5 practical ways to help support your toddler’s immune system
5 practical ways to help support your toddler’s immune system By Mim Jenkinson
Most parents of toddlers have suffered with the dreaded bugs that seem to spread like wildfire to the whole family.
So it isn’t surprising that many parents actively seek ways to support their child’s immune system and their resistance to catching bugs.
Whether you’re sending your little one to childcare for the first time, embarking on your first family holiday or organising playdates with friends, you want to support the wellness of your child, right?
But what does the immune system do?
Our immune system is made up of a complex network of cells, tissues and organs and help protect us from infection. You can find out about how the immune system works to protect against, and fight, infections here.
In this article, we’re sharing some tips on easy and practical changes your family can make to help promote a strong, healthy immune system for your toddler.
You might find that you’ve already incorporated some of these into how you’re raising your little one. Others might give you food for thought – literally!
Sponsored by Biostime.
5 ways to support your toddler’s immunity
1. Fill up on the right food
One of the first places to start when you’re looking to boost immunity is the food your child eats.
Unsurprisingly, fresh fruit, veggies and whole foods are the best options here. Sugar is believed to suppress the immune system so try to cut this down.
Encourage them to eat a varied diet that includes immune boosting foods for toddlers, such as:
- fresh veggies
- whole fruits
- nuts and seeds
As well as cooking healthy meals at home, keep a check on what your little one is drinking too.
Avoid sugary cordials and watch out for the added sugars and concentrates in some fruit juices.
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It also contains zinc, iron, vitamin C, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, folic acid, vitamin D and vitamin A to contribute to normal immune system function*.
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Biostime SN-2 BIO PLUS™ is currently the only certified organic toddler milk drink that is formulated with both prebiotics and probiotics, available in Australia.
Always read the label. Follow the directions for use. Nutritional supplements should not replace a balanced diet.
*The above health effects must be considered in the context of a healthy and varied diet.
2. Get them active
Fresh air and activity are a great combination to promote the health of your toddler.
Plus, giving them time to run around in the daytime might mean an easier sleep in the evening! Let’s face it, that is going to benefit the whole family.
Whether it’s a play in your back yard, a walk to the local park or a trip to the beach, try to schedule in some outdoor play as much as possible.
3. But let them relax too
Allowing your little one to have time to relax their minds and bodies can help to reduce any potential for stress.
Find ways to let them play calmly and schedule rest times into each day so they can take a break.
4. Teach good hygiene
One of the best ways to stop the spread of infection is to teach your little ones to wash their hands correctly, from a young age.
Find a soap that foams to help make hand-washing fun and have it in a place they can always reach themselves.
We all know how toddlers love to do things ‘all by myself’ – let hand-washing be one of the first skills they master!
5. Encourage better sleep
A good night’s sleep is essential for children (and parents!) but isn’t always guaranteed, especially in younger kids.
The National Sleep Foundation advises that “babies, children, and teens need significantly more sleep than adults to support their rapid mental and physical development.”
They recommend a bedtime of 7-8pm for babies and kids up to school age, and that toddlers sleep between 11 to 14 hours in a 24-hour period.
Setting a bedtime routine that calms your child at the end of the day is essential to better sleep. Sticking with the same routine – including bath-time, getting changed, stories and a drink before being tucked up into bed – all helps with this calming process.
Keep their sleep environment free of clutter and bright lights too.
We want to protect our children, although runny noses, coughs and colds can be unavoidable (hello, daycare!). These simple and practical tips can help you to support your child’s immune function.
If you want to know more about how Biostime can help you support your toddler, including Biostime SN-2 BIO PLUS™ Premium Organic Toddler Milk Drink and Biostime Infant Probiotics with Vitamin D, click here.