The types of food that you provide your child can play an important role in helping to boost their immune system and help to ward of viruses. As we are in the face of a pandemic with the coronavirus, taking care to make sure your child eats a combination of foods that build their immune is something to take into consideration even more. Beth Wallace Smith, R.D, suggests five low-fat foods that can help boost your kid’s immune system, see what Beth shared below.

Five Foods to Fight Viruses

  1. Low-fat Yogurt

Much of our body’s immune protection comes from our intestinal tract.  Yogurt is a natural source of probiotics, which helps to promote healthy intestinal barrier to resist harmful bacteria.  Though the exact connection is not exactly understood, several studies have found that children who ate yogurt daily had a reduction in respiratory viruses.

2. Sweet Potatoes

These delicious dinner additions are a rich source of Vitamin A. It has long been known that Vitamin A deficiency in adults and children has been associated with decreased immune function.  Vitamin A is also a key component in maintaining healthy skin, which is our body’s biggest defense organ.

3. Lean Beef

Sometimes I think beef gets a bad rap.  Beef is rich in zinc and protein, both of which are important for healthy cells.  Zinc deficiency has been associated with poor immunologic function, and just 2 ounces of lean beef will provide 50 percent of a 4-8-year-old child’s needs.  Vegetarian?  Fortified cereals that contain at least 3 mg of zinc per serving are a good choice.

4. Kiwi

If I told you that this little green fruit packs more Vitamin C than an orange, would you believe me?  Well, you should.  Tasty, nutrient-dense, and easy on the budget during the winter season, Kiwi is really a “superfood” from many angles.  While eating enough vitamin C won’t prevent a cold, some research suggests that adequate intake can shorten the duration and severity of symptoms.

5. Water

As simple as can be, water helps the body make sure that all systems are working as efficiently as possible, and helps to eliminate waste as needed.  Tack it on as another reason to avoid soda, sports drinks, and juice; nothing is a better hydrator for your children than water.

Remember, a little of these nutrients go a long way in your child, and too much of any nutrient can be dangerous.  If you are concerned that your child is not receiving adequate vitamins and minerals, talk to their health care provider to discuss a multivitamin.

Beth Wallace Smith is a registered dietician.

April Green

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