5 ways to strengthen your child’s immunity
In this article, our partner dietitians, Anna and Alex, from The Biting Truth share 5 scientifically proven ways you can strengthen your child’s immunity.
1. Eat the rainbow
Kids love colour and so do their immune systems. Eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables provides the vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other goodies your child needs to help fight off unwanted illnesses.
To incorporate more fruit and veg into your child’s diet, try:
● Making it a fun activity by challenging yourselves to eat all the colours of the rainbow each day.
● Downloading our veggie tracker which will encourage your family to eat more colourfully!
● Offering cherry tomatoes and carrot sticks with dinner.
● Mixing blueberries or raspberries through plain yoghurt for a snack or dessert.
2. Offer protein-rich meals and snacks
Protein is critical for immune function. The cells responsible for attacking foreign invaders need protein to grow and function; many of the tools in their arsenal are made entirely from protein! Offering your child protein-rich meals and snacks throughout the day will help them meet their protein requirements and support their immune system.
Here are some high protein foods to keep in mind:
3. Offer probiotic-containing foods
Probiotics are friendly microbes found in fermented foods like yoghurt. Yoghurt is also full of B vitamins and calcium, which are essential for good health and strong bones. Offering your child yoghurt and other probiotic foods on a regular basis may help support their immune function by strengthening natural immune barriers and increasing the activity of immune cells.
4. Offer foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3 fatty acids are not only essential for the developing brain, they also reduce inflammation, which protects the lungs from the common cold and other respiratory infections. Recent research also indicates these fatty acids may boost kids’ immune systems by enhancing the function of immune cells.
5. Stay hydrated
During the cold winter months, be mindful of your child’s water intake. It can be easy to drink less when the weather cools off – try offering warming drinks like fresh ginger tea or lemon-infused water. Staying hydrated will help fight against nasty germs and flush out toxins.
6. Supplement when necessary
While we always recommend a food first approach to meeting nutrient requirements, there are times when supplements may be necessary. For example, if your child is struggling to meet their nutrient requirements from food, your doctor may recommend supplementation.
Always seek the advice of a health professional before starting your child on supplements.
Here’s some immune-supporting recipes your kids will love: