Going back to school often means being exposed to a new set of germs, especially if your child is moving into a new school or will have new class mates. This can mean the start of the colds, coughs and tummy bugs. There are a few things we can do in order to help our children’s immune system cope with all of the new challenges.
One of the most important aspects to staying well is having optimal nutrition intake. There are many vitamins and minerals that your child’s immune system cannot function without and are needed in order to maintain normal immune function. These are vitamin A, C, D, folate, B6, B12, Zinc, Iron and Selenium. All of these can be found in foods, so eating a healthy balanced diet is essential.
It is also a good idea to add in a kid’s multi-vitamin each day, especially for fussy eaters to ensure that your child’s nutrition base is covered.
Refined sugar and refined foods can cause a spike in blood sugar. Constant spiking of blood sugar can cause stress to the immune system, leaving our children more likely to suffer from colds and infections. Help your child to become excited about healthy eating by involving them in the cooking and meal planning.
Stress can cause a decrease in children’s immune system function. Although as adults we may not necessary see what there is for a child to be stressed about, it is fairly common for children to experience stress. This can come from exams and peer pressure, and can cause a considerable effect on our children. It is really important that our children learn how to relax, and to enjoy activities that are therapeutic such as playing outside and craft. It is a good idea to frequently talk to children about their worries and concerns, so that you can help them if required.
Being outside in nature has shown to reduce stress levels and help to keep our immune system strong*. This is to do with the natural chemicals that plants emit called Phytoncide. Being exposed to the sun has the added benefit of increasing vitamin D levels, needed to support your kid’s immune system.
This is an interesting topic. We need to allow or children to play in dirt to allow their immune systems to be challenged in appropriate ways. We also need to teach them hygiene to help protect them from becoming sick. Not putting hands in mouths and washing hands well before eating can help to stop the spread of colds, coughs, stomach bugs and worms.
Haliborange has a range of kid’s multivitamins. Try Strawberry flavour Softies for kids aged 3 – 12 years:
*Q. Li et al. Effect of phytoncide from trees on human natural killer cell function. International Journal of Immunopathology and pharmacology. 2009