Your child's immune defense is an intricate system that includes certain cells, tissues, and organs. With about 70% residing in the intestinal tract, your immune system works like a door to protect the body from bacteria, viruses and other foreign "invaders" - called antigens - that can cause illness.
Certain nutrients can support your child's immune system by helping maintain a healthy intestinal tract and promoting development of the cells and antibodies that fight antigens. A well-balanced diet is essential for a healthy immune defense system.
Know Your Nutrients
The first step to a healthy immune system
- Nucleotides – Essential for normal cell function and replication
- Prebiotics – Fructooligosaccharides (FOS) & Galacto-oligosaccharides (GOS) is food to support the growth of probiotics
- Zinc and Vitamin A, C and E – Help to protect cells from free radicals that may have escaped the natural processes of the infant's body system
- Feeding time – Breast milk is the best for babies. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months and should be continued for as long as possible. If you choose to transition to a follow on (after 6 months) or growing up milk (when your child is over 1 year of age), choose a formula that contains all the above mentioned nutrients to supplement your child’s diet
- Give it a shot – Check with your child’s doctor to make sure all vaccinations are up-to-date
- Nourish his diet – While missing certain vitamins and minerals may weaken immune response, diets rich in nucleotides (lean meat and mushrooms), prebiotics (nuts, beans, and whole grains), and probiotics (yogurt) can help strengthen it
- Breathe easy – Avoid exposure to immune weakening cigarette smoke and toxic substances (household cleaners, fertilizers, and pesticides)
- Get physical – Exercise isn’t just good for physical and mental development, it will get his immunity in shape, too
- De-stress – Stress affects your body’s ability to respond to infection, so create a calm environment to boost your child’s immune system and plenty of rest to help the immune system stay at its peak