Do you ever wonder if there are things you can do to help your child stay healthy year round? In this article I will share 3 things you can do to boost your child’s immune system to help it function at its best all year round. You can’t avoid all illnesses in your child, but you can provide her with an extra layer of protection. Children are often in close contact with one another. They can easily spread germs to each other, whether it's at daycare, school, or on the playground. Teaching your child good healthy habits like proper hand washing techniques and sneezing into their elbow are the best ways to minimize and prevent the spread of germs. However, as hard as we try to teacher our children those things we know that children have their very own way of doing things. Here are 3 simple and easy techniques to incorporate into your family’s routine and may give your child’s immune system the boost it needs.
1. Make sure your child gets plenty of sleep It is known that a lack of sleep can affect the immune system of adults and children. Sleep is the time when the body repairs itself and during sleep the body produce cells that boost the immune system. A lack of sleep causes a decrease in the production of these cells as well as a decrease in the body’s natural producing antibodies that ward off infections and viruses. So make sure your child is getting plenty of sleep so that her immune system can work at its optimal level.
2. Give your child foods that are probiotic-rich AKA the “good” bacteria Build up your child’s immune system by giving her friendly probiotic-rich foods. Fermented foods like yogurt with live and active cultures, sauerkraut, pickles, kefir or aged cheese are great sources of probiotic foods. Probiotic powder or gummies are great for picky eaters. 3. Make sure your child eats plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts and dairy A hard one...right? Especially if you have a picky eater.
Fruits and vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.
All the things needed to keep your child’s little machine well oiled and maintained. vitamin A supports their upper respiratory (egg yolk, cheese, nuts) Vitamin B helps their body recognize pathogens (fruit, nuts, chicken, veggies) Vitamin C and E helps protect the cell (broccoli, tomatoes, berries, orange) Vitamin D helps destroy pathogens (egg, fish, milk) Iron helps kill pathogens (spinach, beans, peas, broccoli, fish)
zinc cleans up any damaged cells (egg, meat, beans, seeds, nuts, dairy)
Selenium promotes cell growth (boiled eggs, nuts, fish, brown rice, oatmeal) Let's take a closer look at how to get more of these foods in your child's diet.
Most children love fruit...so stock up on their favorites. Fresh is best, but frozen fruits are just as tasty and good.
Most children tend to refuse anything that remotely looks like a vegetable. Try hiding vegetables in other foods. For instance, to get children to eat carrots I grind them and then put them in other foods like mac and cheese. A win win for everyone!
Also, homemade smoothies are an excellent way to get both fruits and veggies in. I’ve made some great homemade smoothies that the children just loved. Give it to them with a spoon and let them have at it. If time isn’t always on your side, make a few batches and then freeze or even make popsicles. Make sure you google some great recipes to get the right balance for taste.
These are just some general guidelines. Since each child’s immune system is different, consult with your child's pediatrician to come up with a plan that will work for your family.
I hope all of you stay well during this flu season and as always thanks for stopping by.
~The Modern Day Mommy
Can you think of ways to hide some of these nutrient rich foods in other foods? I would love to read your comments and suggestions.