As we gear up for the approaching cold and flu season, parents naturally worry about supporting their children's immunity. Luckily, there are numerous ways to give your little ones the extra immune boost they need for the upcoming months!
Encouraging your kids to get most of their essential nutrients from food is ideal, although we recognise this can be challenging. To inspire some new additions to their diet, consider incorporating foods they might not typically eat. Broadening their exposure to various foods is crucial for picky eaters. Getting out in nature is another great way to expose your little one's immune system to immune boosting compounds found in muck and muddy puddles!
We have included supplement recommendations to fulfil these nutritional needs if you suspect your child might be lacking in certain areas.
1. Zinc plays a vital role in optimal immune function for both children and adults. Protein-rich foods like chicken, turkey, prawns, and red meat are excellent sources. Beans such as kidney beans and black beans are great plant-based options for this mineral.
2. Vitamin D, often called the sunshine vitamin, gained significant attention during the pandemic due to its crucial role in boosting the immune system. In regions like Ireland and the UK, where sunlight levels are insufficient, the government recommends vitamin D supplementation from late September until April. We suggest Somega's convenient orange-flavored vitamin D spray to bridge this gap.
3. Vitamin C is renowned for its immune-boosting properties. Fruits like oranges, kiwis, strawberries, blueberries, and dark green vegetables such as broccoli are rich in vitamin C. If incorporating colourful fruits and veggies into your child's diet proves challenging, consider adding a liposomal vitamin C liquid to their routine. It not only boosts immunity but also tastes delicious.
4. Omega 3 Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids, is found in walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and ground flaxseeds. These snacks are not only rich in ALA but also contain healthy fats, fiber, and various vitamins.
5. Probiotics The gut microbiome is vital for immunity, with 70% of our immune system located there. Prebiotics, found in fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and nuts, serve as a food source for friendly gut bacteria. Probiotics, on the other hand, are beneficial bacteria that promote a healthy balance in the digestive tract. While it might be challenging to get young children to eat probiotic-rich foods, a reliable probiotic supplement can be incredibly helpful. NaturesPlus offers an excellent option to support your child's immune system.
Incorporating these nutrients into your child's diet, either through food or supplements, can significantly boost their immune system and prepare them for the colder months ahead. Stay proactive and keep those little ones healthy!