How to Boost Your Child’s Immunity

Boost Your Child’s Immunity

With the onslaught of multiple viruses and bacteria all around us, it is imperative that we maintain a strong immune system, more so for our children. This will prevent them from getting sick often and even if they do, it will help them recover faster.

Most of these are simple suggestions that can be incorporated easily in our daily lives. Many of these are age old traditions that have been followed in our homes by our mothers and grandmothers since ages.

The key is that we continue to do these and not stop after the flu season is over or the crises at hand is gone.

1. Vitamin C

An easy way to get Vitamin C is to have a glass of lemon water on an empty stomach in the morning. Vitamin C flushes out toxins from the body and helps white blood cells to function properly, thus boosting immunity. Just squeeze the juice of one or half a lemon in a glass of warm water, add some honey and give it to your child every morning. Amla (or gooseberry) can also be eaten either as juice, whole fruit or after boiling.

2. Turmeric

Turmeric has been known since ancient times for its medicinal properties. Curcumin in turmeric makes the cells resistant to infection. It has strong anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Add a little turmeric to a glass of milk that you give your child. You can also use turmeric in cooking.

3. Tulsi (Basil)

Leaves of Basil or Tulsi have exceptional health benefits for both adults and children. They have powerful medicinal properties and have been found to be useful in fever because of viral infections. Boil some leaves in water and give it to your children to boost their immunity. You can also use tulsi leaves in bathing water to keep skin infections at bay.

4. Ginger

Ginger boosts immunity and is great if you or your child is suffering from cough or sore throat. Boil a cup of water with crushed ginger. Pour it in a cup and add honey when temperature is a little lower (when you can drink it). You can also add lemon to it for Vitamin C as well.

Note: Never cook honey or add it to very hot (boiling) water. Cooking and very high heat makes it toxic.

5. Vitamin D

Deficiency of Vitamin D can cause multiple problems like autoimmune disease and increase susceptibility to various infections. Make your child go out in the sun for the required Vitamin D. Eat Vitamin D rich food like fatty fish, mushrooms, egg yolk. Most children today are deficient in Vitamin D, so you might consider giving them an occasional Vitamin D supplement after consulting with a doctor.

6. Exercise

Exercising helps in flushing bacteria out of lungs and airways, thereby reducing chances of getting a cough, cold or flu. It also increases activity of antibodies and white blood cells (WBCs) and thus helps boost immunity. Exercising reduces cortisol, which is the stress hormone and increases energy levels of the body.

7. Fruits and vegetables

All types of berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry), beans carrots have phytonutrients which help in boosting immunity. Include a lot of fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet – preferably in all meals.

8. Adequate sleep

While sleeping, the immune system produces infection fighting cytokines. Sleep deprivation prevents the formation of these substances and leads to a weakened immune system.

According to webmd, 1-3 year olds need 12-14 hours of sleep, 3-6 year old children need 10-12 hours of sleep, 7-12 year old children need 10-11 hours of sleep and 12-18 year old children need 8-9 hours of sleep per day.

Do not watch TV or other screens before bedtime for a good quality sleep. Read how excess screen-time impact sleep and other aspects of a child’s development in “Screen Time – How Much is Too-Much”

Others

Maintaining hygiene, avoiding excess medication, drinking enough water, laughing and not taking too much stress also help in maintaining a proper balance in the body.

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