Immune Boosting Foods
Immune Boosting ingredients are the feature of this week’s blog post. A key topic on my mind, and I’m sure other parents minds too. My little girl Mima is at nursery and I want to boost her diet as much as possible, to help fight off the inevitable Winter bugs. This week’s nutrition feature, written in conjunction with our paediatric dietician Bianca Parau.
The main immune boosting nutrients are – Zinc, vitamin C, A and E and here are some good sources, for your shopping list:
Blackberries, raspberries, blueberries (you can use frozen too): full of anti-oxidants & naturally rich in vitamin C to keep away colds
Oats: a source of soluble fibre, to help keep you fuller for longer (gluten free oats for any gluten intolerances)
Green leafy veg: high in iron, vitamins and antioxidants
Spices: shave so many benefits. I love using turmeric as it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, it will ease any aches and pains and also act as an immune booster
Garlic: is a powerful antibacterial and antifungal, good for heart health and immune system
Ginger: very good for relieving nausea, motion sickness and gas, also eases loss of appetite
Eggs, for vitamin D
Oily fish, such a salmon which is omega 3 rich
I try and add these ingredients into my cooking as much as possible and you’ll find plenty on inspiration on the recipe section of this website. Berries are incredibly easy to add into smoothies, porridge and baking. Oats are a staple in our house and my daughter loves them in the mornings, before nursery. Green leafy vegetables can be tricker with small children: but my Mac N Cheese with Kale is a winner. As well as their nutritional benefits, spices, garlic and ginger are wonderful for adding variety and flavour to your cooking: see my Sunshine Curry for inspiration. The list goes on and the great news is that the whole family can enjoy these food ideas too.
I discussed with Bianca her view on multi-vitamins and probiotics, to help with immunity. Necessary vitamins are usually provided by a balanced and varied diet, but if any essential vitamins are absent from food for long periods of time, poor growth or certain deficiency diseases can occur. She recommended vitamins from 1 year onwards, to provide a welcome boost. She also noted that formula is fortified. Only in some circumstances will a multivitamin be required under 12 months, for example for premature babies, or babies with feeding complications and a low formula intake. Sometimes they are also necessary for exclusively breastfed babies, where the maternal diet excludes certain food groups.
However, in any circumstances it would be recommended for parents to always consult and work in conjunction with their medical health care provider.
Zita West & My Baba Multivitamin: I have long used this multivitamin for my daughter, they have a lovely berry flavour but some children may prefer a flavourless option. Suitable from 1 year + until 12 years, please read the label
Abidec Multivitamin Drops: is an option Bianca also recommends, Abidec Multivitamin Drops are rich in 7 essential vitamins, however she noted it doesn’t contain iron. Suitable from birth to 12 years, please read the label
Wellbaby Infant Liquid: highly recommended by Bianca as containing all the essential vitamins and it has the added benefit of having no real taste, which might be helpful for some children. Suitable for babies and young children aged 6 months to 4 years, please read the label
DaliVit Drops: is an option Bianca also recommends, however she noted it doesn’t contain iron
Before using any of the above, please discuss your children’s specific dietary requirements with your health care advisor.
This nutrition feature was written by parent Miriam Cooper, in conjunction with paediatric dietician Bianca Parau. Miriam is a mother of two, but is not medically trained and therefore has partnered with Bianca on this content. She speaks from her own experiences only.
Please always consult with your own Health Care Advisor on medical issues relating to your child.
As background, Bianca offers expert advice and nutritional guidance to children and their families. Her NHS clinical role at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital includes a specialist multidisciplinary feeding clinic, for children with eating problems, often resulting from a history of gastrointestinal problems and food allergy
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