Are you worried about your kid’s health? Does you kid fall frequent prey to every bug that passes your area? Ok not to worry as in this article I will be sharing with you the list of 29 most powerful immunity boosting foods, that will help you to boost your kid’s immune system naturally. And stronger immunity is going to help your kids fight the most common cough, cold and allergies much effectively.
Monsoon is often considered as the favorable season of diseases, as during this time the health issues seem to multiply. The hot, humid and damp weather favors the breeding of different viruses like bacteria, fungus etc. Therefore, the more the number of bugs, the greater are the chances of outbreak of different diseases.
In such a circumstance, no one is safe from falling ill. However, the little kids seem to fall easy prey to these germs. The adults to some extent can still cope up with the situation, but children suffer a lot.
Why are children more prone to diseases?
Children are in a dynamic state of growth with cells multiplying fast and organ systems developing at a rapid rate. They breathe more air and consume more food and water in proportion to their weight. Exposure to certain environmental toxins can lead to irreversible damage and to diseases during adulthood. Moreover, children are more exposed to unhealthy conditions and to dangerous substances. They spend time closer to the ground and, especially in the early years, they are frequently exposed through hand-to-mouth activities.
Their central nervous system, immune, digestive and reproductive systems are more vulnerable than those of adults are. These little beings are still on the process of growth, so their bodies are not fully prepared to fight germs. In other words, their immune system is not fully developed yet and that means weaker defence system to fight common allergies.
What is an Immune System and why is it so important?
The purpose of the immune system is to protect the body against infection. It helps to identify and destroy the millions of microbes (i.e. bacteria, viruses, parasites, fungi) that penetrate our bodies every day. Enhancement of the immune system is perhaps the most important step in achieving resistance to disease and reducing susceptibility to cough, colds, flu etc.
When the immune system hits the wrong target, however, it can unleash a torrent of disorders, including allergic diseases, arthritis, and a form of diabetes. If the immune system is crippled, other kinds of diseases result.
The immune system is amazingly complex. It can recognize and remember millions of different enemies, and it can produce secretions (release of fluids) and cells to match up with and wipe out nearly all of them. Immunity refers to the ability of the immune system, the body’s biological structures, processes and organs that are specially developed for fighting off infections and hence preventing illnesses.
The secret to its success is an elaborate and dynamic communications network. Millions and millions of cells, organized into sets and subsets, gather like clouds of bees swarming around a hive and pass information back and forth in response to an infection. Once immune cells receive the alarm, they become activated and begin to produce powerful chemicals. These substances allow the cells to regulate their own growth and behavior, enlist other immune cells, and direct the new recruits to trouble spots.
29 immunity boosting foods to boost your kid’s immune system naturally
Food acts as a natural healer and has always help men boost their Immune system. Moreover, it is also the easiest and most cost-effective way to build your immunity. So I have prepared a list of best immunity boosting foods, which will helps boost immunity naturally
So are you ready?
Here we go.
- Leafy greens– Vegetables help our body fight against infection and hence its one of the best immunity boosting foods. Vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes and other leafy green vegetables must be included in the diet chart of your kid. Loaded with nutrients, antioxidants like beta carotene and other carotenoids as well as other vitamins essential for a healthy immune system, green vegetables are a must have.
- Root vegetables– According to Chinese medicine, root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and potatoes are immune strengthening and work specific to the respiratory system.
- Garlic, onion and ginger– Onion and Garlic contain sulphur compounds, which help our body fight cancer. Moreover, all three of them have active compounds or flavanoids that are considered to be immune boosting. The active compounds are Anicillin in garlic, Quercetin in onion, shagaols and gingerols in ginger.
- Cayenne peppers– Pepper is a rich source of Vitamin C. It contains the chemical capsaicin that aids your immune system in fighting colds and flu.
- Squash or Pumpkin– They are loaded with antioxidants like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, manganese, magnesium to some extent and a rich source of folate. Add squash or pumpkin in the diets for your kids.
- Apricots– Apricots are full of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium and good fibre. Therefore, inclusion of Apricots in your child’s diet is a must.
- Citrus Fruits– Fruits are actually good for everyone. So, feed your child with more amounts of citrus fruits like oranges, lime and guavas. These fruits contain a good amount of Vitamin C and antioxidants that will help in boosting the immune system of your kid.
- Berries– There is a large variety of berries like strawberry, blackberry, raspberries, blueberry, and cranberry. All of these contain phytochemical and flavonoids. They are rich in antioxidants too and help in building the immune system.
- Eggs– Besides being a source of protein and iron, eggs also contain Vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that helps boosting the immune system. Give your child poached eggs on toast for breakfast, boiled eggs for lunch and omelette at dinner. Liver, dairy products and oily fish are other sources of Vitamin A.
- Lean red meat– Little babies cannot eat meat. However, when your kid is a bit grown up, they can be given red meat that is an incredible source of mineral iron. The iron in red met is called haem iron that is easily absorbed by the body. You should however always remember to go for lean variety of meat. Please try to avoid too much extra fat while cooking.
- Seafood– Shellfish including oysters, mussels and scallops are important sources of zinc. You can also include squid, prawns and salmons in your kid’s diet. However, please avoid these foods for little babies.
- Mushrooms– Besides lean meat, mushrooms are also a great of immune boosting zinc, so include this in the food chart as well.
- Pulses– Lentils are a rich source of protein and are considered to be the building blocks of our body rich in folate and potassium.
- Peas– Peas are also necessary have because they contain antioxidants like flavonoids, carotenoids, phenolic acids, and polyphenols.
