Our immune system is a powerful network of organs and cells that protects against viruses and bacteria, which can circulate more readily during autumn and winter.
Children are particularly at risk from getting sick during colder weather, because of the high amount of contact they have with other children, and also because they may not be aware of the risks of putting their fingers in their mouths, touching their face or rubbing their eyes.
We can’t completely prevent our children from becoming ill, but we don’t have to just cross our fingers and hope for the best either.
Here are 10 ways that you can help your child to build a strong immune system:
1. Teach them to practice good hygiene. Habits like washing hands, coughing into an elbow, and using tissues then throwing them away afterwards, all help to keep your child healthy.
2. Ensure that they get at least 9 hours of sleep every night, young children require even more than this. A lack of sleep can weaken the immune system and make your child more prone to illness.
3. Get active with your child everyday. If the weather allows it, get outside to exercise together. The light outdoors stimulates the pineal gland, which is vital to keeping our immune systems strong.
4. Add the powerful immune booster colostrum to their morning routine. Colostrum is the highly nutritious fluid that mammals release after giving birth before they produce breast milk. It is rich in disease-fighting proteins, growth hormones, and digestive enzymes that promote immunity, fight infection, and improve gut health.
5. Give them a chewable vitamin C supplement. There are few vitamins that can boost health as much as vitamin C. It can have a huge impact on everything from cognitive health to immune function, and even plays a role in maintaining connective tissue. Our bodies don’t store or make vitamin C so daily intake is essential.
7. Make sure your child gets a wide variety of macronutrients. This is easier said than done sometimes! Children can be very particular about what they will or won't eat, with fruits and veggies often losing out. Life is busy and many parents are time poor, so processed or takeaway foods may become more common in children’s lunches or family meals. Adding a comprehensive supplement like Junior Liquid Multi or Morlife Greens Kidz Powder to your child’s diet will ensure they will get the nutrients they need to enhance their immune function. Making a smoothie can be a quick and tasty way to sneak in extra nutrition.
8. Give your child a collagen supplement. 70% of our immune system is produced in the gut lining so having a healthy gut is vital to our immunity. Collagen reduces inflammation in the gut and repairs the digestive tract, supporting the immune system and improving digestion as well.
9. Practising controlled breathing in the form of yoga or meditation can help children to calm their bodies. This can help to reduce cortisol levels, lower blood pressure, improve arterial blood flow and reduce inflammation in the body.
10. Be wary of antibiotic use. Majority of childhood illnesses are caused by viral infections. Overuse of antibiotics when they are not necessary can build up antibiotic resistance and make it harder for the body to fight off infections. Usually a healthy diet and lots of rest is the best way to recover but if you are ever concerned about your child's health it is always best to check with your doctor.