“Boost Your Child’s Immunity”
Blog Seven: Monday, 13 May 2019
Written by Mandy Sacher, CEO of Wholesome Child
Sometimes it can feel like kids are constantly sick – coughs, colds and runny noses, sore throats, you name it, they just won’t budge! Then it gets passed from one family member to the next making everyone miserable.
So, it’s time to take control by boosting your whole family’s immune system the natural way with plenty of vitamin-rich foods and looking after your gut health.
When you’re sick, a warm cup of broth is just what you need! Homemade bone broth is excellent for speeding up the healing process, plus it contains vital minerals that young children can easily absorb such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and silicon. In fact, chicken bone broth is rich in a natural amino acid called cysteine, which thins the mucus in your lungs making it less sticky so it can be expelled more easily. Who knew?
But if drinking broth isn’t for you or your little one, there are plenty of other easy ways to add bone broth to your child’s diet.
- Boil or sauté veggies in the broth
- Boil rice or pasta in the liquid
- Use as a base to soups
- Substitute for stock or water in recipes
- Add to bolognaise and other dishes that require a stock – try my Spaghetti Bolognaise with Hidden Veggies.
Kefir yoghurt is packed with probiotics and now readily available at specialty and health foods stores. The taste can be a bit tart for kids so it’s best to add it to your child’s normal yoghurt in small doses to start off with, or even add it to smoothies.
Other probiotic-rich foods which can support gut health and help the immune system are kombucha, a refreshing drink, and sauerkraut which can be mixed in with other veggies for a boost.
Speaking of veggies, here are my fave veggies to munch on to support immunity…
Broccoli is a super veg, containing an abundant supply of antioxidants, vitamin C, calcium, iron, beta-carotene and folate. Broccoli is also high in fibre so it can help prevent constipation in adults and children alike. Try adding it to at least one meal every day – if your little ones struggle with broccoli, try puréeing it and adding it to veggie sauces to pour over pasta, chicken or fish.
Dark green leafy veg
Vegetables like Brussel sprouts, spinach and kale are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, fibre and calcium, which little bodies need to fight infections. But these are also the veggies that can often be the hardest to ‘sell’ to tiny taste buds, especially if they haven’t been exposed to veggies of this kind from an early age. Start out slowly, adding small puréed amounts to soups, stews and stir-fries. I’ve added spinach to my family’s fave veggie-loaded snack, Spinach and Beetroot Bliss Balls.
Brightly coloured fruit and veggies
All of the bright fruit and veg like oranges, kiwis, red and yellow capsicums, beetroot and berries are high in vitamin C and antioxidants which fight germs and promote wellbeing. Creating a visually appealing rainbow coloured veggie plate will entice your children to eat these powerful health-boosters. You can also try my tasty Homemade Tomato Sauce for an additional boost of vitamin C and Lycopene – a powerful antioxidant found in tomatoes.
Above all else, remember to stay hydrated to help the body flush out any toxins!