During the cold and flu season, I admit that I often worry about my children getting really sick. As moms and dads, we know how tough it is when our little ones are suffering from illness or discomfort. Luckily, there are some things you can do to boost your child’s health.
A few months ago I came across an article about a family that had cut out sugar for a whole year. The results were nothing short of remarkable. Actually, the family noticed a dramatic decrease in colds and viruses the kids had. While I’m impressed with this family’s resolve, I realized it’s not a commitment most families are ready to take. Obviously, this is much easier with an adult, but if improving your child’s immunity is of the high priority, step number one is taking a hard look at their sugar intake. Where can you cut back and how can you begin to make reasonable changes? Sugar is literally addictive and one can experience real withdrawal symptoms like mood swings, headaches and fatigue. If your child is consuming a lot of sugar, it’s important to gradually decrease it as this will boost your child’s immunity a lot.
Probiotics help regulate the immune system by balancing the good bacteria and flora in the tummy. These good-for-humans microorganisms potentially reduce the risk of diarrhea and respiratory infections. You can strengthen your child’s immune system by serving live-cultured products like organic yogurt or by adding a probiotic supplement to their water or diet. Just make sure the probiotic is organic and of high quality.
Honey is kind of nature’s miracle. Especially manuka honey from New Zealand is loaded with anti-bacterial properties and have been scientifically proven to kill bad bacteria and anti-biotic resistant so-called super bugs. Honey is not suitable for babies under one years of age, so please don’t go giving your new-born honey. There are all sorts of grades of honey depending on its potency and it can get very expensive. So it’s a good idea to buy organic honey as it’s the best value for your money.
Whole foods and veggies
It really goes without saying that what we eat has a huge effect on how we feel. Plant-based foods should make up a majority of children’s diet but getting kids to eat veggies can be hard. I find that roasting and cooking veggies is a really great and easy way to serve things like carrot, pumpkin, cucumber, sweet potato and beetroot. Grating up raw veggies and cooking them up with a can of tomatoes is a great way to make a quick veggie sauce. You can add this sauce to rice, brown pasta or other wholegrain that your little ones will eat.
Keep in mind that kids are mini germ magnets. Those little critters come into contact with all sorts of icky stuff as they crawl across floors. Fortunately, your child’s immune system is made up of a bunch of warriors called antibodies. These antibodies are still maturing, which means they are still developing. However, this can help babies’ natural iron and zinc production. There is even some evidence that regular play time on the floor helps keep kids from developing asthma and allergies.