Cold comfort: The best immune boosting foods for your family

Kinderling Kids Radio

Wed 01-Jun-16

Categories: Food & Nutrition

Kids fighting off another bout of sneezing and snotty noses? Sadly, there’s no miracle solution to stop them catching colds, but this article provides great healthy eating tips (and recipes) to boost little ones’ immune systems and shorten their recovery time if they do get crook. You can also listen to Kinderling Kids Radio interview with Nutrionist Jess Beaton

Under attack from winter lurgies? Kids fighting off another bout of sneezing and snotty noses? Sadly, there’s no miracle solution to stop them catching colds, but One Handed Cooks’ nutrionist Jess Beaton has some great healthy eating tips to boost little ones’ immune systems and shorten their recovery time if they do get crook.

“We’re often asked what’s the number one ‘superfood’ to fight infections in the winter months,” Jess says. “The bad news is there’s no one single food that will cure a cold or fix the flu. Rather a range of essential nutrients from a variety of foods is your answer.”

Listen to Jess's interview with Kinderling Conversation:

 
Click to listen to Jess's interview with Kinderling Conversation
 

 

With winter on its way, here’s her top ten cold-busters to beat the bugs and daycare nasties.

Garlic
It's got antibacterial and antioxidant properties that help maintain general health and wellbeing. Adding garlic to your diet can reduce the severity and duration of colds and flu.

Lean red meat 
This is rich in iron and zinc and keeps your 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.

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.  

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 resistance to infections.

Kiwi fruits 
Vitamin C, found in many fruits (such as blackcurrants, oranges, strawberries and blueberries) and vegetables (like red capsicum, leafy green vegetables and sprouts) is well-known for its immune-boosting capacity. Kiwi fruits are one of the richest sources of vitamin C.

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 infection. 

Leafy green vegetables 
These are rich in phytochemicals and provide a valuable source of vitamin E. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant to protect the body’s cells from damage.

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.

Nuts and seeds 
These contain phytochemicals, vitamin E and fibre. Fibre is essential for good health. It maintains your bowel in good balance and keeps your immune system strong.

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

One Handed Cooks' cold-busting recipes

If your little ones are crook and off their food, tempt them with one of Jess’s five quick and easy recipes for sick kids:

Classic porridge – stir in some ground nuts or chia seeds for a nutrient boost

Boost your basic Bolognese– by packing it full of veggies such as garlic, lentils, zucchini, spinach and parsley.

Comfort them with chicken soup - It's a cliche when you're sick, but nothing tastes better.  Use organic chicken if you can and pack your soup full of nutritious veggies.

Whip up a fruit smoothie – including ground nuts and a dollop of Greek yoghurt (containing probiotics)

Homemade baked beans on toast
– So much better for you than canned! Smaller babies will love these fork-mashed or pureed, while toddlers and older kids can spread them on toast soldiers.

Content provided by Playgroup NSW media partner: 

 

 

Playgroup of the Month

Click here to find out More + Featured Activities

We value all our playgroups and their amazing stories. This is why, each month, we want you to meet one of them, hopefully their stories will inspire you.

This month, the focus is on Arcadia Playgroup. The determination of this special group of people will surely inspire you.

Play Activities

Click here to find out More + Featured Activities

Children love playing with balls of all shapes and sizes. And with good reason: balls are great for group play, organised sports or just playing by yourself. They are also suitable for a variety of age groups (from babies to children and even adults).

Featured Video

Click here to find out More + Featured Activities

In celebration of our 45th birthday, we’ve produced a fun, short video which we hope you enjoy. Thanks to all the playgroups and others who contributed to it.

Featured Article

Click here to find out More + Featured Activities

Mothercraft nurse, Chris Minogue, answers one of Kinderling Radio listener’s question on how to keep their child safe on the ground.

Looking for a Playgroup?

Find PlaygroupSearch Now!

Supported By