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15 immune boosting foods to help kids stay healthy

 
Here are 15 immune boosting foods to help kids stay healthy and beat those winter bugs over the coming months. There are no miracle cures to starve off winter colds and flu, but eating a range of essential nutrients all year round from a variety of foods can help boost your children’s immune system and shorten their recovery time when they get sick or start feeling run down.
Here are 15 immune boosting foods to help kids stay healthy and beat those winter bugs over the coming months.

There are no miracle cures to starve off winter colds and flu, but eating a range of essential nutrients all year round from a variety of foods can help boost your children’s immune system and shorten their recovery time when they get sick or start feeling run down.
 

15 Immune boosting foods for kids

 

1. Berries


Berries are full of antioxidants to help keep your children’s immune systems fighting fit!

And if fresh berries aren’t in season, try using frozen ones instead. 

Berries are great for eating on their own or adding to smoothies.
 

2. Broccoli


It might not be your kids favourite vegetable, but it’s no secret that broccoli is a nutritional powerhouse.

It’s got a number of immune system boosters, including vitamins C, A, and E and a number of antioxidants. 
 

3. Eggs


Research has shown that when a person is low in vitamin D, they are more susceptible to illness. 

Eggs are one of the only foods with naturally occurring vitamin D. They also include a number of other immune-boosting nutrients, such as B vitamins and selenium.

Find out more about when you can start introducing eggs to your children’s diet.
 

4. Garlic 


Garlic has antibacterial and antioxidant properties that help maintain general health and wellbeing.

Adding garlic to your little one’s diet can help reduce the severity and duration of their colds and flu.
 

5. Ginger 


Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties which can help to relieve symptoms and reduce the duration of colds and flu.

Use it in stir-frys or grate it up and add it to your little one's smoothies for some extra 'zing'. 

 
6. Kiwifruit


Kiwifruits are one of the richest sources of vitamin C.

Vitamin C is also found in many fruits (such as blackcurrants, oranges, strawberries and blueberries) and vegetables (such as red capsicum, leafy green vegetables and sprouts) and is well-known for its immune-boosting capacity.
 

7. Leafy green vegetables 


Leafy green vegetables are rich in phytochemicals and provide a valuable source of vitamin E. 

Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant to protect children’s body’s cells from damage.
 

8. Legumes 


Chickpeas, beans and lentils are high in fibre and are also a good source of iron. They act as natural ‘immune boosters’ in the body.

They can easily be stirred into Bolognaise sauce or stews to help disguise them, or how about making your own humus with chickpeas.
 

9. Lean red meat 


Lean red meat is rich in iron and zinc and keeps your children’s immune system fighting fit. 

Iron from animal foods such as red meat, chicken, fish and pork is better absorbed by your body than plant sources of iron.
 

10. Nuts and seeds 


Nuts and seeds contain phytochemicals, vitamin E and fibre.

Fibre is essential for good health. It helps keep your little one’s bowel in good balance and their immune system strong.
 

11. Oats


Oats contain beta-glucan, a component of fibre that activates killer cells. These are the cells that fight bacteria, viruses, and other intruders in our bodies.
 

12. Oily fish


Salmon and other deep sea oily fish such as sardines are a super source of omega-3 fatty acids.

These not only help to ensure healthy brain development in kids, they also have anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties to help ward off sickness and fight infections.  
 

13. Probiotic yoghurts 


Probiotic yoghurts don’t just contain probiotics, they include zinc too. 

Probiotics are good bacteria that are needed by the body to maintain a healthy digestive system.

Along with improving digestion, probiotics prevent overgrowth of bad bacteria and increase your little one’s resistance to infections.

Just make sure your kids yoghurts aren't doing more harm than good.
 

14. Sweet potato


Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene which the body converts to vitamin A.

Beta-carotene, found in many orange-coloured fruits and vegetables (including carrots, pumpkin, rock melon and mangoes) has antioxidant properties which help to fight off infections.
 

15. Watermelon


Watermelon is a hydrating fruit that is a natural high antioxidant food, plus a great source of vitamins A and C.

It also contains minerals that can help fight inflammation and help the immune system stay strong.

Plus it’s delicious when served cold, and very popular amongst young children for its juiciness and sweet taste.
 

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