Young children do not have a strong immune system. You have to keep bosting it through diet. If you do not feed them a proper diet, they can easily develop health challenges. As a parent, you need to know which food can boost your kid’s immune system, and how they do it?
You also need to know the status of your child’s immune system. All kids are not the same. Unfortunately, some kids have an abnormally weak immune system, and some foods might not be ideal for them even though they are healthy foods under normal circumstances.
In this piece, we will outline 5 foods immune-boosting foods that any kid can be given. We will discuss five easily accessible foods that can help your child’s body fight off illnesses.
Enough chit chat; Let’s explore!
Vegetables are the most obvious source of vitamins and mineral nutrients. Vitamins and mineral nutrients are soldiers when it comes to fighting illnesses in the body. If you want to ensure your kid has a strong immune system, vegetables have to be part of their diet.
Now, the challenge sets in when the child does not find the vegetables tasty. There are two types of vegetables. There are sweet vegetables and bitter vegetables. Sweet vegetables include vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, sweet corn, shallots, tomatoes, and others. Such vegetables are sweet both when raw or cooked. A good number of them can be eaten raw.
Bitter vegetables include vegetables such as kales, spinach, cabbage, broccoli, radishes and more. It does not necessarily mean that they are bitter, but most of them cannot be eaten raw. Even for adults, their taste as a meal on their own is not so appealing. However, they can be cooked in a wide variety of ways to make them tasty. Some of them have a sour taste that combines well with other foods. The bottom line is, you can find ways to make them taste good, and make your kid happily eat them.
Enough about the taste, let’s talk about their nutritional value and how they help to boost the immune system.
Leafy green vegetables help to repair cells and DNA. That means that they have curing abilities and they can help to fight illnesses and heal injuries. They are also rich in antioxidants, which help with the flow of oxygenated blood. Better blood flow directly translates into stronger immunity. Most vegetables are rich in minerals such as potassium, calcium, folic acid, iron, and zinc.
If your kid is old enough to understand the importance of a healthy diet. Teach them about a balanced diet and how vegetables help to strengthen their immunity so that they are open to eating vegetables regularly.
Meat is a great source of protein. It helps the child to grow and become strong. However, you have to be careful about the kind of meat you feed to your child. Avoiding feeding them a lot of fatty meat. It might make them overweight. Obese children usually have a weak immune system. The best type of meat to feed your kid is lean meat.
Lean meat is any meat that has a low fat content. Think or skinless chicken, pork chops with the fatty layer removed, and salmon. Most lean meats are rich in zinc, iron, calcium, and potassium. Zinc is very essential in the growth and development of white blood cells. White blood cells are the body’s primary defence against illnesses.
Milk and Yoghurt
A glass of milk in the morning or a glass of yoghurt during a hot day will supply your kid’s body with a lot of calcium. Calcium helps to strengthen the bones. Your child can suffer stunted growth and low immunity if their bone structure is not developing properly.
Milk and yoghurt also contain helpful probiotic bacteria. When these bacteria settle in your child’s gut, they will help improve their digestion. They will help their stomach digest the food they eat better and promote better absorption of the minerals and nutrients.
Probiotic bacteria also help the body fight illnesses. The bacteria will help your kid’s body to fight common illnesses such as strep throat, ear infections, and the common cold. Milk and yoghurt also contain an omega-3 fatty acid known as DHA. It is known to promote brain development. It promotes both the physical and intellectual development of the brain.
While buying milk and yoghurt, look for plain whole milk products. Avoid any products that have artificial additives such as sweeteners, flavours, and colours.
Eggs are a superfood for both children and adults. You just have to find the right balance so that you do not pack too many calories into your kid. Eggs have a high number of calories. As mentioned earlier, you do not want your child to end up overweight.
The yellow egg yolk contains a conglomeration of minerals, nutrients, essential fats, and antioxidants. We have already mentioned that antioxidants help with blood flow. The yolk has vitamins A, D, E and K. It also contains vitamin B12 and folate. The same yolk still contains omega-3 fatty acids, tyrosine, and tryptophan. These are amino acids that are known to prevent heart diseases.
Eggs can be prepared in a myriad of ways. They deliver the same minerals and nutrients regardless of how you cook them.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts such as cashews and walnuts are a great source of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 amino acids are essential for growing children. Not only do they help them grow physically, but also fight infections. Omega-3 has been proven to prevent respiratory infections in kids.
Seeds such as sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and flax are a great source of lean protein, fibre, and magnesium. The lean protein helps in bodybuilding and boosting the immune system. The fibre helps to improve digestion, which will ultimately translate into a stronger immune system.
Magnesium is an antioxidant. It will improve blood flow and strengthen your child’s immune system. Magnesium also causes a relaxing effect. It relaxes your child’s nervous system. A relaxed child is a healthy child. It will also improve the quality of their sleep. You should never downplay the importance of healthy sleep for your kid. Most of their growth and development happens when they are sleeping.
There are a lot of foods that we could discuss. However, the most important thing is to understand what your kid needs as far as their immune system and overall health are concerned. There are many other foods that have the same nutritional value as the foods we’ve discussed above. Keep in mind that some children might be allergic to some kinds of food. If you notice any abnormal behavior after your kid has taken a particular type of food, take them to a pediatrician and get them checked.