Back to school is right around the corner. For most this means exposure to more viruses, especially cold and flu. Kids need certain nutrients and vitamins to help boost their immune system to help protect against all the other germs they’ll face.
Foods for boosting immunity in kids.
Knowing the best foods that can help boost immunity can help you meal-plan for your child, whether that’s mealtime or an afterschool snack. Here are some important foods to cycle in, according to Zumpano.
One of the most important minerals that can help a kid’s immune system is zinc. It’s typically found in protein-based foods. Red meat and poultry are some of the best sources.
Beans and nuts are also a good source for zinc, though the animal-based foods will deliver more of the mineral.
Probiotics and prebiotics
It’s also important to give kids a good source of probiotics. Our gut harnesses a tremendous amount of bacteria. Some are healthy and some are not and probiotics help create a better balance of that healthy versus unhealthy bacteria.
One food that is popular food with kids and contains a lot of probiotics is yogurt. Fermented foods are also a good source, including, kefir, sauerkraut and pickles. Apple cider vinegar is another good way to work in probiotics into a diet.
Additionally, you should be sure to get your kids prebiotics. Prebiotics are plant fibers that stimulate the growth of good bacteria. Excellent sources of prebiotics are green bananas or plantains, Jicama root, yams and asparagus.
Nuts and seeds
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, are shown to fight illness.
Nuts and seeds are power foods for the multitude of nutrients they provide. Just to name a few, they source protein, fiber, “good” fats like mono- and polyunsaturated fats, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese and vitamins E, B6, B12 and A.
Fruits and vegetables
This might sound pretty general, but these are always good standbys. Fruits and veggies provide various antioxidants which protect cells from damage and disease. Foods rich in antioxidants include berries and green vegetables such as broccoli and dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard and mustard greens.
These power foods pack a punch when it comes to vitamins and nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, B2, B6, K, potassium, folate, magnesium, potassium and zinc.
And, of course, vitamin C is key to boosting immunity and available in citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit and strawberries.
While your kids can get Vitamin D by soaking up sunshine, that’s harder to do when using sunscreen, during the cooler months and during the school year.
Although foods can provide Vitamin D, you can’t obtain enough through just your diet, so, in many cases, a supplement is suggested.
Start by getting your kids’ Vitamin D checked with a blood test and asking a healthcare provider to suggest the proper dosage of Vitamin D based on your results.
Good sleep habits are essential for kids and can help your kids stay healthy throughout the school year. Sleep is when our bodies rest, regenerate and heal. It’s an essential part of keeping our immune systems functioning as best they can.
Exercise is also important because physical activity can help keep your body resilient and more likely to fight off infections.
Minimizing stress and anxiety can help your kids stay healthy throughout the school year. Mindfulness can help. Deep breathing, meditation and communication can help pinpoint sources of anxiety and stress. Talk to your kids about ways that you can work together to minimize any negative feelings they may be having during these uncertain times.
Here at Tennessee Hydration we have several services that can help. Our Immunity Boost IV and Vitamin D Injections can help keep your family healthy year round and our Post Viral IV can help you recover and get back on track faster if someone does get sick. Give us a call or walk in and we will come up with a plan that works for you!