Food That Helps To Improve Immune System Of Kids Under Five

As a mother, you can optimize your child’s immune system by providing the best nutrition for their daily consumption. The best source of nutrition for them can be found in food such as fruits and vegetables. In this article, you may find some of the examples of foods that can help in optimizing the development of your child’s immune system.

As your child’s immune system continues to develop, they become stronger and more complex. Every mother wants their child to be strong and healthy so that they can experience the world to help build their Resilience which is important for their success in the future. 

Resilience, according to Dr Jack Shonkoff, from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University, is the kinds of capacities, skills and abilities that give people a sense of mastery and management of difficulty1. It is very important for a child to be Resilient so that they can bounce back from failures despite all the challenges the world thrown at them. There are 5 core pillars of Resilience which are Perseverance, Daringness, Resourcefulness, Self-Reliance and Adaptability. For mothers to raise their children Resilient, mothers first need to ensure that their child's body and immune system is strong and well-protected.

Your child’s daily nutrition will affect the development of their immune system. It is common knowledge to fulfill the daily nutrition of your child by giving them healthy foods which can improve their body’s immunity. Below are some of the examples.

Nutrition for Your Child’s Immunity

Foods consumed by child will support their immune system from the inside. Foods rich in various nutrients will help establish their immune system and have an immense influence on their health in the long run.

The following are the main nutrition which can support the strengthening of their immune system

Probiotic

Probiotic is the good bacteria. The good bacteria help to fight against the bad bacteria which are in your child’s body. Probiotics can be found in various foods as below:

● Yogurt that contains “live cultures”
● Tempeh
● Cottage cheese that contains “live cultures”

Iron

Iron has an important role in hemoglobin synthesis, a protein in red blood cells (erythrocytes) that carries oxygen to the entire body. Iron deficiency can interfere with your child’s immune system. In fact, kids under five with iron deficiency will be at risk of infection. Foods which naturally contain iron include:

● Red meat
● Legumes
● Brown rice
● Fortified milk
● Dark green vegetables such as spinach

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral found in all of internal body tissues. One of the functions of Zinc is the development of new tissues. People with Zinc deficiencies often need longer time for their wounds to heal. Foods with high Zinc content include:

● Meat
● Milk
● Cheese
● Bread
● Cereal

Vitamin D
 

Vitamin D plays a role in allergy prevention2 and helps in developing and maintaining the function of your child’s immune system3. One of the main sources of vitamin D is sunlight. However, you can get natural vitamin D from various types of food as follows:

● Fish oil
● Eggs

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is needed by white blood cells (leukocytes) to fight against infection. It also plays a role as a natural antioxidant. Give your kids vitamin C by introducing these various types of food in their diet:

● Broccoli
● Various kinds of edible roots
● Orange
● Kiwifruit

Vitamin A

Vitamin A supports your child’s immune system by activating immune cell functions and spreading antibodies throughout the body. You can give your kids vitamin A, which is naturally contained in foods such as:

● Cheese
● Eggs
● Yogurt
● Orange colored fruits and green vegetables (including mangoes, carrots, edible roots, and spinach).

With a strong immune system of a child, mothers can now expose their child to the world so that they can experience the world and build the Resilience needed for their future success.

Want to learn more about Resilience? Click here to find out more!

Reference:

1.       National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (2015). Supportive Relationships and Active Skill-Building Strengthen the Foundations of Resilience: Working Paper No. 13. Retrieved from www.developingchild.harvard.edu.

2.       Mirzakhani, H., Al-Garawi, A., Weiss, S. T., & Litonjua, A. A. (2015). Vitamin D And The Development Of Allergic Disease: How Important Is It? Clinical & Experimental Allergy, 45(1), 114–125. 

3.       Aranow, C. (2011). Vitamin D And The Immune System. Journal Of Investigative Medicine, 59(6), 881–886.