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How to Boost Your Child's Immune System This Winter

Posted by Rita Texeira on 24 June 2015
How to Boost Your Child's Immune System This Winter
When you have kids, the arrival of winter seems to always be followed by an endless round of colds, sniffles and ongoing ear and chest infections. 

This constant illness through winter can lead to weakened immune systems and affect the whole family.  But by incorporating the following eight tips to boost your child's immune system this winter you can break the cycle and sleep a little easier this winter.  

1. Goodnight sleep

We know the effects on behaviour when young children have not had enough sleep, but we don't often think about the effect on their health.  For healthy bodies and minds, children should have at least 8-10 hours sleep to perform at their best.

2. More exercise

Children who spend too much time watching TV or playing video games are compromising their immune system.  We now know that the effects of the 'blue screen' can affect sleep patterns but exercise enhances sleep patterns.  On the other side, too much exercise and sports can have an adverse effect, so be sensible as to the number of sporting activities your child is enrolled in.

3. Limit sugar

It is sometimes tempting to 'reward' your child with a sweet 'treat' after school or sport, but the effect of refined sugar on their immune system is anything but rewarding.  Before leaving home take the time to prepare a healthy snack such as nuts and seeds or chop up their favourite fruit and vegetables. Be sure to let them see you eating healthy as well so it becomes normal to them.

4. Increase the garlic

Garlic has long been recognised in both ancient and modern times for its medicinal and healing properties.  Include it in as much of your cooking as possible.

5. Give probiotics

Known as 'good' bacteria probiotics assist with healthy digestion. With most of your child's immune system residing in their gut, this can be the quickest and easiest way to increase their immunity. 

6. Watch their stress

Adults are sometimes so used to living with stress and we forget that life can be stressful for our children as well.  The daily round of school, peer pressure, daily popularity even at a young age, can place significant stress on their young shoulders. 

If necessary, cut back on unnecessary items on their daily or weekly agenda and take the time to laugh out loud with your child.  Encourage them to see the funny side of situations and then look for solutions rather than stress about it.  Not only will you be boosting their immunity, but also teaching them valuable coping skills they will need.

7. Use herbs and supplements

When all else fails and your little one's health is being compromised, don't rule out herbs and supplements. Zinc and Vitamin D top of the list for boosting a weakened immune system and don't forget Omega 3 as well. Be sure to talk to your Naturopath, who will be able to recommend a personalised combination to address your child's needs.

8. Make smoothies

One of the easiest ways to include good healthy food in your child's diet is a smoothie, particularly a green smoothie. Include carrots, spinach oranges, lemon, banana and acai berry or acai berry powder that has more than 40 times the concentrated antioxidant than blueberries.

Experiment with different flavours to see if you can come up with your very own green smoothie immune booster!

What are your tips for keeping kids healthy through winter?

Author: Rita Texeira
Tags: Immune Boosters Wellbeing Building Your Immune System Children Health Cold and Flu

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