Tips for Strengthening your kid’s Immune System

Getting exposed to bacteria and viruses from birth plays an important role in building up the kid’s immune system to fight future infections.

Parents tend to be very cautious when it comes to protecting our toddlers from harmful germs in and out of the house, but providing them with the right nutrition is a huge factor in boosting their immunity.

If your child falls sick often, it can affect her daily activities. So, you need to make sure that your toddler’s body properly repairs itself when she is sleeping.

Why is nutrition important for immunity?

The human body’s first line of defense includes the skin, the lining of the digestive tract, and mucus that restricts the entry of germs into the body. There are also special cells that have the ability to fight germs by directly attacking them, or by producing antibodies.

Nutrient deficiencies can:

  • Expose your child to infections and diseases
  • Reduce your child’s food intake which in turn can lead to malnutrition
  • Deprive your toddler of the power of ‘immuno-nutrients’ that can fight infections and diseases!

Here are certain vitamins and minerals that play an important role in improving the immune functions in your child’s body.

Nutrients important for your toddler’s 1st line of defenseNutrients important for immune cellsNutrients important for producing antibodies
Vitamin A, C, E, ZincVitamin A, C, D, B6, B12, E, Zinc, Selenium, copper, folic acidVitamin A, D, B6, B12, E, Zinc, Selenium, copper, folic acid

It’s that time of year.  Where ever you go, you see sick people.  You watch helplessly as your child puts his fingers in his mouth or rubs his eyes, and you have to wonder if getting sick is just the inevitable outcome of the season. 

I can’t promise you that you can totally shield your kids from getting sick.  That doesn’t mean you have to cross your fingers and hope for the best, either.  You can build up your children’s immune systems with nutrient-dense foods.  Certain foods have the exact nutrients that can help your kids’ immune systems be as strong as possible, so when they are exposed to the inevitable germs, they are ready to fight. 

These are the foods you want to be serving your kids all year long so they are constantly building their immune systems. 

1) Almonds

Why they Help: 

Almonds are packed with vitamin E and manganese, a strong immune-boosting duo that both enhance natural killer cell activity.

Ideas for Eating:

Kids both love to eat almonds by themselves as a snack, but there are a lot of different ways to incorporate them into your kids’ diets.  

Happilo 100% Natural Premium Californian Almonds
Granola 100% Natural California Almonds

2) Berries

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Why they Help: 

Berries are full of antioxidants, which help your body fight oxidative stress caused by free radicals.  This helps keep our immune system fighting! There are many different berries you should try to include in your children’s diet:  strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, cranberries, and blackberries, to name a few.  Don’t worry; when berries aren’t in season frozen berries are just as nutritious. 

Ideas for Eating:

Your kids will be sure to love this Triple Berry Baked Oatmeal (pictured above).  More great ways to eat berries include Berries N Cream Chia Pudding or Frozen Yogurt Raspberries.

3) Yogurt

Top 10 Immune System Boosting Foods For Kids. Naturally boost their immune systems and keep your kids healthy all year long! https://www.superhealthykids.com/top-10-immune-system-boosting-foods-kids-ideas-recipes/

Why it Helps: 

The probiotics in yogurt stimulate your immune system.  Just be sure you are using a low-sugar or no-added sugar yogurt, as sugar has the opposite effect on our immune systems!

Ideas for Eating:

For a lower sugar yogurt, try mixing plain yogurt with a small amount of maple syrup and vanilla extract. Kids love this and it has much lower sugar than the vanilla yogurt you buy in stores.  If your kids love to dip their veggies, try this Yogurt Ranch Dip, too!

4) Salmon

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Why it Helps:

Salmon is rich in omega 3 fats.  Not only are these fats essential for developing brains, they also reduce inflammation, which increases airflow and protects the lungs from colds and respiratory infections.  The latest research also indicates that these fatty acids may boost your immune system by enhancing the function of immune cells.

Ideas for Eating:

Kids seem to love salmon with a sweet twist, like this Maple Apple Caramelized Salmon. These Salmon Melts are also great because they make a fast and easy lunch.

