One of our patient’s most common concerns right now is how to naturally boost their child’s immune systems to keep their families healthy and safe against germs. Sometimes colds can be unavoidable, but there are healthy habits you can help your child learn to establish, that will take steps towards preventing sickness. It’s important to know that it goes much deeper than just taking a daily vitamin or mineral supplement.
Keep reading as we discuss natural ways to help boost your child’s immune system by establishing preventative healthy habits.
Prevention > Sickness
As parents, it’s essential that we make decisions we feel will best help support a healthy lifestyle for the entire family. At Thrive Pediatrics, we try to help you prioritize prevention before it gets to the need to treat sicknesses.
With that said, we give parents a clear voice in their child’s health plan. Our preventative care approach follows recommended guidelines for screenings and assessments at each child well visit from infancy through adolescence.
6 Ways to Naturally Boost Your Child’s Immune System
1. Increase colorful fruits and veggies in their diet
Fresh fruits and vegetables include so many vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, which help boost your child’s immune system and protect them from illnesses. Fruits and veggies are specifically high in Vitamin C, which not only support healthy skin, bone, and nervous system functioning, but will naturally boost your child’s immunity as well. Try serving a variety of fruits and veggies for each meal and set a good example by eating them yourself!
2. Boost Your Child’s Immune System with Vitamin D
Another important vitamin that can help naturally boost your child’s immunity is Vitamin D. Vitamin D can be found in dairy products such as yogurt, milk, and cheeses, which can easily be absorbed from your child’s diet. You can also find Vitamin D in salmon, tuna, and eggs. A deficiency in Vitamin D can increase your child’s susceptibility to colds, flus, and other immune infections.
3. Practice a bedtime routine for better quality sleep
It’s no surprise, sleep is essential to health. But did you know that making sure your child gets enough sleep can support their immune system? When your child gets adequate sleep, their immune system continues to fight illnesses and inflammation in their bodies throughout the night. You can support your child in getting adequate sleep by setting a bedtime routine to help them unwind and get good quality sleep each night. Set a timed schedule and stick to it! Be sure to turn off screens 1-2 hours before bedtime and consider trying a sound machine. Check out our sleep recommendations, based on age, below.
4. Get some fresh air as a family!
Spending time outdoors in nature is one of the best ways to naturally boost your child’s immune system. The benefits of sunlight and fresh air go far beyond improved physical activity and increased happiness. Fresh air and sunshine can do wonders for naturally boosting your child’s immune system.
Sunshine is also a great source of Vitamin D, a fat-solluble vitamin that helps with the absorption of calcium and improved immune functioning. Try going on a walk or having a socially-distanced outdoor picnic as a family to get some fresh air and sunshine.
5. Teach good hand-washing techniques
If we’ve learned anything throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s how important washing your hands can be. The CDC suggests washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. The CDC offers a guide on how to correctly wash your hands, including these tips:
- Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
- Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
- Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
- Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
- Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Teaching your children to practice healthy handwashing techniques is essential to naturally boost their immune system and keeping them healthy and safe from illness.
6. Get creative
At the end of the day, remember that they’re still kids and sometimes they just need some time to relax and have fun! Finding ways to get creative with your child is amazing for their overall health. So, don’t forget to dedicate some of your child’s day to getting creative.
Additionally, stress can have significant damaging effects on anyone’s immune system, let alone a developing child’s. Managing their stress plays a huge role in keeping them healthy and reducing recovery time if they’ve come down with a cold. Remember, your child is always watching. If you begin to stress and worry about something, your kids will be prone to pick up that same stress, even if they can’t understand the situation.
Listening to music or getting crafty are great ways to reduce stress and get that creativity flowing. Reducing stress and increasing brain functioning can naturally boost your child’s immune system and improve their overall health.
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