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Ways to boost your kids immunity

Posted on February 20 2020

Boost your child’s immunity by eating a wide range of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and lean meats.

Concerned about your family’s immunity? Whether it’s COVID-19 you’re worried about, or getting influenza and other illnesses, here are some ways to improve your little ones’ immunity.

 

Eat a wide range of foods

Make sure the kids are eating a wide range of foods including lean meats, oily fish, fruits, and vegetables. Essential foods include:

 

Vegetables

Add immunity-boosting vegetables like squash and broccoli to your children’s diet.

 

This cruciferous vegetable is rich in several nutrients, including vitamin C, E, iron, and the antioxidant glutathione. Just half a cup of cooked broccoli provides 2.6g of fibre, which is about 14 per cent of the daily required amount for children. Additionally, this half cup of broccoli also provides children with 50mg of vitamin C, exceeding the amount they usually need in a day. Get some ideas on how to get your kids to eat this vegetable here.

Other immunity-boosting vegetables include spinach and fenugreek, which are rich in iron, folic acid, and zinc. Alternatively, opt for brightly coloured, yellow and green, vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, and squashes, which contain beta carotene. This supports the body’s mucus membrane, so it’s harder for bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

 

 

Garlic and Ginger

Garlic, not garlic powder, but the real bulbs, can help fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It also helps flavour food, so the above-mentioned broccoli might taste a lot better if cooked with garlic. Another useful ingredient is ginger, which can reduce inflammation.

 

 

Nuts

Add a wide variety of nuts to your diet to get loads of vitamins.

 

Fight off infection by enjoying some crunchy nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. These contain antioxidants like vitamin E. Around 20 almonds, 15 cashew nuts, and around 9 to 10 walnuts make up 36 per cent of your child’s daily vitamin E requirement. At the same time, it provides 13 per cent of a child’s daily fibre and 4g protein. Additionally, nuts are also rich in B-group vitamins plus other nutrients like calcium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium.

 

 

Fruits

Increase their immunity by eating more citrus fruits like oranges.

 

Try citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, lime, grapefruits, and clementines. Vitamin C is thought to boost the production of white blood cells, which in turn boosts your immunity. Other benefits also include helping growth and repairing tissue, while helping to maintain healthy bones, teeth and cartilage - all essential for kids! It also has some efficacy in reducing cold symptoms. Do note that fruits should be eaten as soon as possible lest they lose their efficacy. Children aged one to three years need just 15mg of vitamin C and those from four to six need 25mg, which is about a quarter of an orange.

 

 

Probiotics

Easily add some probiotics to your children’s diet with yummy Yakult.

 

Boost your child’s immune system with some yoghurt, where live cultures will help ward off illness. One study showed that children who consumed a yoghurt drink (like Yakult or Vitagen) had a 19 per cent lower risk of colds, strep throat, and ear infections.

Other good sources of probiotics include peas, sourdough bread, and cheeses like cheddar, parmesan or cottage cheese. For babies eight to twelve months old, a 1/4 cup of yoghurt is sufficient. As your little one ages, toddlers need two or three servings of dairy, or two or three cups of yoghurt or milk.

 

 

Meat and protein sources

Boost your child’s energy and iron levels by eating lean meat like chicken breast.

 

Lean meats like chicken and turkey as well as seafood contain copious amounts of protein, which gives you more energy. Another nutrient they contain is iron that helps carry oxygen to the different cells in your body. Other examples of iron-rich food include beans, broccoli, and kale. Children up to eight years old need 1.5 servings of protein each day, equivalent to about 120g of cooked poultry and 150g of cooked fish fillet. Other sources of protein include eggs and cooked or canned legumes.

 

 

Oily Fish

Children up to six years old should take about 900mg of omega-3s daily, which is about 40g of salmon.

 

Included in this list are salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines. Research seems to indicate that the omega-3 fatty acid compound DHA could boost the B cell, a type of white blood cell. This cell forms an important part of the body’s immune response. Hence, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids could improve one’s immunity. Children from 0 to 12 months should take 500mg of combined DHA and EPA, while those one to three should take about 700mg, and children four to six should take up to 900mg a day. For reference, 100g of salmon produces 2,300mg or 2.6g of DHA.

 

 

Eat whole foods rather than taking supplements

Aside from healthy meals for your kids, the Béaba Babycook Solo can also make yummy desserts.

 

Use the Béaba Babycook Solo ($259) to create easy meals for your kids. With a patented steam heating system, you can easily cook raw meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables, all in less than 15 minutes. Additionally, you can also prep the meal ahead of time since the bowl has a large capacity of 1,100 ml and you can store the excess food in Béaba containers to be reheated for your children’s subsequent meals.

