Coughs, colds, and other viruses or illnesses can be a norm for kids, especially once they start school. Most doctors say that on average, kids can get sick 4 to 6 times a year. One reason for this is that kids’ immune systems are still developing, so the more that they get exposed to viruses, germs, and bacteria, the better their immune system gets in handling it and protecting them.
But this is not to say that parents like us would sit on their laurels and do nothing about it. Especially these days when having a strong immune system and being generally healthy is a must. So what can we do to boost our kid’s immunity? Well, here are a few healthy habits we can adopt:
Give him more fruits and vegetables
Fruits and veggies, such as carrots, oranges, green beans, and strawberries contain carotenoids, which are immunity-boosting phytonutrients. Also known as phytochemicals, phytonutrients can enhance immunity and protect against chronic diseases such as cancer. To ensure that your child gets enough phytonutrients, Philippine Food Guide Pinggang Pinoy® recommends serving ½ cup of vegetables and at least ½ serving or max 1 serving of fruit per meal for toddlers (aged 3 to 5 years old). While for older kids, it’s ¾ cup to 1 cup of vegetables and 1 serving of fruit per meal.
Ensure he gets enough zzz’s
Lack of sleep can lead to a lower immune system and susceptibility to illnesses, even in adults. Kids can be hard to get to sleep at times thanks to their unlimited energy, but a set routine and resorting to quieter activities a few hours before bedtime can remedy this. Toddlers need around 11 to 14 hours of sleep, while older kids need about 10 to 13 hours.
Exercise your way to health
Exercise and regular physical activity can benefit both kids and adults, as it can help flush out bacteria out of our lungs and airways, and can boost our antibodies and white blood cells, thereby lessening our risk of getting a cold, flu, or other illnesses. We can help our kids get a headstart and get into the fitness habit by exercising as a family.
Practice good hygiene
Keeping ourselves and our surroundings clean and sanitary does not technically boost our kid’s immune system, but doing so can lessen the pressure on his immune system. Ensure that your child knows how to properly wash his hands, practice coughs, and colds etiquette, and knows the importance of keeping his immediate surroundings and belongings clean and neat.
Provide him with the right nutrition
Perhaps the best way to do this is to ensure that our kids get a well-balanced diet made up of the 3 food groups: go, grow, and glow. This means that he should get enough rice and breads (Go food), meats and dairy (Grow food), and fruits and vegetables (Glow food). Aside from these, kids also need protein and calcium. Protein is responsible for the growth and maintenance of bones, muscles, organs, tendons, and skin, and repairs body tissues. It also helps in maintaining our kid’s immunity and plays a vital role in wound healing and blood clotting. On the other hand, calcium ensures that our kid’s bones and bodies are strong and well to handle their day-to-day activities. It regulates muscle contraction, helps prevent fractures, participates in blood clotting and nerve signals transmission, and protects them from bone loss in the later years of their life.
So aside from providing him with healthy food, we can also give him a yummy, healthy, and #LAKASARAP drink — Prottie®.
Protttie® is a powdered soymilk drink mix that’s rich in protein and calcium. For every glass of Prottie®, your child can get 5 to 6 grams of protein and 308 to 333 mg of calcium. Prottie® also has the added benefit of soy protein, which contains essential amino acids necessary for human nutrition.
With these tips, a balanced diet, and Prottie®, your kids are assured of a strong immune system, malakas na katawan, at matatag na buto.
*Published with Lakasarap Prottie®