How to boost my child's immune system
Here are some top tips to help keep your toddler's immune system supported:
- The digestive system is responsible for a large percentage of your toddler’s immune function – in fact up to 80% of the body’s immune cells are found here. It is therefore very important to keep their digestive system functioning well.
- Dietary fibre can help keep your little ones digestive system regular;
- Probiotics can also contribute to gut health for toddlers.
- Ensure your toddler is getting a healthy diet consisting of a variety of fresh foods. Include a colourful variety of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as essential fats and oils from fish, eggs and seeds;
- Hygiene plays a really important role in supporting their immune system
- Teach them how to wash their hands thoroughly; especially before eating, after going to the toilet and after blowing their nose.
- Avoid sharing drinking cups and food with other kids;
- Brush up on your food safety skills, read more here.
- Your toddler’s body regenerates, renews and repairs itself while sleeping so support good sleeping habits and patterns for your toddler.
Best vitamins for toddlers immune system
- Choose foods that contain vitamin A. Fruits and vegetables, particularly those that are red, orange, and yellow, are excellent sources of vitamin A.
- Eat plenty of foods rich in vitamin B6, an important nutrient that helps support your toddlers growing immune system – whole grain cereals and legumes, green and leafy vegetables, fish and shellfish, meat and poultry, nuts and liver are all great sources;
- Include foods rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C is an important nutrient which supports your toddler’s immune system – green leafy vegetables, citrus fruits, kiwi fruit and strawberries are all great sources of vitamin C;
- Include foods rich in vitamin D. Vitamin D helps to keep the immune system working well. The most abundant way of getting enough vitamin D is through direct sunlight on the skin, however due to the risks of too much sun exposure many health care professionals will recommend a vitamin D supplement for children in the first 2 years of life. Ask your healthcare professional about vitamin D supplementation for your little one.
- Eat plenty of foods rich in iron. Iron is a key nutrient that supports your toddlers immune system to function at its best. Red meat in particular is high in iron, but also include other sources such as fish and chicken and eggs;
- Choose foods that contain zinc. Another key mineral that helps support the immune system, zinc can be found in animal and plant-based products, but is absorbed more easily from animal products. Animal products such as beef, cheddar cheese and eggs are good sources. Plant-based products such as rolled oats, peanuts, and rice are good sources of zinc.