Better yet, you can achieve a range of textures, such as baby purees or regular cooked food for your toddler. Also, once the Babycook Solo has completed cooking the food, the audible timer will sound. It will also automatically turn off so you don’t have to monitor it. Moreover, steam cooking preserves vitamins and nutrients. One great recipe from the Béaba website include the salmon, broccoli and kale puree.

 

Ingredients:

11g of fresh salmon
1/4 cup of broccoli and 1/4 cup of kale

 

To make:

Put the salmon, broccoli, and kale into the steam basket and cook on water level 3 for 15 minutes, then transfer all the ingredients into the blending bowl to blend into a smooth puree.

 

 

Try Paediatric Tui Na

Paediatric Tui Na can remove blockages to the blood flow and stimulate specific acupuncture points to boost your immunity.

 

Another way of boosting your children’s immunity is by paediatric Tui Na, where doctors stimulate specific acupuncture points or areas. Suitable for children under six years old, this helps treat and prevent children’s paediatric diseases, while stimulating growth and brain development.

Combining massage, acupressure to acupoints, meridians and muscle or nerve groups, this removes blockages obstructing the blood flow and circulation. Some benefits include boosting your child’s overall health and immunity, improving their appetite, and energy levels. As there is no need to take medication or have injections, children can easily accept Tui Na.

Before the massage commences, the doctor will do a diagnosis and record down your child’s medical history. Should your child have to expose any affected parts of the body, a towel will be provided for coverage. This prevents your child from catching a cold.

Starting head first, the paediatric massage continues to the upper limbs, chest, and abdomen, before continuing to the back and lower limbs. Each session is pretty short at less than 30mins long, but can vary according to his/her age, physical condition, and illness.

Parents should ensure their children wear loose clothing. Also, they should make an appointment right after a meal or on an empty stomach. After the treatment, try to keep your child warm by avoiding cold places and drinking cold water. Other precautions include abstaining from raw and cold foods, sweet and oily foods.

Only selected physicians do Paediatric Tuina on certain days. Book your appointment at the various Eu Yan Sang TCM clinics around Singapore.

 

 

Practise good hygiene habits

Remember to frequently wash your hands with soap.

 

Ensure that the whole family frequently washes their hands with soap. The best way to reduce germs on their hands is to wash for at least 30 seconds, making sure to scrub under their nails and between their fingers.

If you’re not near a sink or hand washing area, use anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitisers with a high alcohol content. This should comprise 40 per cent for the wipes and 65 to 95 per cent for the hand sanitisers. Of course, for your little ones, use baby safe wet wipes or just wash their hands more frequently with soap.

 

 

Get enough rest

Make sure your child gets enough rest to improve his/her immunity.

 

Another way to ward off getting sick is having enough sleep at night. When asleep, your body makes cytokines, a protein targeting infection and inflammation to create an immune response. These are produced and released during sleep.

Starting with newborns, babies should get between 14 to 17 hours, while infants should sleep for 12 to15 hours. As children get older, they may require less sleep. For example, pre-schoolers should get 10 to 13 hours, while those six and above should get 9 to 11 hours. Parents too aren’t exempt and should aim for about seven to nine hours of sleep where possible.

 

Give your kids a colostrum boost

Let your little ones turn themselves into royalty with their very own custom-made crowns.

 

With the Melissa & Doug Design Your Own kits, your girls can spend a lovely afternoon creating bangles, bracelets, and headbands ($8.90 each). Bedazzle these accessories with sparkly gems and glitter stickers to make these uniquely theirs. Great for girls four and up.

Another great activity is the Tiger Tribe Transfer Magic series ($12.80), where kids can decorate robots, a dance concert, car and unicorn. Kids three and up just need to take the transfer sheet, and after removing the backing sheet, transfer it to the background card. Do this by positioning the image on the card and rub it with the pencil. After your kids are done, you can stack them back in the storage box. Otherwise, kids can turn themselves into princesses - or princes - by creating their very own crowns with the Tiger Tribe Paper Crowns - Princess Gem ($23.80) kit.

 

 

Create Shapes with Dough

While breastfeeding mums produce colostrum to boost infants’ immunity, older kids and adults can take bovine colostrum supplements.

 

If you’re still breast-feeding your baby, your colostrum prevents him/her from getting sick and also helps him/her grow. Even adults and older kids can still benefit from doses of colostrum. These supplements may improve gut health, boost immunity and fight infections. You can get these from iHerb.

 

Stay Safe from the Wuhan Coronavirus

What you should know about the Wuhan Coronavirus
House bound activities for your kids

Boost your child’s immunity by eating a wide range of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and lean meats.