5) Eggs

Top 10 Immune System Boosting Foods For Kids. Naturally boost their immune systems and keep your kids healthy all year long! https://www.superhealthykids.com/top-10-immune-system-boosting-foods-kids-ideas-recipes/

Why they Help: 

Research has shown that when a person is low in vitamin D, they are more susceptible to illness.  Eggs are one of the only foods with naturally occurring vitamin D.  They also include a number of other immune-boosting nutrients, such as B vitamins and selenium.

Ideas for Eating:

Hard boiled eggs make an easy and quick lunch or snack.  Breakfast Egg Cups (pictured above) are a great make-ahead breakfast.

6) Broccoli

Why it Helps:

It’s no secret that broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse also got a number of immune system boosters, including vitamins C, A, and E and a number of antioxidants. 

Ideas for Eating:

Broccoli is most nutritious when it’s raw, so if your kids won’t eat it alone, have them try it with their favorite dip.  These Cheesy Broccoli Bites (pictured above) are sure to be a hit.

7) Spinach

Top 10 Immune System Boosting Foods For Kids. Naturally boost their immune systems and keep your kids healthy all year long! https://www.superhealthykids.com/top-10-immune-system-boosting-foods-kids-ideas-recipes/Why it Helps:

Spinach is full of many of the vitamins and minerals that boost our immune systems.  It has vitamin A, E, C, and K, folate, manganese, zinc, selenium, and iron.  All of these nutrients work in different ways to enhance immune system function.  It gives you a great bang for its buck! 

Ideas for Eating: 

Spinach is a mild green that works well in smoothies. These spinach nuggets (pictured above) are another way to get your kids eating greens!

8) Sweet Potatoes

Top 10 Immune System Boosting Foods For Kids. Naturally boost their immune systems and keep your kids healthy all year long! https://www.superhealthykids.com/top-10-immune-system-boosting-foods-kids-ideas-recipes/

Why they Help: 

Sweet potatoes are high in beta-carotene, which studies have shown to increase the number of white blood cells and increase the activity of killer cells.  These are also a great source of vitamin C, which is another immune system enhancer.

Ideas for Eating: 

We love these 2-ingredient Sweet Potato Pancakes as a great way to get both eggs and sweet potatoes in our diets regularly. Try a Sweet Potato Bar as a way to let your kids add their favorite toppings to a nutritious sweet potato!

9) Seeds

Why they Help:

Serve your kids a variety of seeds, such as pumpkin, sunflower, and flax seeds, to boost their immune systems.  By eating a wide variety of seeds, you’ll be getting vitamin E, zinc, and omega 3 fatty acids, all of which help your immune system. 

Ideas for Eating:   Trail mix is always a great snack that includes seeds. You can also sprinkle seeds on salads, use ground flaxseed meal in smoothies, or try these Sweet and Salty Pumpkin Seed Bites.

Vanalaya Raw Organic Pumpkin Seeds
Yuvika Flax Seed | Alsi - Linum Usitatissimum (5 KG) (5 Pack of 1 Kg) Seed

10) Oats

Top 10 Immune System Boosting Foods For Kids. Naturally boost their immune systems and keep your kids healthy all year long! https://www.superhealthykids.com/top-10-immune-system-boosting-foods-kids-ideas-recipes/

Why they Help: 

Oats contain beta glucans, a component of fiber that activates killer cells.  These are the cells that fight bacteria, viruses, and other intruders in our bodies.

Ideas for Eating:

Add oats to your kids’ diet by serving them Apple and Almond Butter Overnight Oats (pictured above).

Quaker Oats Plus Multigrain Advantage
Saffola Veggie Twist Masala Oats

Wrapping Up

You can safeguard your kid’s immunity by including a variety of foods in her daily diet. And remember that you don’t need to worry about minor infections that they might catch as this will help build your child’s resistance for the future.

Variety is key in keeping our immune systems strong as many different nutrients work to strengthen our immunity. These are top foods for keeping your kids’ immune systems strong.  I hope these ideas help you find ways to include these immune system boosting foods for kids in their diets as much as possible!

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