QuestionsCategory: Child DevelopmentWhat foods are good for a child’s immune system (question emailed to Riverside Cares)
Riverside Cares Staff asked 5 months ago
1 Answers
Riverside Cares Staff answered 5 months ago

Jill: 
Thanks for the excellent question. It’s uppermost on so many parent’s mind at the moment how to keep their children healthy. Most important is good hygiene. Frequent hand washing is very important as well as staying active, eating well and staying at home. A normal balanced healthy diet will support a child’s immune system. There aren’t, in isolation, specific ‘immune-boosting’ foods. Supporting the immune system is more about having a healthy lifestyle, getting enough exercise, eating a variety of healthy foods in a balanced diet and getting enough sleep.
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There is some evidence to suggest that foods high in Omega-3 fatty acids have health benefits. Foods rich in omega -3 are oily fish (salmon, mackerel, herring, fresh tuna), vegetable and rapeseed oils, walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, flaxseeds and green leafy vegetables. White fish (like haddock, plaice, cod and coley) also contain some omega-3 albeit in lower doses. Ideally try and include fish in your childs diet a couple of times a week. If you child is not a fan of straight fish you could offer fish cake, salmon fingers or fatitaj with salmon. There are lots of recipes available so be creative.

Of course encouraging children to eat fruit and vegetables which are a good source of vitamins and minerals can also help keep a child healthy.

As children are getting out less you may consider if your child is getting enough vitamin D, younger children may be a supplement already, the NHS has some useful advice:
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/how-to-get-vitamin-d-from-sunlight/

Staying in is a challenge but can also be an opportunity to experiment and teach your children how to cook healthy meals.