Frequent infections and children go hand in hand. It is more common once they start school and interacting with other children. Look after them like royalty at home and a week at school and they are as sick as the commoners. The most common infections that we hear of are cold, stomach infections and ear infections. Most of these infections are not serious and vanish after a few days, sometimes with medication. These infections are seen more during the rains.
Cause of infections
The usual culprits causing infections in children are viruses and bacteria. The infection happens when the microbe enters the body. These microbes are usually carried by air or water. We often hear the phrase ‘virus going around’. The virus infecting the sick child is easily passed on to the next child. A cough or a sneeze is enough to send them to the next person. The immunity system in children is still in the developing stage and thus they fall prey to these tiny organisms very easily.
Low immunity in children
When children are born, their immunity is at their lowest. As time passes they build their immunity. But how strong their immunity is, depends partly on their upbringing. Remember the days, when playing in the sand was a daily routine? Well, not any more. Parents in recent times are more careful with their children. They shelter their children to such an extent, that a day outside is enough to have them in bed for a week. The way to boost a child’s immunity is exposing them carefully to a little of nature regularly. They are more likely to become immune to small things like a light drizzle or a dusty day. You can also serve them nutritious foods and give them a good 10 hours of sleep. It is also important to inculcate in them the importance of washing their hands before eating.
Foods that build strong immunity
Though immunity is different in each child, a few steps can be taken to ensure that they are building a strong wall of immunity.
- Firstly it is very important that you breast feed your baby. This builds the first line of defence. As they grow older, make sure their diet is a well-balanced one with lots of fruits and vegetables.
- Prebiotics which are found in bananas, tomatoes encourage the growth of good bacteria in the body which in return defend the body against bad bacteria should the need arise
- It is absolutely necessary to add in Iron which help in formation of haemoglobin and lack of Iron reduces the immune function making them more susceptible to infections.Leafy vegetables, nuts and beans are an excellent way of ensuring your child’s Iron intake.
- Zinc, the creator of enzymes that support the immune system and heals wounds is another immunity booster. Include foods like Bread and Cereal products and the Zinc needed for the child is taken care of.
- Vitamins A, C and D2 play a vital role in developing a child’s immunity system. They are needed by the white cells to fight infection and to prevent allergies. Sunlight is an effective source of D2. Make sure your child gets some Sun every day. Citrus fruits, broccoli and flax seeds give just the amount of vitamin needed.
- Vegetable oils, nuts, flaxseeds and chia seeds, rich in Omega 3 should also be added for the baby’s visual and neurological development.
But there is no need to overdo it, as that will only lead to a tummy upset. They are children after all! Nuts, fruits and leafy vegetables get a huge thumbs up from us.
So keep these in mind, and you’ve got one strong, infection resistant child coming up!
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