It’s that time of year again. The end of the summer holidays, the endless photos of our kid’s first day at school on facebook, teary moments as we realise our children are growing up in their school uniforms. But it never takes long before the autumn colds and flu kick in and those little moments fade as the coughs and sneezes and awkward days off work begin.
However do not despair there are a number of things you can do, as well as supplements you can give to your child to improve their immunity or reduce the length of time they are unwell.
It starts with the word ‘Nourish’
Our bodies cannot fight bugs if we do not give it the tool to do so. It can be very hard to get anything beyond a pizza or fish finger down a child and although these do fuel our children they do not contain many of the vitamins and minerals which are so vital for growth and repair. Increasing their intake of vegetables and fruit is paramount. Try pureeing lightly steamed vegetables and adding to a sauce you know your child likes. Berries are also rich in vitamin C and bioflavonoids, phytochemicals. These make a great lunch box snack, or try making a berry smoothie with some protein in it as a delicious and wholesome snack.
Wrap up and get out
When it’s wet or blowing a gale it’s tempting to think that staying in and watching the TV might be the best thing for yourself and your child but this is not the case. Exercise is vital for the immune system, and over-heated stuffy rooms are not beneficial.
Reduce anxiety and increase the laughter
Sadly children get stressed and anxious too and it has the same physiological effect on their body as it does for an adult with raised Cortisol and Adrenaline levels. Over time, stress can deplete our immune system. Create time for lots of hugging and laughter. Hippy as this might sound, a feeling of closeness and love encourages a sense of calm and wellbeing and ultimately good health.
This is the easy bit! There are certain vitamins which do boost your immune system. These include Vitamin D, vitamin C, and Zinc, as just a few. If you struggle to get your child to eat fruit and vegetables you could consider supplements which give your child the nutrients which are found in these. You can also look for blends of elderberry, rosehips and blackcurrants in a concentrate syrup which you can either take a spoonful of or dilute in water.
Boost your child’s gut bacteria
Let’s not forget that our gut bacteria play a prime role in immunity. However, modern day life, stress, diet and of course antibiotics reduce our gut bacteria, and in doing so reduce our immune defences. Of course this is a vicious cycle, when your child requires antibiotics for something and then becomes more prone to catching the next bug. OptiBac Probiotics ‘For babies & children’ is a probiotic proven to improve immunity. A randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study conducted by The Institut Rosell in 2009 indicated that our ‘For babies & children’ product could reduce the incidence of infant infections, including of ear-nose-throat (ENT), bronchopulmonary or gastric disorders, by 25%.
These health tips are relevant for the whole family making it a little easier to look after yourself whilst looking after the kids and making way for a healthy autumn kicking leaves.
Joanna Lutyens BA(Hons) DipION FdSc mBANT CNHC is a nutritional therapist, writer, mother and wannabe yoga guru. She is passionate about integrative medicine, and believes that professionals working together to achieve results for their patients is the way forward for an improvement in health in our society. To read more about Joanna click here.
Take a look at the natural health star range of OptiBac Probiotics that are suitable for the whole family in our health shop.
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