Concerned about your family’s immunity? Whether it’s COVID-19 you’re worried about, or getting influenza and other illnesses, here are some ways to improve your little ones’ immunity.

 

Eat a wide range of foods

Make sure the kids are eating a wide range of foods including lean meats, oily fish, fruits, and vegetables. Essential foods include:

 

Vegetables

Add immunity-boosting vegetables like squash and broccoli to your children’s diet.

 

This cruciferous vegetable is rich in several nutrients, including vitamin C, E, iron, and the antioxidant glutathione. Just half a cup of cooked broccoli provides 2.6g of fibre, which is about 14 per cent of the daily required amount for children. Additionally, this half cup of broccoli also provides children with 50mg of vitamin C, exceeding the amount they usually need in a day. Get some ideas on how to get your kids to eat this vegetable here.

Other immunity-boosting vegetables include spinach and fenugreek, which are rich in iron, folic acid, and zinc. Alternatively, opt for brightly coloured, yellow and green, vegetables like carrots, pumpkins, and squashes, which contain beta carotene. This supports the body’s mucus membrane, so it’s harder for bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

 

 

Garlic and Ginger

Garlic, not garlic powder, but the real bulbs, can help fight bacteria, viruses, and fungi. It also helps flavour food, so the above-mentioned broccoli might taste a lot better if cooked with garlic. Another useful ingredient is ginger, which can reduce inflammation.

 

 

Nuts

Add a wide variety of nuts to your diet to get loads of vitamins.

 

Fight off infection by enjoying some crunchy nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and sunflower seeds. These contain antioxidants like vitamin E. Around 20 almonds, 15 cashew nuts, and around 9 to 10 walnuts make up 36 per cent of your child’s daily vitamin E requirement. At the same time, it provides 13 per cent of a child’s daily fibre and 4g protein. Additionally, nuts are also rich in B-group vitamins plus other nutrients like calcium, zinc, potassium, and magnesium.

 

 

Fruits

Increase their immunity by eating more citrus fruits like oranges.

 

Try citrus fruits like oranges, lemon, lime, grapefruits, and clementines. Vitamin C is thought to boost the production of white blood cells, which in turn boosts your immunity. Other benefits also include helping growth and repairing tissue, while helping to maintain healthy bones, teeth and cartilage - all essential for kids! It also has some efficacy in reducing cold symptoms. Do note that fruits should be eaten as soon as possible lest they lose their efficacy. Children aged one to three years need just 15mg of vitamin C and those from four to six need 25mg, which is about a quarter of an orange.

 

 

Probiotics

Easily add some probiotics to your children’s diet with yummy Yakult.

 

Boost your child’s immune system with some yoghurt, where live cultures will help ward off illness. One study showed that children who consumed a yoghurt drink (like Yakult or Vitagen) had a 19 per cent lower risk of colds, strep throat, and ear infections.

Other good sources of probiotics include peas, sourdough bread, and cheeses like cheddar, parmesan or cottage cheese. For babies eight to twelve months old, a 1/4 cup of yoghurt is sufficient. As your little one ages, toddlers need two or three servings of dairy, or two or three cups of yoghurt or milk.

 

 

Meat and protein sources

Boost your child’s energy and iron levels by eating lean meat like chicken breast.

 

Lean meats like chicken and turkey as well as seafood contain copious amounts of protein, which gives you more energy. Another nutrient they contain is iron that helps carry oxygen to the different cells in your body. Other examples of iron-rich food include beans, broccoli, and kale. Children up to eight years old need 1.5 servings of protein each day, equivalent to about 120g of cooked poultry and 150g of cooked fish fillet. Other sources of protein include eggs and cooked or canned legumes.

 

 

Oily Fish

Children up to six years old should take about 900mg of omega-3s daily, which is about 40g of salmon.

 

Included in this list are salmon, tuna, mackerel, and sardines. Research seems to indicate that the omega-3 fatty acid compound DHA could boost the B cell, a type of white blood cell. This cell forms an important part of the body’s immune response. Hence, a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids could improve one’s immunity. Children from 0 to 12 months should take 500mg of combined DHA and EPA, while those one to three should take about 700mg, and children four to six should take up to 900mg a day. For reference, 100g of salmon produces 2,300mg or 2.6g of DHA.

 

 

Eat whole foods rather than taking supplements

Aside from healthy meals for your kids, the Béaba Babycook Solo can also make yummy desserts.

 

Use the Béaba Babycook Solo ($259) to create easy meals for your kids. With a patented steam heating system, you can easily cook raw meat, fish, fruits, and vegetables, all in less than 15 minutes. Additionally, you can also prep the meal ahead of time since the bowl has a large capacity of 1,100 ml and you can store the excess food in Béaba containers to be reheated for your children’s subsequent meals.

