Nobody likes it when their child gets sick. You wish you could make it go away right then and there. Unfortunately, that is not possible. What you can do though is take steps to boost your child’s immune system.
When my daughter was an infant, I had a great, old timey doctor. He hardly ever wrote prescriptions for my daughter. He said they have to build their immune systems. He also told me that if a child has too much medication when they are little, they will become immune to it. When they get older, the medicine won’t be able to help them when they really need it.
Another favorite website of mine is WedMD. I use it as a reference on just about everything.
Here is a list of foods which can help boost your child’s immune system:
Beta-carotene and other carotenoids: apricots, asparagus, beets, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, corn, green peppers, kale, mangoes, turnip and collard greens, nectarines, peaches, pink grapefruit, pumpkin, squash, spinach, sweet potato, tangerines, tomatoes, and watermelon.
Vitamin C: berries, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cantaloupe, cauliflower, grapefruit, honeydew, kale, kiwi, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, snow peas, sweet potato, strawberries, tomatoes, and red, green, or yellow peppers.
Vitamin E: broccoli, carrots, chard, mustard and turnip greens, mangoes, nuts, papaya, pumpkin, red peppers, spinach, and sunflower seeds.
These foods are also rich in antioxidants:
- Red grapes
- Alfalfa sprouts
Other antioxidants that can help keep you healthy include:
Zinc: oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, seafood, whole grains, fortified cereals, and dairy products
Selenium: Brazil nuts, tuna, beef, poultry, fortified breads, and other grain products
Cooking tip: To get the biggest benefits of antioxidants, eat these foods raw or lightly steamed. Don’t overcook or boil them.
Five Foods That Boost Immunity:
Yogurt. Yogurt contains helpful germs called probiotics. You may already know that these critters live in your gut and can improve the way your body uses food. But they’re also important in helping your body fight sickness. One study found that kids who had a yogurt drink had a 19% lower risk of colds, ear infections, and strep throat.
What type of yogurt should you get? Look for brands that say they contain live cultures. “If it’s separated when you open it, and there’s a little liquid on top, that’s a good sign,” he says.
Kefir. This tart milk drink also packs lots of healthy probiotics. While the biting taste can be a surprise at first, it’s catching on in the U.S. “You can buy it in single-size packages that you could pack in your kid’s lunchbox,” says Jennifer McDaniel, MS, RD, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. There isn’t much proof about kefir yet. But early research suggests it can help your immune system.
Walnuts. Walnuts have healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for you in lots of ways. Experts believe that omega-3s help your body fight illness. One small study found omega-3s cut the number of respiratory infections in kids. Walnuts are easy to sprinkle into a snack mix or on cereal.
Fruits and veggies. To help your immune system, McDaniel suggests aiming for ones that are high in vitamin C, like citrus fruits, strawberries, bell peppers, broccoli, and sweet potatoes. Experts aren’t entirely sure how much vitamin C helps colds and flu.
Lean meats. You might not think of a leftover pork chop as a snack — or that it would boost your body’s disease fighting system. But lean meats can help. First of all, they have protein, which is important for keeping up strength. Second, lean meats also contain zinc, which seems to help white blood cells fight off infections, McDaniel says.
Carrots, green beans, oranges, strawberries are great foods which contain vitamin C which we all know is an immunity booster. I would also recommend a daily vitamin. We use Flinstones Immunity Support.
Make sure your child is getting enough sleep. A newborn may need up to 18 hours of cribtime a day, toddlers require 12 to 13 hours, and preschoolers need about 10 hours. If your child can’t or won’t take naps during the day, try to put him/her to bed earlier.
Breastfeeding is best
Breast milk contains turbo-charged immunity-enhancing antibodies and white blood cells. Nursing guards against ear infections, allergies, diarrhea, pneumonia, meningitis, urinary-tract infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. Studies show that it may also enhance your baby’s brain power and help protect her against insulin-dependent diabetes, Crohn’s disease, colitis, and certain forms of cancer later in life.
It is recommended that moms breast-feed for a year. If this commitment isn’t realistic, aim to breast-feed for at least the first two to three months in order to supplement the immunity your baby received in utero.
Stress also affects the immune system. Today, everyone is busy, parents are over-stressed, children are over-scheduled, and everyone suffers. Children’s bodies have the same response to stress that adults’ do — their cortisol and adrenaline rises. When this elevation in stress hormones is sustained, their immune systems’ response is lowered.
Everybody needs me time.