- Oats and whole grains– Wheat, rye, barley and brown rice are important sources of vitamins. They include Vitamin B6, pantothenoic acid and folic acid. Whole grains are also a valuable source of fibre.
- Sprouts– While all food groups have their own set of health benefits, sprouting them increases these benefits manifold. By sprouting, the hidden nutrients become bio – available hence making our bodies absorb them very easily. Here’s a detailed post on how to make fresh sprout at home.
- Nuts and seeds– Nuts and seeds contain Vitamin E, which is an important antioxidant and immune booster. So, make your child eat nuts like almond and walnuts, and seeds like pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds etc. You can also make dry fruits powder for babies at home.
- Curd or yogurt– Curd is often prescribed as one of the health shots to be had daily because curd has ‘good bacteria’ or Probiotics. It strengthens your immune system by fighting against several microorganisms.
- Turmeric– Turmeric has anti – microbial and anti – inflammatory properties. It contains curcurmin, which is an important anti – oxidant.
- Honey– Honey has antimicrobial properties. Moreover, it coats the throat and eases irritation of throat. Therefore, it helps to ease cold and cough which is very common problem with little kids. Nevertheless, remember; give honey to babies only above one year of age.
- Omega 3 fats– Human body needs fatty acids to stay in optical shape. The intake of fatty acids is important because our body cannot make them by itself. Apart from nuts and seeds, you can get this as a supplement as well. Cod liver oil is very important for boosting the immune system.
- Apple cider vinegar– It contains enzymes, probiotics and amino acids, which are very essential for the human body. It improves our digestive system, stimulate the lymphatic system and boost immune function. However it is important to choose raw, organic apple cider vinegar
- Health mixes– Children are moody. They tend to be quiet choosy about foods. The best way to avoid this is to opt for all in one solution like Health Mixes. These mixes are specially formulated to fulfill the dietary requirements of fussy toddlers and picky eaters by using an assortment of whole grains, lentils, nuts and seeds. You can try any of these – Sathumaavu Health Mix, Sprouted Sathumaavu Health Mix, Millet Sathumaavu Health Mix, Raw Kerala Banana Powder and Multigrain Health Drink.
- Probiotic food and drink– Probiotic flora (good bacteria) in the gut is the key to our immune function. To boost immune function, try giving your child a probiotic-rich beverages like kombucha, kefir water, or another cultured beverage like Kevita . Alternatively, probiotic-rich foods like fermented carrot sticks, sauerkraut, kimchi are also very helpful. If you do not have food or drink—try a probiotic supplement in the morning and before bed on an empty stomach.
- Bone broth– Homemade broths are made of bones of organic or grass fed animals. It contains trace minerals and gelatin to cure the gut lining. Your body can easily absorb this. It is simply like giving your immune system an IV drip of liquid gold.
- Echinacea and goldenseal– These herbs help protect against various infections. Echinacea increases the activity of white blood cells that is the body’s natural immune defense system. They are available in tincture form. Buy those and add in water or juice of your kid.
- Breastfeed your baby– Breast milk contains turbo-charged immunity-enhancing antibodies and white blood cells. This is very essential to fight against ear infections, allergies, diarrhea, pneumonia, meningitis, urinary-tract infections, and sudden infant death syndrome. It further helps develop the brainpower of your child and protects against insulin-dependent diabetes, Crohn’s disease, colitis, and certain forms of cancer later in life.
- Hydration– Ok so water has no alternative. It is very important to drink plenty of water to keep your body hydrated. Children might feel lethargic. So, you should be literally after them so that they drink ample water. Especially, during flu seasons, water is essential for human body to flush the toxins away.
- Balanced Diet– Listed above are a variety of foods that are full of various nutrients. All you need to do is to include all of these in the diet chart. In fact, rotate the recipes while cooking.
By chance, if your kid is allergic to any of these then exclude that.
Dos and Don’ts for parents
Children are innocent, so as elders it is our responsibility to take care of their health and wellbeing. Here are a few dos and don’ts for parents;
- Please see to it that they maintain proper health and hygiene.
- Make them wear clean clothes
- Make them brush and rinse regularly twice- one in the morning and the other at night before going to bed.
- If you or any of the adults around them smoke, please quit it. Atleast do not smoke in front of them. This is very harmful both for you and for your kid.
- Make separate plates, cups, and dishes for them. This restricts the germs from passing on to them.
- Make exercise your daily habit. You kid will also see to it and learn to exercise daily.
- Try keeping the homes neat and clean
- Make sure your kid get adequate sleep
- Try and avoid giving you kid unnecessary antibiotics or vaccines
- Take care of their mental and emotional well-being
- Homeopathic treatment is often preferred as far as kids are concerned. It is believed that homeopathic sometimes take time but they cure problems from the roots. However, in case of emergency you can definitely go for allopathic treatment as well
Over to you
Children are the greatest gift of God. It is their age to grow, play and enjoy this wonderful life. Do not let the bugs get the best of them. As elders, it is your responsibility to take care of the little ones. And the best that you can do is boosting your kid’s immunity system, so that they can fight common cough, cold and other viral diseases.
We have already discussed about some of the best immunity boosting foods which helps boost immunity for kids. Include some of these foods in the daily diet of your family and enjoy stronger immune system.
What else do you think once can do to boost immunity in kids and or in adults? What is the secret of your stronger immunity?
Eliana the chief editor at bodyandbeans is a professional yoga instructor and a fitness freak. She has done her master’s in history from Kolkata University. She is passionate about healthy eating and living practices.