Better yet, you can achieve a range of textures, such as baby purees or regular cooked food for your toddler. Also, once the Babycook Solo has completed cooking the food, the audible timer will sound. It will also automatically turn off so you don’t have to monitor it. Moreover, steam cooking preserves vitamins and nutrients. One great recipe from the Béaba website include the salmon, broccoli and kale puree.

 

Ingredients:

11g of fresh salmon
1/4 cup of broccoli and 1/4 cup of kale

 

To make:

Put the salmon, broccoli, and kale into the steam basket and cook on water level 3 for 15 minutes, then transfer all the ingredients into the blending bowl to blend into a smooth puree.

 

 

Try Paediatric Tui Na

Paediatric Tui Na can remove blockages to the blood flow and stimulate specific acupuncture points to boost your immunity.

 

Another way of boosting your children’s immunity is by paediatric Tui Na, where doctors stimulate specific acupuncture points or areas. Suitable for children under six years old, this helps treat and prevent children’s paediatric diseases, while stimulating growth and brain development.

Combining massage, acupressure to acupoints, meridians and muscle or nerve groups, this removes blockages obstructing the blood flow and circulation. Some benefits include boosting your child’s overall health and immunity, improving their appetite, and energy levels. As there is no need to take medication or have injections, children can easily accept Tui Na.

Before the massage commences, the doctor will do a diagnosis and record down your child’s medical history. Should your child have to expose any affected parts of the body, a towel will be provided for coverage. This prevents your child from catching a cold.

Starting head first, the paediatric massage continues to the upper limbs, chest, and abdomen, before continuing to the back and lower limbs. Each session is pretty short at less than 30mins long, but can vary according to his/her age, physical condition, and illness.

Parents should ensure their children wear loose clothing. Also, they should make an appointment right after a meal or on an empty stomach. After the treatment, try to keep your child warm by avoiding cold places and drinking cold water. Other precautions include abstaining from raw and cold foods, sweet and oily foods.

Only selected physicians do Paediatric Tuina on certain days. Book your appointment at the various Eu Yan Sang TCM clinics around Singapore.

 

 

Practise good hygiene habits

Remember to frequently wash your hands with soap.

 

Ensure that the whole family frequently washes their hands with soap. The best way to reduce germs on their hands is to wash for at least 30 seconds, making sure to scrub under their nails and between their fingers.

If you’re not near a sink or hand washing area, use anti-bacterial wipes and hand sanitisers with a high alcohol content. This should comprise 40 per cent for the wipes and 65 to 95 per cent for the hand sanitisers. Of course, for your little ones, use baby safe wet wipes or just wash their hands more frequently with soap.

 

 

Get enough rest

Make sure your child gets enough rest to improve his/her immunity.

 

Another way to ward off getting sick is having enough sleep at night. When asleep, your body makes cytokines, a protein targeting infection and inflammation to create an immune response. These are produced and released during sleep.

Starting with newborns, babies should get between 14 to 17 hours, while infants should sleep for 12 to15 hours. As children get older, they may require less sleep. For example, pre-schoolers should get 10 to 13 hours, while those six and above should get 9 to 11 hours. Parents too aren’t exempt and should aim for about seven to nine hours of sleep where possible.

 

Give your kids a colostrum boost

Let your little ones turn themselves into royalty with their very own custom-made crowns.

 

With the Melissa & Doug Design Your Own kits, your girls can spend a lovely afternoon creating bangles, bracelets, and headbands ($8.90 each). Bedazzle these accessories with sparkly gems and glitter stickers to make these uniquely theirs. Great for girls four and up.

Another great activity is the Tiger Tribe Transfer Magic series ($12.80), where kids can decorate robots, a dance concert, car and unicorn. Kids three and up just need to take the transfer sheet, and after removing the backing sheet, transfer it to the background card. Do this by positioning the image on the card and rub it with the pencil. After your kids are done, you can stack them back in the storage box. Otherwise, kids can turn themselves into princesses - or princes - by creating their very own crowns with the Tiger Tribe Paper Crowns - Princess Gem ($23.80) kit.

 

 

Create Shapes with Dough

While breastfeeding mums produce colostrum to boost infants’ immunity, older kids and adults can take bovine colostrum supplements.

 

If you’re still breast-feeding your baby, your colostrum prevents him/her from getting sick and also helps him/her grow. Even adults and older kids can still benefit from doses of colostrum. These supplements may improve gut health, boost immunity and fight infections. You can get these from iHerb.

 

Stay Safe from the Wuhan Coronavirus

What you should know about the Wuhan Coronavirus
House bound activities for your kids