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Did you know that kids are more prone to repeated infections due to a low immune system? It takes a significant amount of time for the infant’s system to become mature and fight off infections. Before diving deep into what are the best foods for kids to improve the immune system, it’s essential to know what exactly it is!
What is immunity? Why is it important to have a healthy immune system?
An individual’s immunity refers to its body’s ability to prevent the occupation of disease-causing bacterias. When the immune system works properly, the chances of contracting germs and bugs from pets or the environment decreases.
But without a healthy immune system, one can easily pick up infections more easily, that can even turn into fatal cases.
Tips you can follow to strengthen immunity:
Stay active –
Staying active doesn’t mean you should opt for a prolonged and intense exercising routine. It suppresses the immune system! Hence, go for some moderate exercising just for staying active for the whole day. Physical activity does not just build muscles but also acts as de-stressors. You can try brisk walking, steady bicycling, swimming, light hiking, or jogging.
Add healthy food to your diet –
The key to a strong immune system is a healthy diet itself. It provides the system the energy it needs, and ensures that the body gets sufficient macronutrients. Moreover, the human body is more likely to absorb nutrients from different dietary sources, rather than additional supplements.
Change your lifestyle –
Due to the increasing hustle-bustle, parents often get overstressed and kids over-scheduled. All of it results in to a poor immune system. Hence, you should build up a proper schedule like bedtime, meal time, and other integral activities. Try to follow these schedules even on holidays or in the lockdown.
You can also try playing games with your kids, or reading books outdoors. Childrens usually need 10 to 14 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day to maintain a proper immune system. Also, I would recommend to restrict screen time 2 to 3 hours before sleeping as it affects sleep cycle a lot!
10 SuperFoods To Boost Immunity of Children’s:
Citrus fruits – Being an excellent source of vitamin C, citrus fruits are the best superfood for boosting immunity. It increases the production of white blood cells, which are effective for fighting infections. I often give my kids Amla chutney in winters, as it’s the best source and yummy to eat too!
Ginger, Garlic, and onion –
Ginger, garlic, and onion not only adds zing to any food but also has great health benefits. These are a must-have super food for boosting immunity because they are effective in fighting infections. Also, ginger helps in nausea as well. I often make Ginger achar in winters for kids, and they find it tasty too!
Turmeric and honey –
Turmeric is best for decreasing exercise induced muscle damage whereas honey has several medical properties for boosting immunity. I usually give my kids prefer to give them turmeric milk in the night, and honey with pancakes. Also, go for organic honey instead of the regular ones as they are usually adulterated.
Yogurt / curd –
Yogurt stimulates the immune system to fight pathogens. It’s a great source of vitamin D which acts as the body’s natural defense to fight diseases. But make sure that you don’t buy a flavored one as it contains a large amount of sugar. I prefer giving my kids yogurt with some fruit or drizzle of honey!
Leafy and green vegetables –
Green leafy vegetables are the best source to increase the infection-fighting ability of the immune system. Spinach is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C. We often consume broccoli as it is super charged with vitamins and is the healthiest vegetable for kids. We make pranthas and serve it with chutney to our kids.
Root vegetables –
Root vegetables are rich in iron and everyone must consume it during winters. Carrots and beet roots are loved by so many kids. My kids love to eat sweet potatoes in our paranthas, as I use it as a substitute of the potatoes and it tastes the same. I also give them Beetroot and carrot juice on a regular basis.
Nuts and seeds –
Pine nuts, date, apricots, almonds, and groundnuts are rich in zinc, Omega 3, and magnesium. Pistachios and walnuts are best for boosting the immune system as it fights off bacteria, and preventing cold.
Moderate consumption of eggs are best for boosting the immunity system as it contains vitamin A, B-12, and selenium. Protein intake is a must for kids; hence eggs must be in their diet. Other than eggs, Tofu is a great source of protein. Here is how you can make yum Tofu Scramble for you child.
Pulses/ lentils –
Lentils, chickpeas, beans, and other pulses are great sources of vitamin B6, selenium, and Zinc. All of are among the best immunity-building superfoods and can be consumed on a regular basis. I often give my kids lentils in sprouts form.
Bell Peppers –
Bell peppers are not just colorful to serve to kids but also they are a great source of Vitamin C. You can add them in sandwich and they wont even know. It also keeps skin and eyes healthy. I often cook the mix vegetable curry or salad for my kids as they love it all!
Conclusively, Make sure that your child’s main meals are freshly prepared with ginger, garlic, and turmeric. You can also add seasonal veggies in their meal to give the extra protein. It’s must to maintain a good balance of whole carbs that usually comes from chapatis or rice!
Nutrition bars are also a healthy alternative you can give in the tiffin, but the sugar should be less than 20% only. Fruit smoothie or yogurt that can provide daily requirements of immunity-boosting vitamins like vitamin C, and are best post-playtime snacks. To make the meal attractive enough, you can add a handful of mixed nuts, as kids love them!