Compared to the immune system of adults, a child’s immune system is quite fragile as it’s still developing. For parents, keeping their child healthy is therefore a top priority to protect them from illnesses whether it is a cold, a flu, fever and so on. Luckily, modern medicine has proven that the child’s immune system is no mystery and there are definitely ways to boost it, decreasing the severity as well as frequency of illnesses.
Here are some ways to boost it:
- A Proper Diet
Since food is the fuel to the body, eating right will directly affect the condition of your child’s body. Eating right will serve it well, while eating the wrong foods will decrease your child’s immune system. There is numerous food to eat as ailments for different body conditions:
Homemade pickle or chutney: These foods are a treasure trove of nutrients, which can help aid mood swings, cramps and keep their gut healthy.
Carotenoids (Carrots, green beans, oranges, strawberries): All of these fruits and vegetable mentioned contain carotenoids, which contain immunity-boosting phytonutrients. These phytonutrients increase production of infection-fighting white blood cells and interferon, an antibody that coats cell surfaces, blocking out viruses. The recommended eating amount is about five servings of fruits and veggies a day (A serving is about two tablespoons for toddlers, 1 cup for older kids).
Vitamin C (Strawberries, oranges and capsicums): Red-colored vegetables and fruits contain Vitamin C to help strengthen resistance to infection.
Green vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts and spinach): Green vegetables, on the other hand, contain essential micronutrients like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber and calcium to help boost immunity. Other than that, it also contains antioxidants, iron, beta-carotene and folate.
Blueberries: Including blueberries in their diet will be beneficial as they’re rich in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and amino acids thereby helping to promote a healthy immune system.
Cashew Nuts: For children, cashew nuts will give them microminerals and other nutrients that will reduce body aches, fill them up and boost immunity.
Zinc (protein-containing foods like red meats as well as shellfish and whole grains like quinoa): Zinc also plays a role in immunity, as it is crucial for the development and function of cells.
Vitamin D (sunshine, oily fish, cod liver oil and egg yolk): Vitamin D is crucial for our immune system, for it activates enzymes on the surfaces of all white blood cells.
Shiitake Mushrooms: These mushrooms are great for the overall health of the body, for it contains all 8 essential amino-acids, are packed with B vitamins plus have the ability to boost the immune system. Various effects of eating this superfood include improved cell effector function, improved gut immunity and reduced inflammation.
Antioxidants (chia seeds): For antioxidants, it doesn’t get any better than chia seeds compared to blueberries.
Omega-3 (salmon): To reduce the occurrence of infections, get your children to eat salmon.
Iron (Grass-fed beef or lamb): Iron is said to help in various processes of the immune system, from cells proliferation to maturation.
- Give some love to your guts
Other than eating healthy foods, showing your gut some love can also prove beneficial for your immune system. The reason is because a healthy gut microbiome is essential for not only maintaining a healthy digestive system but also for keeping the immune system strong. For that to happen, your diet plays a big part. Eat food that contain healthy bacteria to inhibit our gut, by eating sauerkraut, fermented veggies and prebiotic rich food.
- Eat Rice
Rice is an important part of their diet, therefore make sure to include it into their daily meals. Rice is a good source of protein, which would help build immunity and their overall development. Other than that, it is said to take care of cortisol (stress hormone) fluctuations in children which is good for mood regulation.
- Avoid junk food
A healthy diet will be useless if your children still eat junk food. It can be considered to be some of the unhealthiest foods that one can ever come across. Not only does it lack in nutrition, but it also contains high amounts of salt, sugar and fat. Eating too much of it can lead to obesity, high blood pressure and more diseases in the long term. Which is why you should avoid packaged, processed food and instead opt for freshly cooked food and snacks made in their home kitchens.
- Get ample sleep
Those who do not get enough sleep are said to be more susceptible to illness, since lack of sleep kills off the cells which are immune-system weapons that attack microbes and cancer cells. Children who don’t have a fixed bedtime are will result in poor immunity. Sleep will help them be healthy and disease-free.
On average, an infant may need up to 16 hours of crib time a day, toddlers require 11 to 14 hours, and preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours. If your child can’t or won’t take naps during the day, try to put her to bed earlier at around 10 pm, to promote the human growth hormone that peaks between 10 pm to 5 am in the body.
Being active can also help in the pursuit of a healthy life. Research shows that exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in adults, which work the same way with children. There are a number of ways to inspire movement in children, like exercising with them. Fun family activities include bike riding, hiking, inline skating, basketball, and tennis. You can also build a living room obstacle course or include them in your morning yoga. Otherwise, we can also encourage them to move by engaging them in small household chores. Some of the activities include cleaning their room or getting up and fetching their own glass of water.
- Drink Enough Water
Staying hydrated can also be considered another effort for leading a healthy life. Considering that up to 60% of the body is water, it’s important to stay hydrated to function well. Water is needed, for we need to eliminate the toxins from building up too much and harming the immune system. Get your little ones drinking by keeping see-through bottles for them to drink and building a habit of drinking every hour or so.
- Laugh your way to health
No matter how much you take care of what you eat, exercise and drink water with caution, it will not work if you are stressed out. Laughter is one of the simplest ways to boost your little one’s immunity. Rather than stress hormone cortisol that negatively affects the body, laughing reduces stress, releases endorphins and improves overall mental and physical health.
Which tip have you applied at your home? Tell us your opinion in the comment section below!