Try these simple, practical, natural tips to help your kids – and your family – make it through Cold & Flu season in one piece!
It’s that time of year again, and if your family hasn’t been hit with a cold or flu already, consider yourselves lucky!
It’s no secret that Fall’s arrival triggers many trips to the doctor’s office for countless families across Canada. Yet, if you’re looking to Nature for answers, we’ve got plenty of good news!
Our Nutrition Team has put together a list of must-do’s to keep your children’s immunity in tip top shape. We invite you to try them all, and let us know what you think in the comments down below!
Fight Cold & Flu Season – Naturally!
Brightly coloured fruits and veggies
Carrots, apricots, papaya, mango, peaches, sweet potato, squash and pumpkin are great sources of beta carotene. Your child’s body converts beta carotene to vitamin A, which helps regulate his immune system. Try using sweet potatoes in place of white ones and mixing orange coloured veggie purees with orange coloured fruit ones for double the flavour and double the protection. Cook up some delicious soups and hidden veg pasta sauces to get those great nutrients into your little one.
Organic yogurt is a great source of zinc which naturally boosts immunity, and is also helpful if your baby has been prescribed antibiotics, because it helps replenish the useful bacteria in his gut that antibiotics may destroy. This then helps protect him against the harmful bacteria that may contribute to diarrhea.
Bell peppers, kiwi fruits, citrus fruits and tomatoes (when appropriate) are all good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps your child’s body make more white blood cells, which fight infection.Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamin C, as are berries (strawberries and raspberries particularly) broccoli, tomatoes, spinach and watermelon.
Avocados are a wonderful way to get essential fatty acids (EFAs) into your child! Essential fatty acids are – as their name suggests – essential to the diet because the body cannot makes its own and are the ‘good’ fats that help the immune system recognize and fight off infections.
Boost with Berries
Blueberries are a powerful immunity booster and studies have shown that they are the best source of antioxidants of all fruits. All fruit is good for keeping good health and providing essential immunity boosting nutrients, but berries in particular have some very special properties.
Plenty of Exercise and Fresh Air
Getting regular exercise for kids is important on so many levels. It makes them sleep better, eat better, keeps them fit in body and mind and therefore stronger to fight off the bugs when they come calling.
Probiotics replenish the good bacteria in our gut which are essential for good digestive health, including the control of Candida and other yeast which can have adverse effects on the immune system if allowed to get out of control. The good bacteria also increases gut immunity, helping to fight of infection. You can get child formulated probiotic powders.
If your child does succumb to an infection that requires antibiotics, it’s even more important to replenish the good bacteria which tends to get killed off by antibiotics.
Zinc is an incredibly important and often overlooked mineral, particularly for our children. It not only strengthens the immune system, but it also helps our children grow and develop. Boost up your child’s zinc intake now and you may find they not only have less colds but also have better concentration and an increase in their mental and physical development.
Eggs and red meat are good sources of zinc, as are whole grains and soybeans.
Lots of Liquid
Many kids don’t drink nearly enough water. Or liquid of any kind for that matter. We all need liquid not only to keep our bodies hydrated therefore keeping it energised, but it’s the key component for delivering nutrients to all our bodies cells, and washing away waste.
Children don’t need to drink 8 glasses a day, but a good amount of liquid will keep the toxins to a minimum and keep their bodies working as they should, and in a better state for fighting off viruses and bugs.
Perhaps an obvious one but if you have a little one who isn’t the best sleeper, and perhaps got used to going to bed later over the summer, now is a good time to get them into a good sleep routine.
When we sleep deeply our body has time to rest whilst releasing potent immune enhancing chemicals that boost immune function.
Amino acids that are pound in protein form the building blocks of the cells that form the immune system (and all other cell in the body for that matter). The way the immune system fights germs is by increasing their numbers, and in order to do this, it needs protein.
To help your child’s immunity cells reproduce, feed them some of these good sources of protein: chicken, fish, eggs, hemp seeds, lentil and beans.
Many studies have shown that sugar suppresses the immune system. Just consuming 25grams of refined sugar can knock your immune system down for up to 5 hours. If in that time you come into contact with germs or bacteria, your body will have much less resistance. And the effect is much more noticeable in children.
Most sugar should be kept to a minimum, but it’s worth being extra careful during the winter bug season if you want your kids to keep their resistance high.
Take a look at our video on Natural Cold & Flu Busters:
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