways to encourage kids to get their daily vitamin C, as mashed fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C work to increase the amount when mixed with other foods. Fruits like strawberries, kiwis, and bananas act as sweeteners in morning oatmeal or any other porridge, and pair beautifully with baked goods like cookies and muffins. Vegetables improve flavor and even color when added to them macaroni pizza sauce, casseroles, Mashed potato– Sweet potatoes are very appropriate here – and the soupAnd stews and hot peppers.
The sunshine vitamin — which the body makes its own when exposed to sunlight — may have important functions with the immune system, too. Take advantage of the sunny days and let the little ones play outdoors whenever possible. Natural food sources, such as light-exposed mushrooms, may not be a child’s first choice, but there are many vitamin D-fortified foods that are child-friendly, such as fortified plant milks, orange juice, and cereal.
You’ll find this important mineral in plenty of kid-friendly sources such as nuts, whole grains, beans and fortified cereals. Zinc helps the immunity of youngsters by increasing the number of white blood cells and infection-fighting T cells. Studies show that zinc can not only reduce the incidence of infection, but may also reduce the duration of colds. Impress them with my Berry Baby Oats TahiniFor a zinc version of tahini (sesame seed butter), oats, whole wheat and flaxseeds.
Vitamin E is a key factor in reducing the risk of upper respiratory tract infections, including the common cold, and is essential for children. It’s also easy to find in healthy foods. So, stock up on nuts, seeds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach. I also have a favorite recipe for kids that they’ll never suspect is good for them—PB & J . Kids BarsContains Vitamin E-rich Chia Seeds, Peanut Butter, Whole Wheat and Peanuts.
Find more healthy, kid-friendly recipes here: