Whenever the weather changes, people of all ages begin to sniffle, sneeze, and cough. Kids’ immune systems are still developing, so they often get colds back-to-back. While it is impossible to stop family members from getting sick entirely, there are things that adults can do to help build up their immunity. Building up the body’s natural ability to fight sickness is important, because it means that as someone ages, they will be able to recognize past infections. This is a key part of the body’s strategy for staying healthy. If it had a cold before, it recognizes it and the white blood cells fight the virus or bacteria even better.
Here are 3 tips for supporting the immune system for growing bodies, especially during sniffle season!
- Make sure their diet is rich in Vitamin D, Zinc, probiotics, and prebiotics. Some vitamins and minerals assist in boosting the body’s ability to fight sickness. Zinc and Vitamin D are key to this process. Salmon and eggs are great sources of Vitamin D, while Zinc can be found in red meat and poultry. Pro and prebiotics keep the gut working well and can help fight tummy problems. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods, and prebiotics in veggies including garlic, leeks, and bananas.
- Stretch and exercise! Even though it can be tempting to stay always bundled up under covers when it gets cold, moving is important to keeping all the functions of the body working properly. It also keeps them in shape, and develops wellness habits. Remember, this movement doesn’t have to be super intense. Going on a walk or thirty minutes of active games in the house can be great.
- Manage stressful situations as much as possible. This is good advice for both kids and adults and is particularly important when there are lots of colds going through school, daycare, or other social circles. Stress actually weakens the body’s ability to fight sickness, so taking time to meditate, listening to calming music, or other calming activities can be important to physical health, as much as it is for mental wellness all year long.
Even though it is impossible to fight all sicknesses, doing simple things to keep the body strong can make colds less miserable, and make cold and flu season less stressful.
By: Bethany Verrett