How to support your kid’s immune system

What is the Immune System?

The human immune system is made up of a large network of organs, white blood cells and proteins that all work together to protect against infection (bacteria, viruses, parasites and fungi). 

70-90% of the Immune System is located in the GUT (Digestive System) and given the fact babies are born with sterile digestive systems, early protection against infection is transferred transplacentally and in milk. Once this fades, young children become more vulnerable to infections, and if your Little One is at nursery (especially if they are a Lockdown baby!) – you may find that they are prone to ‘catching everything going.’ This can be exhausting – so what can we do to support them?

  1. Avoid antibiotics unless absolutely necessary

At least 20% of all antibiotics in England are unnecessary; (yes, sometimes they can be life saving) but antibiotics not only wipe out pathogenic bacteria – they also deplete all the beneficial bacteria too! Don’t just accept a prescription without asking questions and thinking about natural antibacterial alternatives.

  1. Serve more probiotic-rich foods

Probiotic foods provide us with live bacteria that help protect us against invading pathogens. They help re-inoculate the gut with friendly, happy bacteria. Unsweetened Greek yoghurt, coconut yoghurt or almond yoghurts can all be found with live cultures such as lactobacillus, bulgaricus and streptococcus. Check out Coco’s Organic, Coconut Collaborative and Nush.

  1. Out with the sugar, in with the fruit

Many people confuse processed sugar with natural sugars found in ripe fruit – fresh fruit is loaded with healthy water, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Let go of any worry about your children having too much sugar from fruit and allow your child to eat their favourite fruits in abundance.

  1. Let them help in the kitchen!

Children become more excited to eat healthy foods when they take part in preparing it. Get a step stool so they can reach the cutting board – we LOVE step stools by Mark. We also love these kid-safe knives so they can help chop fruit and vegetables.

  1. Make fruits and vegetables fun and exciting!

If you want your children to grow up eating healthy, then you must enjoy healthy foods as the centre of your own diet! Enjoy your food with your children and share in the beauty of healthy eating together. Be creative! Decorate meals in fun ways – make fruity face plates!

  1. Blend greens into their smoothies

It can be tricky for children to chew greens on their own so adding greens into smoothies can be a great way to get extra micronutrients in! Our favourite greens to add into smoothies are kale, collard greens and baby spinach. Just be sure to add enough sweet fruit to make it extra yummy.

  1. Ensure your children are getting plenty of healthy plant fats and protein

Focus on protein rich plant foods in their daily diet like lentils, beans, tofu, avocados, hemp seeds, ground flax, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds for extra zinc!

  1. Consider supplements such as:
  • A multivitamin – we love Animal Parade Gummies, which use biodynamically farmed fruit as well as probiotic strains in their formulations
  • Probiotics – we love Natures Aid Microbiotic Complex Drops for Babies & Infants or PRO-VEN
  • Elderberry – this is amazing if taken at the first sign of a viral infection – the liquid formulation by Viridian* is perfect for the whole family and is rich in Vitamin C, which contributes to the normal function of the immune system

Read Hannah’s immunity boosted recipes and try them out for yourself!