Kids are highly susceptible to illness. From persistent colds to running noses, never-ending flu or tummy bugs, your child’s little system is constantly exposed to disease-causing pathogens.
A strong immune system is not always about good genes or limiting exposure to bad bacteria, viruses, fungi or parasites which kids are exposed to on a daily basis, especially in daycare or during the school season.
The good news is, your child’s state of health is something you have a lot of control over. This involves administering some natural immune system boosters for kids in order to boost their body defenses, speed up healing and generally help them achieve better wellness levels.
Natural immune system boosters for kids are nothing out of the ordinary really. Most involve going “back to the basics”.
Here is how you can achieve that.
Sleep is vital to everyone’s health, especially children. It is during sleep that our bodies get to repair and rejuvenate, and this has a big impact on our immune system.
Every individual requires different levels of rest. When it comes to children, it is absolutely important for them to get as much rest as possible.
As a parent, you can tell when your child has not had enough sleep. When they stay up late, it interferes with their circadian rhythm. This is why you should make it a habit of getting them to bed early.
Sleep truly does allow the body to protect itself.
- Healthy Food Choices
Every kid loves treats. However, too much sugar, preservatives and additives – the things that mostly make up the snacks children love so much – hinder the immune system making your child fall ill frequently.
It is not a coincidence that kids tend to get sick after a birthday party (or Halloween). That’s because sugar reduces white blood cell count if consumed in excess, therefore switching the immune system into low gear.
Sugary treats aren’t bad once in a while.
But ensure most of your child’s diet is made up healthy foods and snacks – eggs, milk, meat, whole fruits, fresh veggies (yup!), nuts and seeds, essential fatty acids (aka good fats) etc.
- Good Gut Health
Beneficial bacteria is at the heart of good gut health. When the bacterial balance in children (as well as adults) is disrupted, your child’s ability to fight off infections is compromised.
This is why probiotics are a good addition to your child’s diet.
Probiotics are the beneficial bacteria that naturally occur in our guts.
They are one of the best natural immune system boosters for kids as they not only help shield your child from viruses and harmful bacteria, but also aid in toxin elimination, help in digestion and generally protect the digestive tract.
Examples of foods that contain live bacteria include natural yoghurt, kefir, kimchi, kombucha and sauerkraut. Other than milk kefir and natural yoghurt, some kids might have trouble warming up to these other foods.
Not to worry, though, as probiotics are also available in supplement form. Some particular bacteria strains you should start children off with are bifidobacteria and lactobacillus with between five and 20 billion CFUs (colony-forming units).
Speaking of supplements…
- Supplements and Herbs
In addition to probiotics, there are plenty of other supplements which directly have a positive impact on your child’s immunity levels. For example, vitamin D and zinc.
Vitamin C and fish oil are great for children with allergies; so is nettle. Herbs like astralagus and elderberry are other natural immune system boosters for kids which work wonders for recurrent respiratory tract infections.
However, it is important to consult a physician before introducing your child to any new supplement or herb regimen.
- Regular Exercise
Encourage your kids to move more often as it has a direct impact on their health and immunity.
Regular exercise has been shown to increase white blood cell count which increases the body’s ability to fend off illness. Exercise also boosts natural killer cells that are essential for our immune system.