There is never a good time to get sick, but germs and kids often go hand in hand. Since the season of colds and flus are upon us, I wanted to share my favorites tips on how we kick colds and fight the flu.
The immune system reaches full maturity only around the age of 12. This means that children are less resistant to microbes, bacteria, viruses or fungi. To reduce the risk of infection and support the proper development of the immune system, it is worth taking care of immunity. Not only through hardening and spending time outside, but most of all diet.
The ability to defend the body against pathogens using antibodies is purchased from the first day of life. He builds it, among others, thanks to the substances found in mother’s milk. In addition to protein, we can find fats, vitamins and minerals, as well as carbohydrates that stimulate the proliferation of good bacteria in the gut and antibodies from the mother.
Research shows that children fed exclusively with mother’s milk during the first six months of life suffer even several times less than those fed with artificial milk. One of the common myths about breastfeeding says that antibodies disappear from breast milk after a year of feeding. This is not true – the mother’s antibodies deliver her baby throughout the feeding period.
RULE nr #1 – BREASTFEED AS LONG AS YOU CAN
Sports and outdoor activities
How and how much you move has a huge impact not only on how you feel, but also how you deal with diseases. Physical activity causes an accelerated heartbeat and improves circulation. Thanks to this, blood and its components (such as white blood cells, among others) may travel more efficiently in our body. This means that they are able to detect threats more quickly and fight pathogens more effectively. Studies have shown that regular moderate physical activity reduces the risk of infection and colds. It is believed that the effort increases the number of macrophages (the type of phagocytes) and improves their effectiveness in the fight against bacteria and viruses. A similar effect also occurs in the case of white blood cells. Exercises activate them to work, which translates into their effectiveness in the fight against pathogens. This is due to adrenaline, which is released during exercise and increased metabolism. Under normal conditions, it increases the efficiency of the immune system.
RULE NR #2 – MOVING IS HEALTHY. SPEND TIME OUTDOORS WITH YOUR CHILDREN AS MUCH AS YOU CAN
Regular and properly balanced meals are one of the basic elements that help ensure the harmonious development of the child. It is worth taking care not only about valuable breakfasts, lunches and dinners, but also about tasty and healthy snacks that you can offer your toddler for a second breakfast or afternoon tea. What to reach for during the winter season?
In winter, the body’s needs are slightly different than in other seasons.
Low temperatures, short days, frequent infections – all this means that children may need extra energy. It is worth to ensure that during this time the children eat more hot dishes (oatmeal, lambs or soups), limit the consumption of raw vegetables and fruits for baked or cooked, eliminate fruits from outside the native climate zone and reduce the number of dairy products for a larger amount of cereals (e.g. in the form of groats).
I try to choose products that are rich in nutrients, seasonal, based on local, unprocessed products, natural and healthy. Our family’s balanced diet is rich in vegetables, fruits, whole-grain products, unsaturated fatty acids, protein (plant or animal).
How a child feeds has a real impact on his adult life. The better composed diet, the better our whole-body functions. And the better we protect ourselves against unfavorable external conditions.
These are 8 products that strengthen our and children’s immunity system
1. Linseed oil
Studies have shown that children taking half a teaspoon of linseed oil per day suffered less respiratory infections than children who did not consume this product. All thanks to the high content of omega-3 fatty acids, which strengthen immunity by increasing the activity of phagocytes – white blood cells that absorb bacteria. Linseed oil can be added to oatmeal, yogurt or cocktails. It should be eaten cold.
2. Fruits and vegetables
They are invaluable allies in the fight for well-being and resilience. It is an excellent source of well-absorbed vitamins and minerals. To help the body reach for citruses, red peppers, broccoli and wild rose fruits. You will find in them a lot of vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and helps fight free radicals. In turn, you will find vitamin A in carrot, spinach and chives. It affects the increase in the number of cells of the immune system and improves its functioning. You can also find it in eggs, fish and dairy products.
