6 Effective Ways To Boost Immunity in Children

Nothing in the last two years has been normal, but thanks to vaccines, we're finally returning to pre-pandemic life. While adults can get the vaccine, children under the age of 12 have yet to receive it, and with schools reopening, their best defence against any illnesses right now is their own immune system. This is why parents are scrambling for answers on how to quickly boost their children's immune systems. Fortunately, there are immunity booster foods, supplements, and lifestyle habits that can help strengthen the body's defence system. Scroll down to learn about the best immune boosters for your child's health.

How Does Your Immune System Grow?

Immunity develops prior to birth and grows with age, which is why immunity-boosting foods and vitamins are required to assist the child in developing their natural defence system. The mother's antibodies are passed on to the unborn infants via the placenta during the third trimester of pregnancy. The body creates blueprints to fight pathogens after birth as the baby is exposed to them. The birth canal is the first place where bacteria enters the body. This sets off the initial immune response. Those born via caesarean section are not exposed to bacteria in the same way, and their immune development may be delayed as a result. Because all infants have weakened immune systems during the first few months of life, mothers' breast milk provides them with specialised immunity.

Vaccinations are then used to boost the child's immunity. These provide mild exposure to pathogens in order to assist the immune system in developing antibodies against them.

 

The Immune System's Functions

The immune system is a complex biological system in the body that consists of various cells, organs, and proteins that work together to eliminate outside invaders. This can include viruses, bacteria, fungi, or toxins.

When you are exposed to threats, your immune system produces specific antibodies (soldiers) that aid in the elimination of the infection. It also allows for faster and easier antibody production in the event that the body is exposed to a similar threat in the future.

 

Immune Enhancing Factors in Children

Various factors contribute to the child's immune system strengthening as they grow. A strong immune system can fight off various diseases and prevent recurrent infections. There are several factors that can help the immune system:

1. Proper nutrition:

It is critical that the child eats enough and meets their daily calorie and protein requirements. This can be achieved by eating three main meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and two/three snacks throughout the day.

Because small children cannot consume large amounts at once, small and frequent meals are essential.

2. Dietary variety:

Anti-inflammatory immune-boosting foods are an excellent way to strengthen a child's immune system. It is advisable to provide variety in the foods provided to the infant as early as 6-7 months of age (e.g., different fruit and vegetable purees). It is critical that they consume foods from all food groups.

This, in turn, will ensure adequate consumption of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, all of which are necessary for optimal immune function.

The various food groups are as follows:
Cereals
Vegetables \sFruits
Milk, yoghurt, and cheese are examples of dairy products.
Protein-rich foods include meat, poultry, eggs, lentils, nuts, and so on.

3. Consume foods high in immune-boosting nutrients.

There is a wide range of immunity boosting foods on the market. You can also take it a step further and increase vitamins and minerals in the body by taking immune-boosting supplements.

Vitamin C

It is essential for the production of certain immune cells.
Vitamin C-rich foods include Indian gooseberries (amla), citrus fruits, strawberries, and others. The Old Natural Immunity Gummies are also high in vitamin C and other immune-boosting ingredients.

Vitamin D

It contributes to the ability of immune cells to capture pathogens. When exposed to sunlight, the body has the ability to produce vitamin D.
Oily fish, meat, and egg yolks are high in vitamin D.

Vitamin A

It regulates a specific type of immune cell called NK immune cells.
Dairy, eggs, and oily fish are high in vitamin A.

Zinc

It is essential for the growth and development of immune cells.
Nuts, seeds, soybeans, and eggs are zinc-rich foods.

Selenium

It has antioxidant properties that aid in the reduction of oxidative stress in the body.
Brazil nuts, eggs, shellfish, and chicken are high in selenium.

4. Get enough sleep:

Children should get enough rest. This aids the body's ability to repair and eliminate toxins. The following are suggested:

  • Infants under the age of one year: 12-16 hours of sleep
  • 11 to 14 hours of sleep for children aged 1-2 years.
  • Children aged 3 to 5 years: 10-13 hours of sleep
  • Children aged 6 to 12 years: 9 to 12 hours of sleep
  • Children aged 13 to 18: 8-10 hours of sleep

5. Maintaining personal hygiene:

The following steps should be taken to limit the spread of infections:

  • Hand washing before and after eating.
  • After using the restroom, wash your hands.
  • Teaching young girls to wipe from front to back after urinating or passing bowels.
  • Infants should be kept away from sick people, chemicals, pollutants, and cigarette smoke.

6. Following a vaccination schedule:

The pediatrician's vaccination schedule should be followed exactly as planned. Following the recommended schedule ensures that your child develops a strong, healthy, and robust immune system.

  • If the vaccine is given to the child too soon, the body may not produce enough antibodies.
  • If the vaccination is administered too late, the child is more likely to become infected.

As your children adjust to their new normal, keep these different aspects of immunity in mind to help boost their immune system.

Boost your child's immune system for lifeChildren immunityImmunity boostKids immunity boost

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