Boosting your child’s immune system is vital as we are slowly creeping into the winter months. There is a feeling of dread as the season of the common cold comes around. We know of nothing worse than seeing your little ones in discomfort and feeling poorly. So, if we can keep an illness away or at least relieve some symptoms we do everything we can to do that.
Getting a cold is often inevitable over the winter. In fact, this is especially if your child is in nursery or school and mingling with lots of other children.
However, there is hope and something that we can do! Boosting your child’s immune system is a great way to either fight off any viruses or to at least help them recover quickly.
So, if you are looking for some simple steps to give your child’s immune system some pep and prepare them for the common cold, read on!
Fruits and Vegetables For Boosting Your Child’s Immune System
This one may seem obvious but encouraging them to eat lots of fruit and veg is one of the best ways to boost your child’s immune system. They are packed full of vitamins and minerals and hence have fantastic immune boosting qualities.
If your child isn’t a fan of eating their five a day, try to be creative by using fresh, frozen, tinned or dried fruits throughout various meals. Try making rainbow fruit skewers with a drizzle of white chocolate over them, or a creamy mango smoothie with Greek yoghurt. My personal favourite are frozen grapes that have been dipped in yoghurt.
For savoury options, try these easy options. Make a smooth salsa packed with tomatoes, onions and peppers. This is a great way to make eating veggies fun and very tasty, especially when served with some tortilla chips. A veggie packed pasta sauce is another good way to keep vegetables hidden and be boosting your child’s immune system.
If your baby is weaning, experiment with different fruits and veg to find what they like. However, you may need pretty good weaning bibs to keep things clean!
Of course, you will find your own ways to work fruit and vegetables into your child’s diet. But, however you do it, you’ll be doing wonders for boosting your child’s immune system.
Exercise as a Family
An important element of boosting your overall health, and therefore your immune system, is through regular exercise.
The Journal of Sport and Health Science 2019 found that exercise may lower illness risk, reduce inflammation and improve your overall immune response. Aerobic exercise is the best way to achieve these things according to the above study.
So, try getting out on the bikes, having a run around in the park or going for a nice long walk. Keep it interesting by exploring places you have not been before so that the exercise is engaging for your child. You will be boosting your child’s immune system without them even knowing it!
Treat your child to some good quality wellies to make long walks comfortable for them.
Aside from the benefits to the immune system, you can help to improve the health of all your family. Who knows, you may even potentially instil a life-long interest in exercise which is of course a fantastic thing to do.
Increase Naps or Set Bedtimes For Boosting Your Child’s Immune System
Making sure that your child is getting enough sleep can help their bodies to heal and relax. Encourage naps where possible, or at least some quiet time when boosting your child’s immune system. If this is difficult try having a specific bedtime to ensure your child is getting enough sleep.
For newborns to one year old’s the recommended amount of sleep is between 14 and 16 hours. For 1-3 year old’s its 12-14 hours and 3-6 year old’s should get around 10-12 hours sleep. A 7-12 year old child should be aiming for 10-11 hours sleep each night, according to Webmd.
Of course, these should only be used as a guideline as life never works out perfectly. Aiming to follow these recommendations will give you peace of mind to know your child is having time to rest and recover.
If you’re looking for a new method to encourage children to follow a bedtime routine, try a sunrise/sunset clock. On most of these you are able to set times that you would like your child to go to bed and wake up at. When the set time comes the clock will show a sunset or sunrise picture. Your child can visualise when it is bedtime and when it is time to wake up. This may mean you might get a well-deserved lie-in whilst boosting your child’s immune system with proper rest. A win win situation all around!
Most of our simple tips and tricks might seem obvious or are things you already have integrated into your routine. However, making an effort to implement them properly can make a real difference in terms of boosting your child’s immune system.
Indeed, whether your child fights off any bug or just recover quicker, taking some extra steps could help to relieve your child’s discomfort.
Getting good sleep, eating more veg and doing plenty of exercise will be great for you, too!
For some great winter activites have a look here!