The immune system is what your body uses as its defence mechanism against infectious organisms and other foreign invaders. Most of the time, the immune system does an excellent job of keeping you healthy. On occasions however, it can run into trouble which may lead to infections and illnesses.
When child’s immune system is weak it results in recurrent runny noses, colds and repetitive gastrointestinal infections, it is time to take a closer look at their immune system. There are many measures you can take in order to boost your child’s immune system. These measures can actually boost their defences as well as speed up the healing process.
Breast milk and child’s immunity:
Human milk provides substances that benefit baby’s immune system, including antibodies, immune factors, enzymes, and white blood cells. These substances protect babies against a wide variety of diseases and infections.
1. Green Leafy vegetables
Green leafy vegetables like Spinach , broccoli, cabbage, kale are loaded with anti oxidant and other nutrients which is essential for healthy immune system. Children are usually not fond of green veggies but we can smartly incorporate the same in their meal.
Ways to incorporate: you can add spinach puree to pasta/ noodles/ spaghetti. You can add kale to smoothie.
2. Citrus Fruits & berries:
Citrus fruits like orange, lime, guavas and Berries are one of the best sources of antioxidants and immune boosting nutrients. The bright red, blue and purple colours get their pigment from the potent antioxidant called anthocyanin. They also contain ample amounts of vitamin A, as well as vitamin C, both of which strengthen your child’s immune system.
Ways to incorporate: Add a handful of mixed berries to your child’s breakfast cereal. A delicious snack idea could be a handful of mixed berries stirred in a bowl of plain yoghurt. Orange & berries smoothies can be a good option.
3. Yoghurt [Probiotic]
In children as well as in adults, when the gut bacteria becomes imbalanced, your ability to fight off infections is altered and you may experience an increase in colds and flu.
Yogurt or curds contains probiotas ,the good bacteria which strengthens the intestinal tract and keeps the gut healthy.In children, yogurt may help reduce the diarrhoea caused by antibiotics.
Ways to incorporate: Children often don’t like to eat plain curds, You can try flavoured yogurt, Greek yogurt and smoothies made out of them.
4. Eggs & Lean Meat:
Eggs & lean meat are high in protein which is an important macro nutrient for children.The egg yolk is a storehouse of vital vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.Lean meats and poultry also contain high amounts of zinc and important minerals that lead to increased white blood cells to fight infection.
Ways to incorporate: Egg omelet for breakfast, chicken or fish gravy in main course.
5. Nuts & Seeds:
Walnuts, Almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and flax seeds are excellent source of Vitamin E and anti oxidants thus helps increasing immunity.
Ways to incorporate: We can add crushed nuts in desserts. We can even give dry fruit powder for babies.Crushed nuts in milk. We can make the mix of seeds and sprinkle on fruits.