5 Simple Ways To Strengthen Kids' Immunity
The immune system is a complex network of cells, chemicals, and organs working hard to protect us from infections. It's true that our immune system may weaken with age due to malnutrition and us not taking good care of ourselves, so why not do all we can to give our kids an advantage?
1. Good Nutrition
There's a reason we say, "an apple a day keeps the doctor away." Fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, fish, and healthy fats should be a big part of your kids' diet. We know it's not always easy to get your kid to eat healthy foods, but making it a fun experience might be the key!
Let them help you in the kitchen while you cook. Together, you can make something like a decorative fruit salad that's fun to look at but also fun to eat. Also, don't forget that kids often mimic their parents, so remember to show them that you enjoy eating plenty of fruits, vegetables, and healthy foods.
Drinking a lot of water doesn't cure or prevent infections, however, water aids in carrying oxygen and nutrients to all of the cells in our body. Drinking more water also eases the process of flushing out waste and toxins from our bodies. Not only is water great for our overall health, but it also has no processed additions and sugars that we often find in artificial juices and sodas - which should be avoided in your kids' diet.
3. Physical activity
While excessive exercise may lower our immune system, regular, moderate-intensity exercise has been proven to have many benefits on our immunity's functionality. Having your children run around the yard, or taking long walks or hikes with them will benefit not only their immune system, but yours as well.
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Remember how we hated having to go to bed early as kids? If only we knew…
Getting your kid to sleep on time might be hard. Still, combined with our previous point of having enough physical activity, it just might get easier.
Poor quality sleep, or not enough sleep, are linked to a higher susceptibility to sickness. Sleep is essential for everyone, but infants and pre-teens sometimes need up to 14 hours of sleep each night!
5. Supplement with care
Sometimes we just need a little extra vitamins and minerals. Maybe you're not able to shop for fresh ingredients every day; perhaps you know that some especially hard and busy days lie ahead… choosing a few supplements that seem to help strengthen your immune system may be just what you and your family need.
Here's a short list of supplements that may be beneficial:
- Vitamin C - studies show that taking this vitamin reduced the duration of colds by 8% in adults and 14% in children.
- Vitamin D - this is a vitamin that's especially important depending on how much sun you get. If you're living in a place where there's not much sunlight, consider supplementing yourself and your family with vitamin D.
- Elderberry - elderberries are rich in antioxidants and vitamins. Taking elderberry supplements may prevent the common cold and flu and help with respiratory problems.
- Zinc - Studies have shown that taking zinc may cut the duration of a cold up to 33%. It may also ease the symptoms. Shorter colds with fewer symptoms? Sign us up!
It's important to teach your kids to develop as many good habits as they can. But, while taking care of their health and needs, don't forget to take care of yours, as well.
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