Through interaction with other children at nursery or school, children frequently acquire and pass on common bacterial and viral infections. There are a number of natural ways to reduce the risk of your children picking up coughs, colds and infections going around the classroom.  The best insurance against illness is to support your child’s immune system through diet and lifestyle.

Ways in which you can boost your child’s immunity naturally are:

1)         Wash hands – but don’t be a germ-o-phobe!

Good hygiene at school and at home is important, and washing hands regularly is an easy, effective way of preventing the spread of germs. However, extreme hygiene practices may negatively affect a child’s maturing immunity.  Some contact with pathogens and allergens allows a child’s immune system to develop antibodies and modulate responses to allergens. In fact, excess sterilization has been associated with allergic and atopic conditions.  Finding a balance in cleanliness can support your child’s developing immune system in the short and long term.

2) Eat foods packed with immune boosting nutrients.

It’s quite difficult to monitor what your child is fed at school or when visiting friends. However, while at home, you can serve nutrient dense foods to boost your child’s immunity. Here are a few nutrients and foods which are essential to supporting a balanced immune system:

  • Vitamin C – This is the go to vitamin for immune support. Citrus fruit such as oranges, lemons, and grapefruit are not the only foods high in Vitamin C.   Broccoli, kale, green beans, berries, cantaloupe, and watermelon are all quality sources of Vitamin C.
  • Zinc – Zinc supports immune cell function. Foods rich in zinc include pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, tahini, and seafood.
  • Probiotics and Prebiotics– Balanced gut flora is essential to maintain a balanced immune system. Plain organic yogurt with no additives is a natural probiotic food.  Foods high in soluble fibre, such as oats and apples, also help maintain gut flora balance. Why not try apple and cinnamon porridge made with organic natural yogurt for a probiotic super-dish?

4) Reduce refined carbohydrates and sugary foods.

Refined carbohydrates like white bread, pasta, biscuits and cakes and sugary foods can tax the immune system.  They feed bacterial growth and contribute to inflammation which depletes and exhausts immune function.   By replacing these foods in your diet, you allow the immune system to focus on bacterial and viral infections, rather than dietary inflammatory triggers.

4) Exercise!

Research has shown that moderate exercise improves immune function in all age groups.  Turn off the TV and encourage your kids to play outdoors instead. Park games as well as sports are great ways for your child to get their daily recommended amount of physical activity.

5) Try natural immune support supplements.

Herbs and foods have been used for centuries to help ward off colds and flu.  There are a number of immune boosting plant based products that are extremely safe and effective for children. One of which is bee propolis. This resin collected by bees is a natural antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial agent.  Olive leaf is an effective antimicrobial safe for children. Elderberry has been used in numerous forms from cordials to syrups to powders to help children fight viral infections. Bee Prepared Immune Support Daily Defence contains all of these ingredients in therapeutic dosages safe for children.

A practical, tasty, and child-friendly way to include a few of these recommendations into your daily routine is with an immune boosting smoothie.

Immunity Smoothie Ingredients:

  • 1 apple, cored, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lemon peeled and seeded
  • 1/2 cup filtered water or organic apple juice
  • 1/2 cup natural yogurt
  • 2 tsp manuka honey
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin seed butter
  • 1 (2-inch) piece of fresh ginger root, peeled.
  • 1 capsule Bee Prepared Daily Defence (open capsule and use the powder)

Combine all of these ingredients in a blender.  Enjoy!.