Allanah Robinson-Cook – Naturopath

Naturopathic tips to help you and your little ones to get through the cold & flu season.

Why do kids get sick more often?

Immature immune systems have not yet been exposed to new environments, germs, and pathogens. This is especially noticeable in children attending childcare or school – their immune system can be exhausted as it’s constantly under attack. A robust immune system means that even when our child is surrounded by sick children, they will be far less likely to develop symptoms of infection or can recover much faster.

Key dietary considerations:

  • Lots of colourful fruits and vegetables (“rainbow plates”). Make this fun (or hidden if you need to!) – mix spinach into smoothies, grated carrot and apple into oats etc.
  • Healthy fats (eg. Fatty fish, avocado, nuts, seeds, high-quality olive oil etc.)
  • Fermented foods & drinks (kefir, natural yoghurt, tempeh, and miso) – again, these foods can easily be sneakily added into favourite foods (eg. mixing miso paste into a creamy pasta sauce).

Key nutrients for paediatric immunity:

  • Vitamin C – a potent antioxidant that can strengthen natural defences against any nasties. It can also reduce the length and severity of a cold.
  • Vitamin D – the key immune modulator. Supplementation is extra protective against acute respiratory infections.
  • Vitamin A – a key nutrient for optimal immune function. A Vitamin A deficiency will increase the risk of getting sick.
  • Zinc – has a direct anti-viral effect and is vital in white blood cell production. It also helps to block histamine, reducing runny noses!
  • Omega 3’s – potent anti-inflammatory. A great option for supplementation is a high- quality Cod Liver Oil supplement, as this also contains both Vitamin D and Vitamin A!
  • Elderberry – A super powerful immune booster (and far less yucky than some others!).
  • Probiotics – improves gut bacteria diversity.