How to boost your child’s immune system for back to school.
With COVID still playing a role in our health it’s super important that your child keep their immune system strong.
As a nutritionist I really like parents to concentrate on diet and the foods their children eat, but that is not always easy. Here are some tips on how to boost your child’s immune system for school.
The best foods for immunity
Vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds are the best foods to help your child stay healthy. In other words real foods. Not food like products. Stay away from packaged processed foods, junk food, soft drinks, and sugary treats.
Fruits and Vegetables
The more fruits and vegetables you can get into your child the better. The World Health Organization says that we need between 7-13 servings of fresh fruit and vegetables a day. Fruits and vegetables provide antioxidants that protect cells from damage and disease. Berries, green vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach are high in antioxidants. Strawberries, oranges, lemons limes provide vitamin C which helps to boost the immune system.
But what do you do if you just can’t get your child to eat enough fruits and vegetables?
My solution is Juice Plus. Whole food in a capsule or soft chews for younger children is the easiest way to get 30 different fruits and vegetables into your child’s body every day. For over 25 years Juice Plus has been the answer for families wanting to increase their nutrition and immunity. Juice plus also offers The Family Health Study where it provides free capsules or chewables for your child- free of charge for up to four years.. With over 30 peer reviewed research studies done on the product, it’s as simple as ABC.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are essential for boosting your child’s immune system. Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and ground flaxseeds all provide alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids, which are shown to fight illness. Nuts and seeds also provide good fats as well as potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese and vitamins A, E, B6, and B12.
Zinc is super important for the immune system. Lean cuts of meat, grass fed beef, lamb are all a great source of zinc. Mushrooms, spinach, cashews, pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, and cacao powder also contain zinc. Making healthy nuts bars loaded with cashew butter, pumpkin seeds, chia seeds and dark cocoa or cacao is an excellent way to support immunity. Remember don’t add refined sugar, add in fruit to sweeten when you are making home made cookies, muffins or energy bars. Bananas, dates, apples are all easy ways to sweeten baking without white sugar.
Sugar suppresses the immune system and can make children more vulnerable to germs, so leave the sugary foods like cereals, cookies, cakes, granola bars at the store.
Sleep is so important for your child’s immune system. If they are not getting enough sleep they are more susceptible to germs. Sleep is how our bodies rest, regenerate and heal. So many children are sleep deprived. Children aged 3-5 need 10-13 hours of sleep a night. Children 6-12 need between 9-12 hours of sleep, and teenagers need between 8-10 hours of sleep a night.
Sitting in class all day and then coming home to do homework, play on their tablets or phones or watching TV is setting them up for a sedentary lifestyle. Get them out to the park, playing a sport after school, riding their bike. Exercise also helps children to de-stress.
If your child is eating 6-10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day you don’t need to supplement with a multi vitamin. Most children’s multi vitamins are full of sugar and are synthetically made. The body does not recognize synthetic vitamins so I would concentrate on real foods including Juice Plus pure fruit and vegetable chewable or capsules.
Vitamin D is super important for the immune system and I recommend children take a Vitamin D supplement. If you are concerned about your child’s vitamin D levels ask your doctor to order a blood test to check their levels.
Meditation can really be helpful for children who are experiencing stress and anxiety. There is lots of research to show that children that meditate are more self aware, calmer and kinder to others. Even just deep breathing can be helpful if your child is experiencing anxiety. Take time to talk with your child to see how they are doing. Let them know that you are there for them and that there are many ways they can help their bodies to stay strong and resilient during these uncertain times.
For more information or help with your child’s immune system feel free to book a nutritional consult with me. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org