Immunity is a hot topic at the moment because of the global COVID-19 situation. But the truth is, immunity should be trending every day – and not just because of the coronavirus pandemic. Before the pandemic, 64% of parents globally reported being worried about their child’s immune system and resistance to disease.¹
UNICEF calls the first 1 000 days of a child’s life the “brain’s window of opportunity”. This is the developmental phase where the long-term foundations of immunity, health and cognitive function are established. More than ever, during this period, the right combination of nutrients, vitamins and minerals gives little bodies a fighting chance at healthy, productive lives.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), in a child’s formative years – particularly the first six months – breastfeeding has been shown to boost brain and physical health in the long-term. From 6 months onwards, though, their needs change.
At birth infants’ immune systems are immature, but rapidly develop to respond to external stimuli throughout infancy and from the age of 6-months, they need more nutrients to optimise and support a more powerful immune system. Adding the right complementary foods to a breastfeeding regime are a big help. They promote healthy minds, bodies and bones, and keep the little one’s energy levels right where they should be.
As they traverse the vital growth phase from 6 months to five-years old, there are other little healthy “value-adds” that can help too.
Fight the fuss
As most moms who have young kids will be well aware, little children can be quite fussy. For toddlers, tastes and textures become increasingly important. You can’t just “mash and serve” or “blend a bowl” anymore. As children explore their new world for the first time, they can get bored very quickly.
So, you may have to look for more creative ways of giving them the immune-enhancing vitamin C and Zinc benefits to support optimal immune function, infection-fighting vitamin A boosts, energy-producing vitamin B infusions and all the other nutrients and minerals they need. Try to keep it interesting with baby food recipesthat provide a bit of variety.
As the months get colder, with colds and flu popping up everywhere, the health benefits of vitamin C take centre stage. Vitamin C helps to shorten the duration and protects them from colds and flu,²– so now is the time to give them that protective citrus boost.
For a bit of inspiration, here are some tips on “immunity-Boosting Foods for Kids” from whattoexpect.com. The Citrus Crush recipe is a tasty and healthy option for winter that will keep their taste buds active and their health top-of-mind.
Add a sprinkle of immune-building goodness
A deficiency in essential MicroNurtients can have a negative effect on the immune system and leads to reduced resistance against disease and infection³. MixMe® Vitamin and Mineral Powder sachets can help you get those fussy little palates to take in the 15 essential vitamins and minerals that are often lacking in the basic diets of children from 6 months to 5-years of age – and they won’t even know it’s there.
Sometimes referred to as multiple MicroNutrient Powder (MNP), MixMe® doesn’t change the colour or taste of the food that it is added to. Just sprinkle the sachet onto the complementary food the child is eating.
|MixMe® Vitamin and Mineral powder promotes healthy body and brain development, immuno-response, and can even help develop a healthy appetite. Find out more about MixMe® here, or buy MixMe® online here.|
- DSM, ‘Global health concerns’, (report), 2017.
- V. Elste et al., ‘Emerging evidence on neutrophil motility supporting its usefulness to define vitamin C intake requirements”, Nutrients, vol. 9, no 5, 2017, p. 1- 16.
- British Society of Immunology, Immunodeficiency, (website), 2017, hhtps://www.immunology.org/policy-and-public-affairs/briefings-and-position-statements/immunodeficiency (accessed 29 November 2018).