The cooler months are upon us and while winter can bring nice things like warm fires and even adventures in the snow for some areas – it often signals more bugs and ills and chills – particularly in children. As parents, ensuring the health and well-being of our children is a top priority, here are a few ideas that might help with supporting their natural immunity.
- Colourful Fruits and Vegetables: Incorporating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables into your child's diet is an excellent way to enhance their immunity. We know that brightly coloured fruits and vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants - which help to support immune function and protect against infections. Where possible encourage your children to eat produce of all different colours – and in the winter months you could use frozen berries to boost their breakfasts or snacks.
- Probiotic-Rich Foods: Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help to promote a healthy digestive system and support a healthy immune system. In a food sense you could introduce fermented foods such as yogurt or kefir. For the more adventurous palates you could use sauerkraut, kimchi – they make an excellent addition to savoury pancakes or homemade burgers. Or if you would prefer we have a variety of probiotics available here that you could use.
Probiotics are also great to give after your child has been unwell from a tummy bug or after a course of antibiotics as it can help to restore the bacteria within the digestive system.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: We know that Omega-3 fatty acids play a vital role in reducing inflammation, but did you know they also support immune health? If possible, include foods that are rich in these amazing fatty acids such as;
- Oily fish like sardines, salmon
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds
You could make chia puddings with extra blackcurrant powder for extra antioxidants or use flaxseeds in homemade crackers – or simply sprinkle walnuts on their porridge or Weetbix! Our range of Omega 3 supplements has an option for everyone and is a great way to support not only their immunity but their brain and skin health as well.
- Vitamin C Sources: Vitamin C is always associated with immunity. We need to replenish our vitamin c stores daily as we do not produce this vitamin ourselves and it is also water soluble. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant which also supports our response to illness and our recovery. Foods rich in Vitamin C are our citrus fruits which are in season, berries, kiwifruits and even potatoes! If your child does become unwell a Vitamin C supplement is great to have to support their recovery.
- Zinc-Rich Foods: Zinc is a vital mineral that plays a crucial role in immune function and helps fight off infections. Zinc has been shown to help reduce symptoms in colds and supports a more efficient recovery. Good sources of zinc include meats, chicken, seafood, beans such as chickpeas and lentils, plus nuts and seeds. Zinc supplementation can be beneficial in the winter months, but it is not required daily as you can interfere with other mineral absorption if you take too much.
If you have any questions or would like some recommendations for your family, please get in touch!