Are you looking to boost your child’s immune system? I’m certain you’ll find here practical and easy ideas you can apply in your household right away.
Fall is here once again and with it the season of colds and flu. Once school starts, it seems that colds, ear infections, stomach bugs, and many other infectious problems return with vengeance. All those little hands touching things everywhere, insufficient hand washing when the parents are not looking, and sneezing and coughing without covering their mouths, just to name a few. These little people seem to get sick easily and in the process they get everyone around them sick.
Is there a way to decrease the number of times kids get sick every year? Or at least shorten the number of days they are sick? Yes, there is. In fact, there are many, many ways to boost your child’s immune system. Here’s 18 favourite tips to boost your child’s immune system.
Children are always exposed to sick kids (in class, at the playground, during play dates, etc.). The trick is to build their immune system so they don’t get sick when others around them are sick.
18 Ways to Boost your Child’s Immune System that will Help your Child say Good-bye to Colds and Flu
- Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables every day.
- Fermented foods every day (here’s why fermented foods are useful and where to find them).
- A freshly-made green juice (made for example from celery, cucumber, and spinach) every day. Even if your child takes one or two sips and you drink the rest, the juice is beneficial for both of you.
- A freshly-made carrot juice every day. Carrot juice is rich in vitamin A that the immune system needs.
- Plenty of water throughout the day. Here are a few tips on how to help your child drink more water.
- Processed foods, refined foods, and sugary drinks should be avoided. They suppress the immune system and don’t provide any nourishment. Our children’s bodies need real food to help get the necessary nutrients to stay healthy.
- Organic foods whenever possible. Besides having fewer chemicals than conventional food, organic foods have more nutrients to support the immune system.
- Good protein sources every day: free-range organic chicken and eggs, wild fish, beans, seeds, nuts and nut butters.
- Plenty of sleep. Children need more sleep than adults. The number of hours of sleep they need varies according to the child’s age. If children are sleep deprived, they will get sick more easily. Lack of sleep lowers the ability of the immune system to function properly.
- Daily exercise. Less screen time and more outside time. Any form of exercise keeps the immune system healthy. Think running, walking, biking, swimming, jumping on a trampoline… you name it. You can read here about the many benefits of exercise.
- If your child is stressed, help them find ways to relax. Stress lowers the ability of the immune system to function normally. For example, help them find hobbies that they enjoy (playing a sport, reading a book, etc.) and help them express their feelings out loud.
- Encourage your child to wash their hands before eating, and before and after going to the bathroom.
- Encourage your child to cough or sneeze into their elbow to prevent spreading of germs.
- Don’t smoke near your child. Ideally don’t smoke at all.
- Eliminate food allergens. They cause continuous inflammation in your child’s body which weakens the immune system. Is your child getting many ear infections or many colds? Does your child have behavioral issues or skin problems? It is possible that they might suffer from a food allergy or sensitivity. Test your child for food allergies or sensitivities and eliminate any offending foods from their diet.
- If the removal of your child’s tonsils can be avoided, then insist on not having them removed as they are part of the immune system and they intercept bacteria that enter the child’s throat.
- Clean up the home environment:
– use a house air-filter
– open the windows at least twice a day for 30 minutes to freshen up the air inside your home
– use house cleaners and personal care products (soap, shampoo, etc.) that are safe for us and for the environment
Check out the Environmental Working Group website (www.ewg.org) to find out whether the house cleaners and personal care products you use are deemed safe. I wrote more here on how useful the Environmental Working Group website is and how we can use it to our advantage.
- Supplements that boost your child’s immune system and help prevent infections:
– a multivitamin with minerals
– vitamin C
– vitamin D (or plenty of sunlight daily)
– vitamin E
– probiotics – you can read here about what probiotics are, how they help us, how to take them as a supplement, and which foods contain them.
– essential fatty acids – you can read here about essential fatty acids, what they are, why we need them, what foods have them, and how to take them as a supplement.
What if the child is already sick? What can we do to shorten the amount of time that they are sick and the severity of their sickness? Here are 8 more tips to boost your child’s immune system.
8 Tips to Lower the Time and the Severity of your Child’s Sickness
- Elderberry syrup
- Zn lozenges
- Chamomile tea if the child is congested or coughing
- Raw honey given with a spoon or mixed in warm herbal tea (only if your child is over 1 year of age)
- Manuka honey comes from New Zealand and Australia. Research shows that it has healing properties – wound infections, antibacterial, and potential value against the influenza virus. Manuka honey is expensive, but a small amount goes a long way.
- Oregano oil has potential antiviral properties
- Green tea and matcha tea rich in antioxidants. My husband and I drink a lot of green teas and we offer our children small amounts of green tea in the morning and not in the evening as these teas have caffeine.
I hope these lists will help you boost your child’s immune system, especially since Halloween is just around the corner and we all know how much sugar (that weakens the immune system) kids eat that day and the days that follow.
Do you have any tips to add? Please share them with us in the comment section below.
P.S. Do you think your child has a low immune system? Would you like to find ways to increase your child’s body’s resistance to various bugs? Please contact me here and let’s talk about how to help your child from getting sick often.
“How to raise a healthy child in spite of your doctor” by Robert S. Mendelsohn
“Natural baby- healthy child” by Murray Clarke
“Doctor yourself” by Andrew Saul
“The vitamin cure for children’s health problems” by Ralph Campbell and Andrew Saul
Review of the medicinal effects of tualang honey and a comparison with manuka honey. Malays J Med Sci. 2013
Anti-influenza viral effects of honey in vitro: potent high activity of manuka honey. Arch Med Res. 2014
Zinc for the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011
Echinacea for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2006
Antiviral activity of the Lippia graveolens (Mexican oregano) essential oil and its main compound carvacrol against human and animal viruses. Braz J Microbiol. 2011
Safety and Efficacy Profile of Echinacea purpurea to Prevent Common Cold Episodes: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2012