Since a child’s gut and immune system is always adapting we can help our children to develop a healthy response to viruses and other infections that they encounter. We asked the expert, Glaudia Galate, Functional Nutritionist and busy mom who believes healthy eating should be simple and enjoyable. See what sources of food she recommends to support our kids’ immune systems. Enjoy also lunchbox ideas we curated from the community to help you get started!
Sources Of Food To Support The Immune System
Most micronutrients including vitamins, minerals, polyphenols, and fatty acids, have a role to play in building a healthy immune response and this is why a varied diet bursting with lots of fresh fruits, veggies, salads, herbs, spices, pulses, nuts, seeds, poultry, meat and fish really do count.
What ever the food you get, you want to make sure that they are loaded with Vitamine D, C and Zinc and Selenium this season.
Vitamine D because your kids may have spent more time inside than normal, even during the summer. Vitamin D is modulating immune cells in the body, bone health, cell growth and more.
– Sources of vitamine D : 5-30 minutes of sun exposure at least twice per week (over 100 percent of daily value), Cod Liver Oil, fish like wild-caught salmon, Mackerel, tuna, sardine, beef liver, egg.
– Pro Tip: go for a walk/play outside,.. at least 20 minutes daily for sun exposure.
Vitamin C helps both with wound healing and to fight infections effectively.
– Best sources of vitamin C: Black currants, Kiwi, Bell peppers, Leafy greens like kale, spinach, broccoli, parsley. Berries (all types, including strawberries, camu, acai, …).
– Pro Tip: squeeze lemon or lime juice onto foods to give them a bit of vitamin C.
Zinc is also important when it comes to viruses. It helps the kids’ learning, growth, and immunity. Interestingly zinc is also important for a healthy sense of smell and taste and we often find that the “fussy eaters” are low in zinc and when you boost this up they are more interested in trying a wider variety of foods, and their appetite improves.
– Most zinc comes from animal products. Good sources of zinc are beef, fish, oysters, crab, beans, lentils, pumpkins seeds, cashews, egg.
– Pro tip: a whole beef burger or a few meatballs contains around 5mg per day. Half a can of baked beans is around 3mg.
Selenium benefits immunity because it is needed for the proper functioning of the immune system and can also be a key nutrient in counteracting the development of viruses. It’s also a powerful antioxidant.
– Food sources are Brazil nuts, eggs, liver, tuna, cod and sunflower seeds.-
– Pro Tip: 2 Brazil nuts contains an estimated 100 μg selenium/day.
If you want more ideas and tips to boost your immune system don’t hesitate in contacting Glaudia via her website. Also, always ask a Physician or health care provider before giving any supplements.
Are you ready to get started with simple food ideas? What about pomegranate seeds, plums or nectarines, yellow or orange peppers or even purple carrots, sweet potatoes…
Are you ready to boost your kids ‘immune system? Try to introduce your child to one new food ingredient every week at home – pop something a bit novel and exciting in your shopping trolley and they might surprise you and like it. If they don’t like a food straight away, then don’t fret as you can try again another day or serve it in another way. Explore all the combinations by searching the ingredients you like on Teuko.com
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