Parent’s Guide to Boost Their Child’s Immune System Through Food

  • Nature's Source

Can you believe it is already cold? You know what that means right? Cold and flu season is here. And those of you who have little onesthat are in daycare or school, this means a runny nose until April.“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”- Benjamin Franklin. Since prevention is key, it is important to take preventative measures everyday for your little one and you!

While we are on the topic of cold, flu and prevention, we MUST talk about the amazing immune system. The immune system is one of the most complex systems in the entire body. It is so complex that it does not have a start or an end, meaning the immune system runs throughout the entire body. What science does know is that 70% of the immune system resides in the gut! Whoa!

We already know it is a complex system but what does this complex system do?

The Immune System:

The immune system is an intelligent communication network that is constantly evolving and adapting. The immune system protects the body from potential invaders like viruses, bacteria, fungi, other foreign cells like mutated cancer cells. We hardly pay attention to our immune system until something goes wrong like getting a cold or flu. However, when we become sick, it is the exact response the immune system is supposed to take to get rid of the virus or bacteria which is causing us to get sick. Sneezing is the body’s mechanism to excrete the invader via nasal passages. A fever is the body’s way of killing the virus/ bacteria by heat. Never fear the fever, until it is too high for a long period of time, meaning 2-3 days. The issue lies when our little ones are constantly sick or getting secondary infections. This is when parents need to take a step back and ask why.

It is important to keep the immune system strong by providing the right nutrients to support it and reducing things that will inhibit optimal function.

Immune System Zappers:

Sugar

Did you know 1 teaspoon of sugar can depress or inhibit immune function up to 8 hours? That is crazy, especially if you think of popular “kid friendly” snacks that contain 3x that amount per serving.

Antibiotics

Yes, there can be a time and place when a child needs an antibiotic, unfortunately antibiotics are a doctor’s go-to tool in their toolbox, meaning they are over prescribed. Antibiotics are now given to children who have an ear infection, even though ear infections can be resolved with a simple dietary change or natural herbal remedies. Antibiotics are not selective with the bacteria they destroy; they destroy both good and bad bacteria. When this happens, immune function is sub-optimal and insidiousbacteria, like E. coli or Candida, can begin to overpopulatein the gut. A note on candida: it is found in all ofour digestive tracts, but the issue is when Candida begins to overpopulate and crowd our good bacteria.

Stress

Stress can come in all sorts of forms for little ones. One of the most common stressors are food sensitivities. Foods that cause a reaction in the body will trigger a stress response and an immune response. Let’s take cheese for an example. If cheese is an underlying food sensitivity and it is consumed, the nervous system is triggered. It says “Hey something is causing inflammation, pain, etc.… We don’t like this; I think we are being attack”. The nervous system looks at the cheese as some type of invader and causes the body to go under “attack mode” AKA the fight, flight, or freeze response. Since cheese is a food sensitivity, the body has a hard time digesting it, which leads to undigested proteins, fats and sugars coming from the cheeseand entering the small intestine. These molecules are so large due to poor digestion, that it causes damage to the small intestine and ends up in the bloodstream. Once these molecules are in the bloodstream the immune system sees it as a threat and creates antibodies to attack it. Now any time that cheese is consumed the immune system will attack. This is known as “Leaky Gut”

Immune System Boosters:

Eat the Rainbow

Your little one should be consuming at least two colours of the rainbow for each meal. This give them the opportunity to receive a variety of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals to support their immune function and reduce their chances of getting secondary infections.

Blue/ Purple Foods:

  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Eggplant
  • Grapes
  • Plums

Red Foods:

  • Apples
  • Pomegranate
  • Strawberries
  • Raspberries
  • Red bell peppers
  • Tomatoes

Green Foods:

  • Cucumbers
  • Swiss Chard
  • Asparagus
  • Rapini
  • Avocado
  • Kiwi
  • Green bell peppers
  • Watercress
  • Brassica family (broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale)

Orange Foods:

  • Orange bell peppers
  • Grapefruit
  • Oranges
  • Butternut squash
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potato
  • Apricots

Yellow Foods:

  • Spaghetti squash
  • Banana
  • Plantain
  • Yellow bell pepper

White Foods:

  • Cauliflower
  • Sprouts
  • Garlic/Onions
  • Sauerkraut/ fermented foods

 

For more information on how to boost your child’s immune system, check out www.nobleorganicbaby.com for a free download copy of “Eat the Rainbow” or “A Mom’s Guide to Boosting your Little Ones Immune System” eBook.