Children and sickness go hand in hand. Falling sick every now and then is what makes children really children. While falling sick is not completely avoidable, it’s frequency can still be controlled. By boosting the immune system of their children, parents can ensure that they don’t fall sick constantly. Immunity is something that can easily get affected by even a slight change in weather.
So, to stay happy and healthy children really need to be strong from the inside. There are many ways with which parents can boost their children’s immunity without worrying too much about it. A few dos and don’ts can help to make children strong and live sickness free. Here are seven of those methods that parents can easily adopt:
- Breastfeeding: Breast milk is the best nutrition for children when it comes to boost immunity. The antibodies and white blood cells present in breast milk boost the immune system, strengthen the body to fight against various diseases and ensure safety from ear infections, allergies, and colds. Many doctors also believe that breast milk enhances the functioning of the brain and recommend that mothers should breastfeed their babies as much as they can in their early years.
- Nutritious food: Plenty of fruits and vegetables available today help to boost immunity to a great extent. Like green beans, oranges, strawberries and carrots which are high in phytonutrients, as vitamin C and carotenoids, and may help to increase the body’s production of white blood cells (to fight infection) and interferon (an antibody that blocks viruses). Studies have suggested that a diet rich in phytonutrients can also protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and heart ailments in adulthood. Other than these, yoghurt, kefir, walnuts and lean meats also improve immunity. Specially yoghurt and kefir as they are probiotic and decrease the chances of suffering from colds and ear and throat infections. Fatty acids in walnuts help to fight illnesses and zinc in lean meat helps to strengthen while bold cells.
- Limited antibiotics and vaccination: Relying too much on antibiotics can have a negative impact on your child’s immune system. Today parents tend to treat almost every illness with antibiotics. But what they need to keep in mind is that too much antibiotics can damage the immune system to the extent where the body may start resisting it. Same principle applies to vaccination as too much of it can have ill-effects on the immune system. Though some vaccinations are important in the growing years, they can still arrest the growth of the immune system.
- Timely meals: Just like eating well, eating at the right time is also important. In their growing years children need to eat on regular intervals and at specific times as it helps in digestion and keeps the body stronger. Eating at specific times will allow children to realise when they are actually hungry and they will eat more and well. Which, in turn, will lead to better immunity. Try not to give them any heavy snacks before a bigger meal like lunch or dinner.
- Food hygiene and healthy habits: If the food that your children eat is not hygienic, their immunity levels will drop automatically. Make sure to wash the food clean before cooking or serving them. Also, personal hygiene plays a vital role when it comes to boost their immunity system. Teach them to wash their hands before and after having meals, and also after using the toilet. When children start eating with their own hands, the importance of clean hands increases multi folds. Telling them about the ill-effects of junk food, including germs which can make them sick, will make them more aware about their food choices.
- Adequate sleep: For the body to be strong enough to fight infections, adequate sleep is very important. Sleeping for a minimum time, depending upon the age of your child it could come in a range between 8 and 12 hours, rejuvenates the body and keeps it in a good condition. Like sleep, napping also helps to relax. Sticking to a specific bedtime schedule helps children sleep better.
- Sports and exercise: To boost immunity some regular physical activity is also important. Take your children to a park or to their favourite outdoor spot and let them have fun. Let them play with their neighbourhood friends or induce them to take up sports in school. When children get 1 or 2 hours of physical activity every day, their immunity system gets better and their body gets stronger.
Depending on how old your children are you can choose the right method to boost their immunity. Remember that it will take a while before you can see the results of your efforts. Regularity of good habits and activities is the key to a strong immune system.