When we think of health, we think in terms of wellness and freedom from illness. Of course, both these aspects aren’t mutually exclusive, which is why health care today has a more holistic approach involving mental and physical well-being. But healthcare isn’t just about treatment either – it’s also about prevention. And one aspect of prevention is making our bodies strong enough to resist disease; i.e. increasing our immunity.
As Moms, our first concern is obviously the health of our children – above and over ourselves! It’s a common sight – just as the season begins to change, our kids start getting sick and pediatricians’ offices get crowded. Some kids may routinely get sick, falling prey to one infection after another. Missing classes due to illnesses leads to lowered academic performance and a decreased quality of life overall.
All Moms would love to take steps to increase their child’s immunity, but there is a lot of confusion regarding this area. To clear the air, we’ve put together a list of common misconceptions regarding childhood immunity, and we’re going to tackle them one by one!
Common Misconceptions regarding Childhood Immunity
- Kids have naturally weaker immune systems
True. Kids’ immune systems are weaker than adults, which mean they are more vulnerable to certain illnesses than adults have. However, you can set the base for good immunity in adulthood by ensuring right steps in childhood.
- A child of normal weight and height will have sufficient immunity
False. It is true that kids who are underweight are much more likely to have lowered immunity, possibly due to a nutritional issue. However, this does not mean that just because a child is within the right height and weight for her age, she is sure to have good immunity, since it depends on various other factors as well.
- Immunity is entirely dependent on nutrition
False. Immunity is dependent on several factors, of which nutrition is just one. Physical activity, sleep and stress all play important roles in deciding the immunity of a child. Besides these, following a proper schedule for vaccinations keeps kids safe from other preventive diseases.
- A child’s immunity can be improved before birth
True. You can work on your baby’s immunity while she is still in-utero. The mother’s nutrition has a direct effect on the baby’s health and immunity, and exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months plays a huge role as well
5. Picky eaters can never have good immunity
False. It is normal for a child to go through phases of picky eating, but this does not mean that her immunity needs to suffer. A good multivitamin supplement in addition to her daily meals helps in ensuring that she gets the essential nutrients to strengthen her immune system.
There is not a single parent who hasn’t had to deal with picky eating at least once in their life, and that’s why this is an issue everyone can understand. Being fussy is just a normal developmental stage, but it can have ramifications on the child’s nutrition. Rather than forcing the child to eat and creating an unhealthy attitude to food, it’s wiser to just let the phase pass.
In the meantime, you can supplement the child’s diet with a good multivitamin to make up for lost nutrients and to maintain her immunity.
While there are several multivitamin supplements available today, not all of them specifically help to boost immunity. As you can see, building a good immune system for your child isn’t as hard as you thought! It’s time we do our best to boost the immunity of our little ones.
I very often hear this from my MIL saying that spicy food will increase immunity in children. I have 5 yr old girl and one year old boy. My daughter doesn’t eat much spicy food and for my son I follow the recipes from ur site. I’m not able to ignore/believe that it will increase the immune system.
Anything in moderation is good. Your MIL is partially right, spicy foods contain an ingredient called capsaicin, this helps to relieve pain and ward off the germs which can cause sickness. By that way it helps in boosting immunity. Fermented foods can also help in boosting immunity. But too much of anything is not good.
Sayana Manoj says
Good information . Normally we don’t care of such things. Thanks and wishes…