Give Your Child’s Immune System a Boost!

childrenLittle kids are walking petri dishes, and on any given day your child is exposed to a lot in the world.  You can’t avoid germs and neither can your children, but there are some simple things you can do in order to boost your child’s immune system naturally and keep them healthier!

Good Nutrition

The cornerstone to any strong immune system is a healthy and balanced diet, and it’s not that hard to do.  Try to avoid giving your child processed foods that are loaded with things no one can pronounce and fill your child’s belly with nutritious foods that have good quality fats.  Seasonal, fresh fruits and veggies as well as lean protein will help to keep their immune system in tip top shape.

Sleep

It’s the holy grail of parenting: getting your child to sleep well.  Ensuring your child gets enough sleep of good quality will help to keep their immune system healthy.  If your child is tired it only makes them more susceptible to illness.  All children are different, but in general newborns need 16-18 hours of sleep a day, toddlers need 12-13 hours, preschoolers need about 10 hours, school age kids need 10-12 hours a night and adolescents need 8.5 to 9.5 hours a night.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is essential in the creation of T-cells, which help your body fight illness.  A deficiency in Vitamin D has been found to increase the risk of viral infections, so making sure your child is getting enough is very important to a healthy immune system.  Milk and cheese are great sources of vitamin D, and so is sunshine.  When exposed to sun your body naturally produces vitamin D, but don’t forget the sunscreen!

Encourage a Healthy Digestive System

The flora found in your child’s intestines is a complex little ecosystem and if it gets out of whack it can increase your child’s risk of getting sick.  The best way to encourage good bacteria in the belly is through fermented foods like yogurt, kimchi and kefir.  Probiotics are another great way to encourage healthy bacteria as well and probiotic supplements are widely available. 

Exercise

Exercise is important for a lot of reasons, one of which is to support a healthy immune system.  Keep your child active by limiting screen time and media and encourage them to move, run, jump, play and swim.  In other words, let your kid just do what kids do. 

There’s no magic recipe to keeping your child healthy, but including these simple things in your lives can help to keep the whole family healthy and happy!

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Barney Moss

This article is made available for general, entertainment and educational purposes only. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of The Joint Corp (or its franchisees and affiliates). You should always seek the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.