Now that kids are back to school, they are going to be exposed to more (and new) germs and in no time the height of flu season will be upon us. This time of year is the perfect time to implement new changes and routines to better the health and immune system of your children. Here are five easy ways to help boost your child’s immune system while setting them up with healthy habits for life.
- Serve Whole, Nutrient-Dense Foods
Proper nutrition really is the foundation of a healthy life. Foods like these below are packed with nutrients and vitamins meant to keep the body functioning smoothly.
Leafy Greens Broccoli Cabbage Berries
Peppers Asparagus Salmon Beans
Sweet potatoes Carrots Pumpkins Eggs
Walnuts Avocados Scallops Oysters
Brown Rice Lentils Sardines Bananas
Black Beans Oranges Flax Seed Chia Seeds
Sunflower Seeds Greek Yogurt Wheat Germ Peanut Butter
Have a picky eater? You are not alone! For foods that seem too foreign for your child’s current palate, try blending them in a smoothie, adding them to a sauce or soup, bake them into a muffin, or come up with a way to make their favorite dish but with a twist.
- Take Probiotics and Daily Vitamins
It is common for children to not get the appropriate amounts of vitamins needed each day, especially for picky eaters. Daily vitamins come in a variety of flavors and styles (chewable, gummies, sour candies) so it won’t seem like such a chore to take one, plus it ensures your child’s daily nutritional needs are met.
Also, there is a correlation between lowered immune response and an imbalance of intestinal bacteria. This is a good bacteria that is needed to properly break down the food we eat so that nutrients can be absorbed by the body. Taking antibiotics when sick can reduce these good bacteria in the digestive system. Probiotics help to keep the balance of healthy bacteria in the digestive system.
- Spend Time In The Sun
Exposure to sunlight is a necessary part of healthy development in children. After school or during some downtime on a weekend, go for a walk, play a game outside, or go for a swim. By being outside in the sunlight, the body is able to produce vitamin D which helps your body to absorb other nutrients like calcium. As a bonus, having your kids play outside for at least 30 minutes a day provides a way for them to burn off some energy and be active.
- Get Plenty Of Sleep
Sleep provides a way for the body to recuperate from a day’s adventures. Getting enough sleep is linked to a healthy immune system. While sleeping the body works to stave off illnesses and even allows the body to heal and recover from an illness. Below is the recommended hours of sleep needed for each age group determined by the National Sleep Foundation.
- Newborns (0-3 months): 14-17 hours
- Infants (4-11 months): 12-15 hours
- Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours
- Preschoolers (3-5): 10-13 hours
- School age children (6-13): 9-11 hours
- Teenagers (14-17): 8-10 hours
- Younger adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
- Older adults (65+): 7-8 hours
- Get Upper Cervical Chiropractic Adjustments
Upper Cervical Chiropractic care is a natural, holistic approach to keeping the body healthy. Upper Cervical adjustments are ways to correct subluxations in the spine that wreak havoc throughout the body and the immune system. Upper Cervical is different from regular chiropractic treatments in that there is no popping or cracking of the spine. Corrections are relatively pain free and safe for all ages.
In addition to this list, the best way to improve your child’s immune system is to lead by example. They are more likely to make healthy choices that will improve their health if you are doing it too.