As your little one is slowly venturing out into the world, it is a must to be more particular about your child’s health and boost his or her immune system. With a strong immune system, your child’s body will be able to resist harmful microorganisms that cause illnesses.
With your young one seeing new places and having more social interactions, he or she is automatically exposed to disease-carrying bacteria and germs. In fact, once toddlers start preschool, most parents report more frequent occurrences of common illnesses in their little ones. At this stage, your child will be more prone to common afflictions such as colds, flu and cough.
This is because classrooms are perfect breeding grounds for disease-causing germs. The contamination of their surroundings is unavoidable when children have not yet properly mastered basic hygiene skills.
So, how do you protect your toddler from common bugs? Here are six tried and tested ways to boost his or her immune system:
1. Disinfect surfaces with vinegar.
The acidity in vinegar can kill common bacteria and germs; it can make household surfaces sparkle as well. Vinegar can also get rid of unpleasant smells that can trigger respiratory issues.
It is worth noting, too, that cleaning your home with vinegar can get rid of toxic particles in the air. This is why painters suggest spraying and wiping surfaces with vinegar after a paint job to quickly get rid of the toxic scent of paint.
More importantly, vinegar is not harmful at all for young children and pets.
2. Help your child develop healthy eating habits.
Make sure that your toddler eats a lot of colorful fruits and vegetables. If possible, serve these raw because they are more nutritious and richer in fiber when they have not been cooked. Instead of giving your child the most convenient snacks, always opt to serve food in its natural state.
And speaking of fiber, it plays a crucial role in boosting the immune system. One of the most important facts about fiber is how it moves food and nutrients throughout the body effectively. As it does that, it also grabs unhealthy particles in the system so they can be expelled from the body.
Reward your child whenever he or she makes the deliberate decision to eat healthy food even when there are other options around. This is the best way to reinforce the message of health and good behavior.
3. Avoid giving sugary treats.
Sugar is the enemy of a healthy body. It can arrest and weaken the immune system, preventing the body’s natural immunity from effectively warding off pathogens.
Sugary drinks and candies are particularly bad for toddlers’ health. Apart from compromising their health, the white sugar content of these types of junk food puts the little ones on a sugar high, which can make them behave uncontrollably before conking out.
If your children are looking for something sweet, turn to natural options such as honey, stevia, and coconut nectar to name a few. Or, simply serve them ripe fruits, which are naturally sweet and nutritious.
4. Give your child nutrient-rich milk.
Toddlers, particularly picky eaters, should be given nutrient-rich milk. One of the main advantages of continuing to regularly give your toddler milk is it can supply the nutrients little ones miss out on when they do not eat well. Also, milk is quite a versatile food. You can prepare it in different ways so it’s always an interesting treat for the kids.
For example, you can mix soft baby food to it such as fruit purée to create a thick smoothie, or even popsicles (perfect during the summer).
5. Encourage your little one to drink water more often.
Although devoid of essential nutrients, water supports the immune system by keeping the body refreshed and flushing out toxins from the body. So, wherever your child goes — be it school or playdates with friends — always pack a tall bottle of cold water for him or her.
If your child finds water too plain or boring, make it a bit more interesting by flavoring it with cucumber and lemon slices or other fresh fruit.
6. Massage your little one.
Massage helps with lymph drainage and in getting rid of toxins from the body. Likewise, it can improve your child’s quality of sleep, which is vital to cell regeneration. Giving your little one a gentle massage also contributes to strengthening the parent-child connection so essential in child development.
So, if your toddler often feels under the weather, these are the effective methods you should implement to boost his or her immune system and keep diseases at bay.