6 immune-boosting foods for your child’s lunchbox

Posted on April 29th, 2019

Boosting your child’s immune system is a huge part of helping her fight winter illnesses. Besides multivitamin supplements, one of the best ways to do this is through diet. By Fedhealth

6 immune-boosting foods for your child's lunchbox

Winter inevitably means the presence of runny noses, coughs and sniffles. Boosting your child’s immune system is a huge part of helping her fight winter illnesses. Besides multivitamin supplements, one of the best ways to do this is through including immune-boosting foods in her diet. But what if your child is a fussy eater? How do you get her to eat the right foods that will help keep her immune system healthy?

ALSO SEE: Top secrets from parents whose kids rarely get colds and flu in winter

Sneak these immune-boosting foods into your child’s lunchbox:

Oranges

Oranges are packed with vitamin C, but they also contain phytonutrients that have strong anti-inflammatory properties. Stick to the actual fruit cut up into quarters rather than orange juice, which usually comes packaged with added sugar and preservatives. If your child isn’t a fan of oranges, try naartjies, which are slightly sweeter and softer – and much easier to peel and pack in a lunchbox.

Blueberries

Almost all berries are a good option for boosting young immune systems, but blueberries are extra special because they’re also high in anti-inflammatory antioxidants. As an added bonus, they’re sweet and delicious, so they’ll typically appeal to young palates.

ALSO SEE: Blueberry-and-coconut breakfast muffins

Kiwis

Like citrus, kiwi fruit is packed with vitamin C, but also with potassium and vitamin K that help your body fight infection. Kiwi is also a winter fruit, so you’ll be buying them in season, which means they’re easier to find and generally less expensive than during summer.

Yoghurt

Yoghurt is a great source of vitamin D, which helps strengthen and regulate the immune system. Plus, the probiotics in yoghurt help your child’s gut function optimally (that is, as long as they’re dairy tolerant). Steer clear of the flavoured yoghurts full of sugar and preservatives and stick to full cream or double cream plain yoghurt. To make it more appealing to a sweet tooth, serve it with a squeeze of honey, a sprinkle of raisins or chopped apple on top.

ALSO SEE: The nutritional benefits of yoghurt for kids

Honey

Honey contains antioxidants as well as excellent antibacterial properties that make it an effective immune booster, as well as helping to soothe cold symptoms like sore throats. Best of all, it’s deliciously sweet, but much healthier for your child than sweets or other sugary foods. It can be hard to serve in a lunchbox, so drizzle it over a pot of yoghurt, or add it as a topping on sandwiches.

Almonds

We all know about the benefits of vitamin C for fighting colds and flu, but vitamin E is another vital element for a healthy immune system. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, so it needs to be consumed with fat in order to be absorbed. Nuts, like almonds, are crammed with vitamin E, but also contain healthy fats, creating the perfect environment for your body to absorb it. Almonds are delicious and easy to store and pack into a lunchbox – just make sure your child’s school doesn’t have a nut-free policy.

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