Children are more susceptible to various infections, than adults. The reason for this is their developing immune system due to which pediatricians consider six to eight bouts of flu, cold, and ear infection normal. However, certain habits should be developed in children to boost their immunity. The following article provides information about the various foods and habits which can increase your child’s immunity.
When a child is born his immunity is not fully developed, and he may get a number of infections if proper care is not taken. If your child is constantly catching fever, cold, or cough, the reason could be a weak immune system. The system acts as a defense mechanism against viruses, bacteria, pathogens, and toxins that attack the body and cause illnesses. If it becomes weak due to a poor diet or lack of exercise, it can lead to a number of diseases. To prevent this, it is imperative for parents to undertake some remedies to increase their child’s immunity.
Natural Ways to Boost a Child’s Immunity
When we sleep, our body gets time to recharge and renew itself. If this sleep time is reduced or if a person doesn’t get proper sleep, the body is unable to replenish itself. This affects the immune system, which in turn makes a person vulnerable to a number of diseases and health conditions. Hence, a good night’s sleep can help boost your child’s immunity. This is applicable for children and adults alike. Toddlers must get ten hours of sleep, whereas older children and adults must get seven to eight hours of sleep.
A diet which contains all the required nutrients, helps one develop strong immunity, and fight infections and diseases. Foods containing immunity-boosting polynutrients, should be included in the diet. These include:
Foods Rich in Vitamin C
Foods rich in vitamin C that should be included in the diet are lemon, oranges, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, guavas, and all the other citrus fruits.
Water, fruit juices, coconut water, energy drinks, and fluids should also be included in the diet. They keep the body well hydrated and healthy, thereby increasing the immunity in the process.
Vitamin B6 foods such as bananas, lentils, salmon, tuna, carrots, sunflower seeds, and wheat boost the production of antibodies, thereby serving as an excellent immune booster. Foods that contain zinc such as eggs, pumpkin seeds, seafood, and wheat germ help in increasing the production of antibodies, and hence should be included in the diet.
Some other foods that boost the immune system are green leafy vegetables, fruits, and yogurt, which also provides ‘good’ bacteria to the body. Garlic, which is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties; and certain nuts which contain healthy fats should also be incorporated in the child’s diet.
Exercising everyday has many health benefits for the body. It increases the ability of the white blood cells to fight any kind of infection or disease that might otherwise weaken the body. Exercising may include half an hour of simple and moderate exercises such as walking, playing, or jumping. All kids normally indulge in it, and it is sufficient to increase the child’s immunity.
It is very important that a child is taught the importance of hygiene from the very beginning. Some of the habits that should be inculcated in children to prevent the spread of bacteria and infection are washing hands after going to toilet and before eating food, covering the mouth when sneezing or coughing, taking a bath everyday, and keeping one’s room clean.
Along with these, parents can also give multivitamins to their children, after consulting a doctor. It is very important that a child maintains an ideal weight, in accordance to his age and height. Being overweight can actually decrease a child’s antibody production, which can lead to recurrent infections and diseases. Hence, high fat foods, foods rich in sugar, processed foods, fried foods, and high calorie foods should be avoided. Also, exercising everyday is the key to the normal functioning of the immune system and a robust health.