Your child’s and your diet should also include vitamin E, which is a fantastic antioxidant. It not only affects immunity but also delays the aging process! It is present in tomatoes, apricots, peaches, peppers and broccoli. You can also find it in oils, fish, sunflower seeds and almonds.
Ginger (both fresh and dried), combats pathogenic bacteria, stimulates the secretion of digestive juices, improves blood supply to the extremities, skin and the brain. It works antifungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory and strengthening the body. You can rub it into the skin with colds, but a good idea to smuggle ginger into your toddler’s daily diet is to add it in the form of spices (dried, not powdered) to dishes, or in the form of a ginger drink (0.5 teaspoon ginger just pour hot or warm water add lemon and sweeten with honey). Remember that it is a very warming drink and should be given to small children in small amounts.
Onions are a rich source of phytoncide – natural substances with a bactericidal effect. In addition, it is a great source of vitamin C. The vegetable can, of course, be added to everyday meals, but also works in the form of a syrup, which strengthens the body and helps fight cough. It is enough to chop finely onions and cover with plenty of xylitol or pour over honey. Allow to set aside under cover. After five hours, the onion should release the juice. Contrary to appearances, it tastes quite good and you do not need to encourage children to drink onion specific.
Called the queen of all groats, it is a rich source of B vitamins, as well as calcium, potassium, iron, tryptophan (which is a valuable amino acid).
A buckwheat porridge prepared for a toddler, strengthens the body and helps in the treatment of colds. If you add some seasonal fruit to your porridge, then your breakfast will strengthen the body, cleanse it and give energy for the day.
This is an easy buckwheat porridge, made with just 3 ingredients in less than 10 minutes. It’s super satiating, gluten-free, breakfast recipe:
· 0,5 cap buckwheat groats (100 gr)
· 2 cup unsweetened plant milk of your choice, e.g. oat milk
· 2 bananas
· toppings: cacao nibs, maple syrup, sliced almonds etc.
- Soak buckwheat groats for at least 4 hours. This step is optional, but it makes buckwheat groats easier to digest and they’ll cook faster.
- Drain the groats and add them to a blender with the milk. Blend until smooth.
- Add the mixture to a saucepan, bring it to a boil and cook for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.
- Serve the porridge in bowls and add your favorite toppings.
- Keep leftovers in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days
An exceptionally effective weapon against bacterial, viral and parasitic infections. Fresh, crushed garlic releases allicin, a substance that has a stronger antibiotic effect than penicillin or tetracycline. You can use it to treat colds, but also to consume prophylactically for strengthening the body. Garlic fits perfectly with various dishes. You can eat it in the form of a syrup: 10 mashed garlic cloves pour a glass of honey and a glass of juice squeezed from the lemons. Mix the mixture into a jar and store in the refrigerator for a few weeks.
Just a handful of almonds a day to soothe the nerves, improve the mood and … strengthen the immunity (which we owe to the vitamins: E and B2). Due to the fact that they are not completely digested, they become a nutrient for beneficial probiotics protecting against harmful bacteria. This is one of the healthiest snacks we can serve to children, unless they have allergy to nuts.
A classic… honey and lemon tea! A simple recipe of hot water + lemon + honey and then what I loved is the variations on the final element added … thyme infused! Or fresh grated ginger! Or fresh mint! Or Green Organic Tea! Or cinnamon! or a splash of whiskey (for parents).
I didn’t realize there were so many options, but I love that the variations on the theme support different needs for health. Sweet or strong you can adjust this cure-all potion to you or your child’s desired taste. And I love using local honey.
Rule nr #3
Eat healthy and balance your diet.
Remember that the balance in the diet allows you to keep your body in a healthy condition and strengthen our immunity. It is from what we eat that depends on our well-being, health and quality of our lives.
I hope this helps you feel better, and remember, if you are sick, slow down, hide under a big fluffy blanket in bed! And take it easy. Your body needs energy to fight off bad bugs!
Many hugs, Joanna