Boosting the immune system of your kids is not a trend, but a must. Especially now, during these unprecedented times, taking care of our’s and their health become a priority. Besides basic hygiene measures like washing your hands, sanitizing everything and everywhere, you want to make sure your kids are getting the best nutrition to strengthen their immune system. Today, I’m sharing 10 powerful immune system booster for kids you must have in your pantry.
Why do we need foods that build up our kids’ immune-systems?
Well, one of the main goals of feeding your kids in a healthy way is to make them strong against infections. Having good immunity is key for kids to grow healthy. Now, boosting their immune system doesn’t mean that they will not get sick, but at least, they will be less prone to getting infections constantly. If you want to avoid the headache of adding more sleepless nights to your schedule and even spending tons on medications and doctors appointments, investing in your children’s healthy eating is a must.
My top 10 favourite foods to boost your kids’ immune system
I also included some easy tips to add these to your regular menus. By the way, your kids will love them:
Who doesn’t love berries? Berries are one of the greatest foods to boost anybody’s immune system. You can read more about them here. Berries are great sources of Vitamin C and other antioxidants which are important to keep health defences up against any respiratory infection. The best thing is that they are inexpensive and you can almost add them to any meal. My favourite choices are strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and others. You can add them to smoothies, lunch boxes, desserts, or even in your child’s morning cereal.
Green veggies are also great immune booster foods, especially for kids. If your grandma ever insisted in you having your cup of spinach in your meals when you were a kid, then you know what I’m talking about. Green veggies are packed with powerful nutrients like vitamins A, C, K and minerals like iron and magnesium. These are not only important for good blood formation, but also for a healthy immune system. If you’re struggling to get your kid to eat leafy greens, you can mix them up with other colourful veggies, prepare them raw and crunchy. You can also make fun figures or even blend them into their favourite smoothie.
Capsicums are colourful foods that can be added to any type of meal. Yes! They add tons of good stuff to boost your kid’s immune system. These foods are good sources of vitamins A and C, and antioxidants. These substances are important to help fight against diseases or even flu symptoms.
Dairy products are excellent immune booster foods for kids. Products, like good quality natural yoghurt, have probiotics, which stimulate a healthy immune system. Besides that, yoghurt contains many vitamins and important minerals, such as calcium, for strong growth in kids. A good way to eat yoghurt is by adding slices of fruit to it, like bananas or strawberries. To add taste, you may add a little bit of honey. Kids love this! (if your child is dairy intolerant you may like to try a good quality coconut yoghurt).
Fish, like salmon, are rich in omega 3 fatty acids. Not only are these essential for developing brains, but they also reduce inflammation. One thing you may not have known about omega 3 is that it’s also important in boosting a healthy immune system. Kids love to eat fish in a variety of fun ways. My two favourite ways to prepare it is breaded or even in nuggets bite sizes.
Citrus fruits are very common and inexpensive. You can get them literally everywhere! Citrus fruits like oranges, tangerines, and others are good sources of vitamin C, which helps to fight against diseases and infections. They also contain loads of vitamin A and antioxidants. For kids, choose the ones that are bright and colourful. You can serve them in a fruit salad, cut them into chunks for snacks with peanut butter or combine them in desserts. Unless your child is allergic to citric fruits, he/she shouldn’t have issues with these types of foods.
Nuts and seeds
Nuts, like almonds, are packed with vitamin E and manganese, which are a strong immune system booster duo that helps to enhance good cell activity. These nutrients help to fight against diseases by killing dangerous agents. Most kids love to eat nuts by themselves, but you can also add them to any other preparation. Check out these fun chia pudding recipes or even smoothie bowls.
Eggs are by far one of the most nutritious foods out there. Kids must eat eggs on a regular basis, not only because they are growing, but also because it’s a nutrient-packed superfood. Eggs are one of the best sources of protein. Pretty much, eggs contain all the vitamins from the A to K and B complex, which in turn makes them the most complete vitamin food. In regards to immune system booster nutrients, eggs have vitamin D, B vitamins and selenium. Eggs are really versatile and easy to prepare, plus they are also accessible. Kids enjoy hard-boiled eggs, but you can also make scrambled eggs, omelette with spinach and other veggies, or simply try one of these fun recipes here.
Sweet potatoes make another immune system booster food for kids. These are high in beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant to help enhance white blood cells and fight against infections. Compared to other types of starchy veggies, sweet potatoes also contain significant amounts of Vitamin C. Because sweet potatoes are highly palatable, kids tend to easily accept it in regular meals. Not only puree them, you can also bake some fun crunchy sweet potato chips at home!
Oats are also of my favorite superfoods. For kids, it makes the perfect breakfast and even dessert. Oats are great sources of beta-glucans, a powerful fiber component that activates killer cells. You can serve your kids as overnight oats, also bake them into bars, make them as baked oatmeal cups, etc.
Apart from food, other ways to boost your kid’s immune system:
Keeping your kids active during these times is crucial. This is true not only for their growth and development, but also for their immune system. Studies show that regular physical activity improves the immune system and helps prevent getting infections. Plan activities to workout or play with your kids at home.
Certain studies in adults show that not sleeping enough can make you more susceptible to more illness, due to the fact that the body produces fewer white blood cells. The same holds true for children, says Kathi Kemper, M.D., director of the Center for Holistic Pediatric Education and Research at Children’s Hospital, in Boston. Make a regular sleeping schedule for your kids, because rest is important to stay well.
Protect from germs:
It’s not least to say that sanitizing is an important part of taking care of your family’s health. Kids tend to touch everything and are constantly taking objects to their mouth or their face. You know this is especially true with toddlers. When having kids around, you need to sanitize everything around you, including kitchen utensils and other surfaces. And don’t forget the golden rule: wash hands regularly!
The bottom line…
Choose a variety of whole foods for your kids to stay strong and healthy. These foods I mentioned today are some of the must-haves at home. The good thing is that you can become creative and add them to a variety of recipes and meals. If you include these immune booster foods in your kids’ menus, you’ll notice you’ll take less frequent trips to the doctor. A healthy kid is a happy kid!
Let me know your thoughts in the comments. Don’t forget to check out more recipes here. Share these tips with a loved one!