Winter is coming and with it colds and flu.
Colds and flu are facts of life for kids but there are steps we can take to keep them healthy and bursting with energy. A thriving immune system is key to make sure they’re ready to battle any nasties that come their way.
- Vitamin D
In a shocking turn of events, we don’t get enough Vitamin D in our wonderfully mild country. In fact, a deficiency is fairly common here, especially coming into the winter months. You can certainly source Vitamin D from red meat and oily fish but according to new healthy eating guidelines released by the government, you should also give your child a supplement of 5 micrograms every day in either drops or liquid form.
2) Eat A Balanced Diet
Bet you’re surprised to see this one. A balanced diet is the best source of nutrients and vitamins for growing children, especially now that so many foods come fortified with calcium, iron, and vitamin C. Children aged one to four years old should eat three meals every day along with two to three healthy snacks! If you’re concerned your little one might not be getting enough from their diet, have a chat with your doctor before picking up any additional supplements!
3) Keep A Consistent Bedtime
Sleep is key. When we sleep our body produces cytokines, a type of protein that targets infection and inflammation. The less sleep we get, the fewer cytokines we produce, the weaker our immune system gets. Avoid sugary drinks (if your child has a bit of a sweet tooth, try to freeze small fruit pieces in ice for a bit more of a taste!) and screens for at least an hour before bedtime, and never underestimate the value of naps.
Just like a balanced diet, exercise is key for a healthy immune system. It may contribute even more directly by promoting good circulation, which allows the cells and substances of the immune system to move through the body freely and do their job efficiently.
5) Wash Your Hands
Okay, so this one doesn’t directly boost your immune system, but washing your hands regularly can cut down on the spread of germs which means you are less likely to get sick. This is especially important these days!
We hope you find this post helpful!