New School year is going to start soon. Most probably kids will attend it by physically going back into the classroom. In this scenario, immunity is a huge concern among parents as pandemic has not ended yet and cold and flu season also impend ahead. Many paediatricians consider four to five colds or flu per year normal in kids. But there are some healthy habits that can help to boost up immunity level in kids. It’s important to work on kid’s immunity from the time he/she is born. Here we are discussing some possible ways of boosting and developing strong immune system among kids from childhood.
Breastfeed: The baseline level of immune cells in the breast milk is higher for babies. We know from research that breast feeding is an effective way to develop your baby’s defences against diseases. Breast milk contains many elements that supports your baby’s immune system. These include proteins, fats, sugars and antibodies and probiotics. When a mother comes into contact with germs, she develops antibodies to help her fight off infections. (How else does breastmilk help the body?)This is another good reason for breastfeeding for the first six months, as recommended by the World Health Organisation.
Enough sleep: It’s important to get enough sleep for kids to be healthy and active. During sleep, the immune system releases proteins called cytokines, which fights infection and inflammation. While not getting required sleep time suppressed cytokines production. A newborn should sleep up to 18-20 hours of the day, toddlers need 13-15 hours, kids aged 7-12 should sleep 10-11 hours and teenagers 8-9 hours. (Any food that can help how kids sleep better?) Studies have shown that sleep enhances adaptive immune response to invade infectious bacteria and viruses. Long term lack of sleep also increases risk of obesity in kids.
Exercise and outdoor activities: Exercise like running, cycling, swimming, skipping, various kinds of dancing and yoga have been shown to improve immune function in children in some ways. Regular physical activity can strengthen your immune system and help your body fight against infections. Study has shown that moderate intensity exercise has a beneficial effect on a child’s immune system.
Healthy Gut: A child’s gut is home to wide range of bacterias. Some bad bacterias can lead to infections and diseases while some are good, healthy and helpful to boost immunity in kids. More than 75% of our immune system lives in gut. It’s almost clear now that healthy immune system starts with healthy guts as it plays a vital role in preventing infections and diseases. Feeding probiotic which contain beneficial bacteria can improve gut health. (How to prepare probiotic food easily?) Fermented foods contain beneficial probiotics that can help improve digestion and immunity. The most common foods that naturally contain probiotics include yogurt, kefir, pickles, kimchi, and some cheeses.
Healthy platter: Ensure that your plate is providing you enough amounts of vitamins and minerals required to maintain your immune system (what all foods should be included?). Healthy diet is key to strong immunity. That means make sure you and your kids eat plenty of vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, lean protein and healthy fats. By choosing nutrient based functional foods you can give your body the tools it needs to stay active and free from diseases.
Consume Zinc: Zinc is an important mineral that shields the body from the attack of outer elements that can cause us harm. Like viruses and bacterias that can invade the body can cause infection. Zinc forms a layer on the cells of the body which fight off the infection before it tries to destroy the cell. It is crucial to maintain high immunity. (What are some Zinc foods?) Remember the diaper rash cream that is applied on kids also has zinc, to protect from rashes (bacterias) that can form with the moisture of the diaper and skin. Zinc also helps with healing of wounds faster, so even better for kids to include this in the diet.
Drink plenty of fluids: Drinking water can help improve overall immunity of your body. Staying hydrated helps your body naturally eliminates the bacteria and toxin that causes infections. With the help of water, oxygen and nutrients are distributed throughout the body and waste material is flushed out from the body. Our blood stream is made up of water. It is essential to have enough water to properly transport nutrients to each organ system of our body. And not just immunity, proper water supply is required for every organ in our body to function at its best. (Try some easy drinks that kids would like)
- Cookie Crumble Recipe:
- Cookie dough:
- Equal part semolina, wheat flour, oats and half melon seeds and half sunflower seeds
- One Handful raisins or dried berries or mix of both (puréed with little milk)
- Honey (as per more sweetness)
- Pinch salt
- Cinnamon powder (¼ tsp)
- 2 tbsp ghee or unsalted butter or oil (heaped spoon)
- Milk as little as to make firm dough (if needed)
- Mix all to make a form dough. Refrigerate for few hours till it hardens.
Now take out and break the dough by hand into crumbs. Mix melted dark chocolate sauce. Spread on baking sheet. Preheat over for 5 min at 200 celsius. Bake for 10-12 minutes till slightly brown. Leave to cool to become crispy.
Serve directly or with milk or yogurt. Super Tasty!!
Read more blogs: