A guide for boosting your toddler’s immune system effectively
Life is a constant battle against a variety of illnesses, both common and rare, and to protect your child against them, you need to equip him with the right weapon. In other words, it is important to boost your child’s immunity in such a way that he doesn’t fall sick again and again. Providing the right kind of nutrition is of utmost importance for instance, because he will become what he eats. Hence, proper balanced meals that contain ample amounts of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants are essential.
To help you out, here are some tips for toddlers which can help them ward off many illnesses:
No mother wants to see her child falling sick repeatedly. However, it is both impossible as well as unnatural to cocoon your little one in an absolutely germ-free environment at all times. You need to let him play on the streets, get dirty, and come back home with muddy hands and feet at times. And it is also natural for him to sneeze or cough now and then. Remember that exposure to common germs is a great way to build immunity in the long run. As long as you provide him with healthy and balanced meals regularly, your child should be fine.
- Provide a healthy diet to your child: Feeding immunity-boosting foods for kids is the best way to improve your child’s resistance to infections. Ideally, your toddler should consume fresh fruits and vegetables, seeds, eggs, fishes containing omega-3 fatty acids and healthy oils like olive oil. Rawas, rohu, ahi and pomfret are some fishes you can include in his daily meals. Make sure the veggies and fruits are of different colours, so that your little one gets all kinds of micronutrients. Provide these in raw, steamed, boiled or grilled forms, so that your child can get sufficient dietary fibre too.
- Ensure your child eats foods rich in vitamin C: Vitamin C is a great immune-booster for toddlers. This vitamin protects your infant against common colds and the flu. It can be found in foods such as citrus fruits, green leafy vegetables, guavas, and strawberries. A veggie or fruit salad, smoothies and fresh juices are some wonderful options to include in his diet.
- Include foods rich in vitamin B6: Another vitamin that strengthens immunity is vitamin B6. This vitamin can be found in whole-grain cereals, legumes, green leafy vegetables, fish, seafood, meat, poultry, and nuts. An easy and safe way to feed your child nuts is by grinding them into a powder and adding to his cereals or porridge. He can also enjoy different dals with brown rice or whole-grain roti.
- Provide an iron-rich diet: Iron is another nutrient that acts as an immune booster for kids. Plus, it is essential for the formation of haemoglobin in the red blood cells, which carry oxygen to all parts of your toddler’s body. Red meat, fish, chicken, eggs, and green leafy vegetables are rich sources of iron. You can start feeding your child boiled and mashed leafy vegetables from 6 months onwards. Also note that iron from vegetarian sources is harder for the body to absorb, than the iron your child gets from animal sources. So, pairing iron-rich veggie sources with foods rich in vitamin C is recommended, for better absorption.
- Ensure that your child gets enough sleep: Apart from offering the right foods to increase immunity in a child, you must also ensure that your toddler gets adequate sleep. This is because the body repairs and renews itself while the child is asleep. Sleep is essential to replenish the energy he loses throughout the day while studying or playing.