Optimising Immunity

Good afternoon on this very snowy day. I hope everyone is keeping safe and well.

With winter well under way bringing the usual colds and flu, and the current pandemic it has never been more important to keep our immunity to at it’s best. By ensuring our diets are rich in these nutrients, we can give our bodies the best chance against illness.

Selenium keeps the immune system and thyroid functioning well, and brazil nuts are rich in this. Whole nuts are not recommended for children under 5 due to choking risk, however you can ground nuts and add them to porridge, yoghurt, fruit and cereals. If your child has a nut allergy you should choose alternative sources such as fish, meat and eggs.

Zinc supports the immune system and aids wound healing. Good sources include meat, shellfish, dairy and wheat based products such as bread, pasta and cereals.

There have been suggestions that Vitamin D may protect against Coronavirus, however there is not enough evidence to support this. Vitamin D however helps to keep bones healthy and children aged 1-5 years should be given a daily supplement containing 10 micrograms of Vitamin D. Babies also need Vitamin D, and breast fed babies should be supplemented with 8.5-10 micrograms per day. Formula contains Vitamin D so formula fed babies do not need supplementing until they are drinking less than 500ml of formula per day.

Iron and Vitamin C support growth, protect cells and promote wound healing. Vitamin C helps the body to absorb the iron from food, and so eating foods rich in these nutrients at the same time is beneficial. Try offering young children well cooked soft meat so it is easier for them to manage, along with Vitamin C rich vegetables or fruit for dessert. Although orange juice is a good source of Vitamin C, it is high in sugar therefore should be diluted with water if being offered to young children. Water and milk are the best fluids for children.

Sleep provides essential support to a child’s immune system, growth and brain development, therefore ensuring a good routine so that they get a good nights sleep is essential from a young age. Try a warm bath, cuddles and bedtime story before bed to ensure a restful sleep.

Are you struggling with your child’s behaviour, routine and diet during lockdown? Or are you enjoying lockdown as a family and have helpful tips for others? Please comment or get in touch with any worries or helpful tips for others.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: