Fall and Winter Immune Essentials for Kids
Here’s a tip chart from Mercurii Baby’s founder, Gabi Wentworth, on supporting your kid’s immune system. This article will explore different options for carrying these tips out!
Our immune system is our first defense against harmful bacteria and viruses. Being proactive in taking care of your child’s immune health is essential for overall wellness.
During cold and flu season, it can seem like children are sick non-stop. There are over 200 different viruses that cause common cold symptoms. When kids are young, between daycare, school, or any trips to a public area, virus and bacteria exposure is inevitable.
Funny enough, fighting viruses builds the immune system. Still, we need to help support our littles, so they have a better chance of not developing life-threatening complications.
Having daily routines and habits in place can create a structure that helps a child to feel secure and promotes optimal immune health. So let’s expand on how limiting sugar, balancing the gut, getting good sleep, and vitamins are essential!
Think very limited to zero refined and processed sugar. A big YES to natural sugars found in fruit for that sweet craving! Not only does refined sugar cause spikes in blood sugar levels, grumpy attitudes, and behavioral issues, sugar stops the immune system from functioning correctly.
Eating too much sugar can starve the good gut bacteria needed for a healthy immune system. At the same time, harmful bacteria love a sugar supply and can affect your digestive health. In addition, processed sugar decreases the ability of your white blood cells to kill germs and eliminate bacteria for hours after consumption.
Think a food product is safe for your child's immune system because it says sugar-free on the label? Guess again. Artificial sweeteners can be deceiving and can do a lot of gut damage.
For example, many products adding sucralose (Splenda) make the “sugar-free” claim on the label. Strangely though, sucralose is a chemical made from (drumroll please) SUGAR.
Studies show sucralose can decrease good gut bacteria by 50% and may increase the risk of developing chronic inflammatory conditions. It's showing up in more and more "sugar-free" products, so beware.
A good source of prebiotics, probiotics, and postbiotics helps balance the gut microbiome, where many good and bad bacteria live. Fiber-filled foods like bananas, leafy green vegetables, berries, and lentils feed the gut's good bacteria, help maintain healthy blood sugar levels and reduce excess hunger by keeping your child fuller longer.
Some helpful foods and drinks help feed good bacteria more than others like
- Apple cider vinegar
Many foods feed bad bacteria and harm a healthy gut like
- Sugary anything
- Fried foods
- Foods with antibiotics
- Saturated fats
- Ultra-processed foods
Incorporating gut-friendly foods into your child's diet can help naturally keep things balanced for a healthy digestive and immune system.
Physical activity promotes good gut balance, so promoting exercise, especially during the colder seasons, can provide immune support.
Getting enough sleep is vital for preventing diseases and keeping a healthy immune system. Studies show that disruption of the body’s circadian rhythm (or sleep-wake cycle) also disrupts the gut balance and can lead to blood sugar imbalance and obesity.
One way to end the day on a good note, one that lets your child drift off to sleep feeling loved, is to speak positive affirmations over them during your bedtime routine.
Diffusing bedtime-friendly essential oils is one easy way to promote relaxation and routine. Plus, what kid doesn’t love to see the vapor rising from the diffuser?!
Sleep problems? There is HOPE! Check out these peaceful parent sleep tips!
Looking for a baby/toddler mattress? Check out a favorite on our non-toxic baby gift list!
Vitamins and other immune-supporting nutrients contain antioxidant properties that help prevent cell damage from free radicals and promote overall health. There are a couple of ways you can make sure your child gets all the vitamins and minerals they need for their immune system health.
The best source of natural vitamins needs to come from food sources. Including superfoods in your child’s diet is the most natural way to nourish their immune system.
Poor or picky eating can make it challenging to get them all the vitamins they need from their daily diet. Supplementing with good quality, third-party tested products formulated for kids may help you maintain their immune health. Here are a few!
- Studies on Sambucol elderberry syrup show it has the potential to not only reduce cold symptoms but also reduce the number of days the cold lasts. There are organic elderberry liquids out there, too.
- Metagenic’s vitamin D bottle may be small, but it contains over 2,000 servings, enough to keep an average-size family in stock of this sunshine vitamin for months.
- Zinc is one of the body’s essential minerals crucial for immune and cellular health.
Immune support vitamins and supplements may be short-term or long-term depending on which one it is, and they all have age-directed dosages on the product instructions. Researching the product and checking with your healthcare provider about anything you decide to start adding to your child’s routine may benefit you.
Looking for more of the best supplements you can use at home daily and are great to pack when traveling? Check out these seven natural remedies to have on hand when you need an immune system boost.
Don’t forget to have a little fun along the way, too! Stress can cause a decrease in good gut bacteria and immune system health. A good belly laugh a day can go a long way! So here are some ideas for a family fun time!
Need a cuddly organic blanket to ease the bedtime transition? Check out our blankets below and treat your baby to soft goodness!