How to Build a Healthy Immune System in Kids
Let's face it, your kids will get sick but if they eat right and take supplements, you and your little ones will get sick less often. It's pretty impossible to avoid getting a cold if your kids are in school or daycare but if you and your kids incorporate these few tips, when you do get sick it will be less severe and the duration will be shorter.
The Obara kids a.k.a. all 3 of my kids seem to get over a cold pretty quickly (thank goodness) and I'm sure it's largely due to the fact that I follow these steps religiously to insure my kids have a strong and healthy immune system - that and it's a test to see how fast I can get them back to school and out of my hair ;)
What to avoid or limit when building a strong immune system
Did you know that 1 tsp of sugar can depress your immune system for up to 4-5 hours. If you want to support a strong immune system you'll need to start by removing what weakens it. As difficult as it is to completely remove sugar from your child's diet, given that it's in so many foods, it's also incredibly important if a healthy immune system is your goal. Here are some things you will want to avoid or severely limit.
processed and fried foods
White flour products such as bread, baked goods, pasta
Juice and pop (1 cup of Tropicana orange juice has 21g of sugar, that's 4.5 tsp of sugar)
Boxed cereal and granola
Nutella, ketchup, salad dressing (condiments have hidden sources of sugar so make sure you read the labels)
White rice, white rice snacks
What things to include when building a strong immune system
Soups and stews
Fermented foods such as sauerkraut, miso, kefir, plan yogurt, kombucha
Protein such as eggs, fish, chicken, chick peas, nuts and seeds, beans, tempeh
Smoothies that are jam packed with veggies and fruit
Rest and good quality sleep
Lots of water
Vitamin C boosting foods such as brussel sprouts, bell peppers, citrus fruit, dark berries and leafy greens
Two power house supplements that will help keep your children's immune system strong
#1 Vitamin D
Vitamin D helps your body destroy bacteria and viruses. The best way to get Vitamin D is through sunshine and supplementation but due to the lack of sun (here in Canada for about 6 months of the year) most people are actually deficient in this essential nutrient. Below is our go-to brand. My kids take a multivitamin and omega-3 that both include Vitamin D daily.
80% of the immune system is in the gut, this is why it's so important to support your gut with a high quality probiotic supplement on a daily basis. Probiotics also help reduce common digestive issues such a bloating, diarrhea and constipation AND can decrease inflammation. Team Obara all use this brand.