When school rolls around and the seasons change, it is vital to ensure your kid’s immune system is ready to fight off whatever comes its way. It’s easier to get sick when it’s cold, especially if your children are going to school.
While it will be manageable, you can take steps to prevent it before that happens.
Eating nutrient-dense food is the best way to boost their immunity naturally. A balanced diet provides the vitamins and nutrients they need to fight off any germs they could encounter, but what foods are best?
Here are twelve foods to increase your child’s immunity naturally.
How Do You Improve Immunity In a Child?
Giving your kid a healthy diet is one of the best natural ways to keep them healthy. You should include lots of fruits and vegetables, which means a serving with every meal.
You’ll also want some whole grains, lean protein, dairy and healthy fats.
It is best to avoid processed foods and sugar. They can have treats every once in a while, but keeping it to a limit is best.
Besides a nutritious diet, you can practice these other steps to ensure your children are their healthiest:
● Getting enough sleep
● Staying active
● Stress management
● Simple hygiene
What Foods Boost a Child’s Immune System?
Incorporating plenty of nutrition into your kid’s diet can help improve their immunity naturally. Here are some great food options to feed your child to boost their immune system.
Vitamin D is great for boosting immunity and eggs are one of the few foods with it. They’re a complete food source filled with vitamin A, B-12 and selenium that can keep your kid’s immune system strong.
Not to mention — eggs have protein, omega 3-fatty acids and antioxidants to maintain a healthy and balanced diet.
One of the best things about eggs is their versatility. You can cook them scrambled, fried, sunny-side up, hard-boiled or whatever your little one prefers.
Altering the textures can help picky eaters by encouraging them to try eggs in different ways.
2. Citrus Fruits
Vitamin C is the most common vitamin people turn to when feeling sick for a good reason, since it does build your immune system. Almost all citrus fruits provide vitamin C and there are many to choose from.
See what your child likes best out of oranges, grapefruit, tangerines, lemon, clementines or limes for vitamin C intake.
Oats are a gluten-free whole grain option to add to your kid’s diet. It is one of the most nutritious grains packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and antioxidants.
Oats aid in lowering blood sugar and reducing future heart disease. They also have beta-glucan, which helps fight infections by activating immune cells.
Oats are traditionally known for being in oatmeal, but you can spice up how you include oats in your child’s diet.
You can blend it in when making smoothies without your kids ever knowing you added it. Or, if you want to make a treat, you can try some minimal-ingredient baked oats.
All you need for chocolate baked oats are:
● Rolled Oats
● Maple Syrup
● Baking powder
● Cocoa powder
Place the ingredients into a blender and transfer them to an oven-safe dish. In about 25 minutes, you will have a delicious baked oat treat.
Yogurt has lots of probiotics, which are good bacteria to improve your gut and general health. It also has Vitamin D, calcium, potassium and more to improve immunity.
You’ll want to ensure the yogurt you pickup is plain with no added sugars. If you have difficulty getting your child to eat plain yogurt, you can sweeten it with honey or berries.
If that seems to do that trick, then try to mix it into smoothies to hide the flavor.
Salmon is a great lean protein for your kid’s meals.
Seafood is one of the richest sources of selenium, which protect against damaged cells and infections. It has many other nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, protein, B vitamins and potassium.
Salmon is also great in improving brain health and reducing inflammation.
You can make salmon in the oven, grilled, pan or air-fried. Experimenting with spices can help find a flavor best for your child.
You can serve this with a side of vegetables to pack in even more nutrients. Salmon can have a spicy, sweet or tangy twist depending on your kid’s preference.
There is an array of seeds to choose from, such as pumpkin, chia, sesame, sunflower and flax seeds. These boost the immune system since they contain vitamins, minerals, fiber, mono- and polyunsaturated fats and antioxidants.
You can put them in smoothies, salads or toast. If your child doesn’t mind snacking on them, you can bake pumpkin seeds with a bit of salt for a savory treat.
Walnuts have omega-3 fatty acids, which are great for fighting off illness. Like seeds, walnuts can go into smoothies or salads.
If you want to get creative, you can make a trail mix with them so your kid has a fun treat to look forward to.
8. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are delicious and beneficial additions to your child’s diet.
They are high in fiber and antioxidants. They are also rich in beta-carotene, which turns into vitamin A and supports vision and the immune system.
You can make these baked or turn them into mashed potatoes or fries. They can be included in their diet in many ways since they are so versatile.
Berries are the best fruits to eat since they are full of antioxidants and have properties to fight any threats of illness, which strengthens the immune system.
There are many colorful and nutritious options when choosing a type of berry. Your child can pick strawberries, blueberries, raspberries or blackberries to eat.
There are many ways to eat these in your kid’s diet. Children can eat them as they are for a natural sweet treat to enjoy or you can try freezing them for a candy-like twist.
If your kid doesn’t like berriesplain, you can add them to yogurt or oats for a sweeter flavor.
Spinach is another food full of vitamin C, multiple antioxidants and beta carotene, which can increase infection-fighting in the immune system.
It is best to try and eat this raw to avoid losing nutrients. However, you can add it to several dishes like omelets and salads.
Vitamins A, C and E are present in broccoli. Along with other benefits, this makes it one of the healthiest vegetables to add to your meal.
You will want to cook it as little as possible to preserve its nutrients, just like spinach. Steaming is the best way to ensure your child gets all the benefits.
Almonds have great nutritional value with vitamin E, iron, manganese, fiber and healthy fats. They can help the overall growth and development and the immune system.
Kids can eat these a handful a day as a healthy snack.
Can Supplements Help to Increase Immunity?
There is no hard evidence on if supplements make a difference in immunity.
While many claim they can, getting the nutrients through your diet is better. It is the most natural and effective way to get the vitamins and minerals your kid needs.
If you have a picky eater, a multivitamin may be beneficial, but it’s essential to ask your health care provider about it.
The Bottom Line
A balanced diet is essential to keeping your child healthy. As a mom, you want to see your kid thriving in all seasons of the year.
When having a nutritional diet, your children can have the nutrients they need to keep their immunity in its best condition.