Top 10 Tasty Immune System Boosters For Kids
When we are newborns, all the immune system boosters we could ask for our little ones come in the form of lactoferrin, a protein found in breast milk. Once children are older and rely on prepared foods for their vitamin power, immunity agents become more and more scarce. Here are 10 of the best immune system boosters (and the tastiest, because let’s face it – cauliflower boasts immunity benefits but try telling your 6 year old that.)
1. Egg Yolks: Young children need not worry so much about cholesterol as their elders, and egg yolks are a great source of zinc and selenium that kick start the immune system.
2. Kale: While not as unappealing to a primary schooler as cauliflower, kale doesn’t get big points on the taste bud scale for kids, but leafy greens like chard, spinach and kale has loads of vitamin C and can even help deter infection. Sautee it or put some Cheez Whiz or something on it if you have to, but don’t let your kids miss out on these great natural immunity boosters.
3. In a cup or in a tube: Yogurt in any form is great for boosting immune system naturally. Yogurt contains gastrointestinal police officers who keep nasty stuff out of your bloodstream. Yogurt also contains much needed vitamins and nutrients and is an all around good snack.
4. Wheat Germ: Don’t tell your kids what it is and they’ll be just fine. You can sneak wheat germ in sprinkle form on top of toast or a muffin. Wheat germ rocks vitamin E, zinc and choline (not chlorine, please don’t sprinkle any in your pool) and is a great addition to the list of immune system boosters.
5. Watermelon: It’s not just all water! Believe it or not, even the juiciest watermelon is packed with vitamins and nutrients. Lycopene, (responsible for the bright red insides of the watermelon) and lots of it, make watermelon high on the list of tasty immune system boosters.
6. Cinnamon: Cinnamon should never be eaten all by itself on a spoon (and don’t try it!), but it makes a heck of a topping on just about anything. Cinnamon has long been touted for its health benefits, but aside from its many other achievements, cinnamon actually FIGHTS the beasties that make you sick. Keep a bottle around for an occasional sprinkle.
7. Carrots: Tasty to one kid and tasty to another might be 2 different things but carrots are undeniably great immune system boosters. The beta carotene rich veggies help keep bacteria out of the blood and are worth a dip in a ranch pool if it gets your tots to munch on them.
8. Mushrooms: For the older, and more sophisticated kid palate, mushrooms (even when plopped on pizza) can provide immunity benefits. They contain loads of zinc which helps the body fight off illness.
9. Grapefruit: Vitamin C is abundant in citrus fruit and it’s very prevalent in grapefruit. The red or pink varieties contain bioflavonoids as well which add to the disease resisting charm of these large citrus fruits. A little sprinkle of sugar goes a long way in making these sometimes sour sections appealing to a younger tongue, and worth it once in awhile to reap the immunity benefits.
10. Garlic: No, no, no. Do not force feed your child cloves of garlic. But do sprinkle some here and there in your spaghetti sauce and on breads and even pizza. Garlic aids antibody production and helps remove toxic stuff from the body.
If you can’t seem to stimulate the senses of your child enough to get them to crunch on fresh carrots or cauliflower, don’t fret. There are immune system supplements available, even Flintstones Vitamins with Immunity Support available (remember to speak to your child’s doctor before beginning any supplement on your child). These will help replace nutrients not being fulfilled by diet alone until you can encourage your child to try a grapefruit stuffed portabella mushroom. (Better buy 2 bottles).