Seven Ways You Can Supercharge Your Baby's Immune System
Date: Wednesday, Sep 23, 2020
What you can do to help with the development of your child's immune system - seven tips that cover diet, exercise and hygiene!
Children with weak immune systems easily pick up all sorts of viruses. They are often exposed to various germs and viruses, so it's common for them to catch colds and the flu on the regular. In Singapore, pre-school children catch an average of at least six colds a year.1 Each time a child gets sick, they develop new antibodies that protect them against future exposures. Without the time and experience to build up immunity to disease-causing viruses, kids are more prone to illnesses than grown-ups. It’s up to parents to help their children boost their immune systems. Here are some ways to do it.
Everyone knows that fruits and vegetables are extremely healthy foods – but did you know that they also strengthen our immune systems? These foods contain essential vitamins as well as phytonutrients that bolster our body’s ability to ward off disease.
Colourful fruits and veggies are especially beneficial; put lots of carrots, sweet potatoes and oranges on your kid’s plate. Berries are also good for our immune systems, so have them handy as a snack for the little ones.
Beyond these natural foods, you can supplement your kid’s diet with other sources of vital nutrients as well. Certain milk formulas contain ingredients like sn-2 palmitate, which promotes the growth of healthy gut microbiota, strengthening your child’s immune system along the way. 2
Let them sleep
Children need to get adequate rest for their immune systems to thrive. Sleep-deprived kids suffer from elevated stress levels, and over-produce stress hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol which weaken their immune systems.3
Their diet may have something to do with better sleep: introduce foods or formula enriched with sn-2 palmitate, which has been shown to reduce crying and improve sleep duration.4
Make sure you also enforce bedtime for kids: toddlers and young children should get between 10 and 13 hours of sleep each day. 5
Take them outdoors
Fresh air and sunshine are important for babies and young children. Being outside in the fresh air boosts children's immune systems, and also helps with the production of Vitamin D. This vitamin helps our bodies absorb calcium for stronger bones and also boosts our immunity.
Thankfully, there's no shortage of sunshine in Singapore, so this won't be a problem for you and your baby. Just ensure that your baby isn't exposed to direct sunlight for too long; try to keep it under 20 minutes at a time.6
Keep them hydrated
Drinking lots of water will help your child slow the buildup of mucus in their nasal passages, and help their bodies cope against toxins which could otherwise build up and affect kids' immunity. A healthy water intake also helps to regulate their body temperature. Children aged between one and two should have one to three glasses (250ml) of water a day. If your child is three to six years old, give them three to five glasses of water a day.7
Practice good hand hygiene
Get your child into the habit of washing their hands with soap and water from a young age. Children pick up germs easily from other kids especially, so wash their hands well in situations such as when they get home from playdates or playschool, before and after meals and after handling pets. Teach them the right way to do this, so that every hand-washing session effectively removes germs from their hands.
For babies, make sure anyone who has contact with them washes their hands before touching your child. This is especially important for babies under three months old, as a newborn's immunity is low. Don't forget to keep baby's toys clean too!
Source: Health Promotion Board
Get them vaccinated
Ensure that your child's vaccinations are up to date. Vaccinating is the best way to fight viruses, as children's immune system will then recognise the germ if they come into contact with it in the future and respond to it quickly.
Illuma Stage 3 Growing-Up Formula Milk Powder is suitable for children from one year and above. This advanced growing-up formula contains a unique combination of sn-2 palmitate and A2 β-casein, offering a range of nutritional and gastrointestinal benefits for your little one.
For more tips, Contact Us to chat with our friendly Club Illume consultants.
- 1. https://www.babybonus.msf.gov.sg/parentingresources/web/Newborn/NewbornIllness/NewbornCoughs_Colds/Newborn_Colds
- 2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23201699/
- 3. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/articles/childrens-stress-sleep
- 4. https://www.longdom.org/open-access/sn2palmitate-improves-crying-and-sleep-in-infants-fed-formula-withprebiotics-a-doubleblind-randomized-clinical-trial-2090-7214-1000263.pdf
- 5. https://www.sleepfoundation.org/excessive-sleepiness/support/how-much-sleep-do-babies-and-kids-need
- 6. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-to-boost-your-immune-system