A person is born completely unadapted to the conditions of the external environment. In the first months of life, the infant is protected by the maternal antibodies passed on to him in the womb. The body of a baby under one year old does not have its own, adaptive immunity and is just beginning to form it, and therefore is most susceptible to viral and bacterial infections. Children in general get sick more often than adults, which is aggravated during the period of their socialization. Therefore, from the first weeks of a baby’s life, it is important to begin to form his immune response to external stimuli. At the same time, one should try to avoid factors that slow down the formation of immunity – dysbiosis, allergic reactions and colds.
What affects immunity and how to help a child to raise it?
Healthy balanced diet
One of the reasons for the weakening of immunity is a violation of the intestinal microflora caused by an imbalance of beneficial and pathogenic bacteria, when the number of beneficial bifido-, lacto- and other bacteria decreases in the body, while colonies of pathogenic ones, on the contrary, are actively multiplying. This can occur due to improper or unbalanced nutrition, as well as due to a violation of the diet, as a result of which the body begins to experience a lack of certain substances. All this contributes not only to the suppression of intestinal flora, but also vitamin deficiency. In young children, the phenomenon of vitamin deficiency is most common, since their gastrointestinal tract is not yet ready to independently produce and accumulate many micronutrients. And of course, this greatly affects the immune system, as a result of which the child is constantly sick.
To prevent a violation of the natural intestinal microflora and its consequences, it is necessary to establish a diet, as well as form a correct diet. After a year, a baby who is already familiar with most food products should be provided with a dietary variety rich in all the necessary biological active substances.
Vitamins and food
It is necessary for the formation and growth of cells in all tissues of the body; strengthens the retina of the eye, improving color perception and visual acuity, is responsible for the correct functioning of the reproductive system. Strengthens the protective function of the nasopharyngeal mucosa and promotes the activation of leukocytes, thereby increasing immunity. This trace element is fat-soluble and tends to accumulate in the body, and therefore it is recommended to consume foods with its high content in moderation.
Products with vitamin A
Liver, egg yolk, butter, hard cheeses, black caviar, carrots, pumpkin, greens, red peppers, tomatoes, apricots, rose hips, etc.
Includes 20 elements, each of which has its own health benefits. In aggregate, several very different functions can be distinguished for which vitamins of this group are responsible: ensuring the full functioning of the internal organs, nervous and other systems of the body; synthesis of hemoglobin, good condition of the skin, hair and nails, strengthening of vision, metabolism, etc. The effect is achieved with the complex use of substances of group B.
|Foods high in B vitamins|
|IN 1||Meat, cottage cheese, buckwheat and oatmeal, bran, peanuts, yeast, vegetables, garlic, legumes, raisins and other dried fruits|
|IN 2||Hard cheeses, bread, peas, garlic, pork and beef kidneys, almonds|
|B3 and B5||Chicken and quail eggs, fish, liver, milk, nuts, yeast, broccoli|
|AT 6||Meat, avocado, garlic, corn, spinach, walnuts, grain sprouts, sweet potatoes, potatoes|
|AT 7||Liver, legumes, cauliflower, tomatoes, nuts, yeast, wheat flour, rice bran, melon, strawberries|
|AT 9||Fish, meat, eggs, herbs, vegetables, tropical fruits, legumes, nuts, cereals, mint, nettle, plantain, currants, raspberries, porcini mushrooms|
|AT 12||Beef and pork liver, rabbit, cottage cheese, low-fat kefir, herring, mackerel, trout, chum salmon|
By the way, an excess of B vitamins is no less harmful than their deficiency. Therefore, it is recommended to consult with a specialist regarding the daily intake of nutrients depending on age.
Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid)
Influences all systems and organs of the human body. The spectrum of action affects such vital processes as metabolism, the vital activity of internal organs, the growth of cells of bone, cartilaginous and epithelial tissues, and the absorption of iron. Being a powerful antioxidant, it removes harmful substances, perfectly strengthens and protects the immune system.
Foods rich in vitamin C
Citrus fruits, kiwi, rose hips, black currants, sea buckthorn, viburnum, cranberries, red peppers, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, all varieties of cabbage, liver, kidneys.
Vitamins of group D
An essential element for the child’s body, it is vital for the growth of bones and teeth and for ensuring the density of connective tissues. Thanks to vitamin D, the body absorbs calcium and phosphorus, which prevents the development of rickets. It strengthens the immune system, reduces the risk of skin, cardiovascular and oncological diseases, participates in the structure of the central nervous system.
It is very important to give the child a dose of vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) prescribed by the pediatrician for prevention until a certain age. It is believed that this substance is better absorbed in the morning. Vitamin D3 is synthesized in the skin of the body during exposure to the open sun, which is why frequent walks in the fresh air are desirable. However, it is almost impossible to get it in the right amount in a natural way. For the prevention of vitamin deficiency in the summer, as a rule, they take a water-based solution, and in the winter – on an oil-based one, however, in each individual case, you should consult a doctor for a recommendation.
Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) enters the body with food.
High content of D2
Fish oil, liver of fatty fish, eggs (chicken and quail), alfalfa, parsley, corn oil, fatty dairy products (cream, sour cream, milk)
Participates in the process of blood coagulation and strengthening of the walls of blood vessels, is responsible for the condition of bone tissue. The digestive system of babies does not work well and is not yet able to synthesize vitamin K on its own, and therefore they often have a deficiency.
Healthy foods with vitamin K
Broccoli, avocado, spinach, lettuce, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, romano salad, kiwi, grapes, vegetable oils
Natural antioxidant, on which the ability and strength of the body’s immune response to external stimuli largely depends. It is he who helps the absorption of vitamin A, and is also responsible for the full development of the child at any age. Vitamin E strengthens the cardiovascular system, muscles and accelerates tissue recovery after damage, increases endurance. A sufficient amount of vitamin E in the body makes the child active and healthy.
Foods fortified with vitamin E
Beef and beef liver, sea fish, potatoes, onions, spinach, legumes, apples, apricots, blueberries, sea buckthorn, dairy products, eggs, sunflower seeds, nuts
Cooking healthy foods for children needs to be done correctly. So, vegetables have the greatest value raw, but if you want to cook them, then it is better not to cook them, but to steam them. Frozen meat and fish should be thawed at + 1–4 ° C in the refrigerator. It is not recommended to defrost food in water. By following these simple rules, you will preserve most of the nutritional composition of your food.
Features of baby food
All of the listed trace elements must be present in the child’s diet, because the lack of any of them can weaken his immunity. Having formed the correct and varied menu, in the future you should not drastically change the nature of the diet, since this can cause a negative reaction in a fragile child’s body.
It is also important to prepare juices, compotes, decoctions and fruit drinks for the child, because they contain minerals that are preserved during cooking. At the same time, these drinks can be drunk even by babies prone to allergies, since most of the allergens are neutralized. It is still too early for newborns to give healthy drinks, they can be introduced into complementary foods from 6 months, making the concentration weak. A baby at 1 year old is allowed to consume one glass of compote per day. After 6 years, this volume can be increased.
Fermented milk products are of great benefit for the formation and strengthening of the child’s immunity. Children between the ages of three and seven are most susceptible to infections, and it is important to make sure that there are cottage cheese, kefir or fermented baked milk in their menu. Drinks prepared with the “Evita Lia” sourdough (you can buy it at the pharmacy) have a significant effect on strengthening the immune system. They contain a large amount of probiotics and beneficial microorganisms that normalize intestinal function.
Children who consume fermented milk products twice a day get sick much less often and tolerate diseases more easily.
Another reason why children often get colds is violation of the daily routine. Lack of sleep and untimely bedding, lack of outdoor games and fresh air – all this negatively affects the immune system.
The correct organization of the daily routine involves:
- Morning exercises.
- Hygienic procedures, hardening and massage (especially important for infants and one-year-old children. Mom can do it herself at home for the child).
- Timely meals.
- Walks in the open air.
- It is advisable to visit the pool.
- Daytime sleep (at the age of 1 to 1.5 years, it takes 2-2.5 hours twice a day, from 2 to 3 years – 1.5-2 hours and from 4 to 7 years – 1-2 hours. Newborn babies sleep about 20 hours a day.)
- Active games and physical activity.
Parents need to surround their child with attention and care at any age. So, you need to prepare for kindergarten or school in advance. The stress caused by the unfamiliar environment and the absence of loved ones nearby can significantly weaken the child’s immunity. By the age of 8, the child’s body is already strong enough, but due to the unusual increased stress at school, it needs no less attention. At 12-13 years old, with the onset of puberty, it is also important to monitor the adolescent’s daily routine, his correct and varied diet, physical and psychological health.
How to restore a child’s immune system after illness
For treatment, one should choose not only effective, but also safe medicines. However, serious diseases of the disease require the use of antibiotics that destroy the balance of the intestinal microflora. After suffering an illness, the child’s weak immunity requires special control.
- Follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations on how to boost your child’s immunity. The pediatrician will prescribe exactly those medications and dietary supplements that the child needs for the recovery period.
- Talk to your doctor about physical therapy courses. Home inhalations with herbal decoctions, sea water and aromatic oils – pine, eucalyptus, juniper, cedar, fir, lemon are effective and harmless.
- The key to recovery is an abundant warm drink. Prepare teas and other healthy drinks for your child at home using recipes for folk remedies with natural ingredients. Rosehip, St. John’s wort, chamomile, oregano, lemon, mint, raspberry are indispensable ingredients for restoring weakened children’s immunity. And of course add some honey if your child is not allergic to it.
- Eliminate sugar, fatty foods, spices, and fried foods from your baby’s diet. Better to steam or boil food. Be sure to include in the menu fermented milk products, garlic and onions, nuts, fresh vegetables, fruits and berries, and dried fruits.
- Observe the daily routine. Pay attention to hygiene, especially if your baby is under 5 years old. Children bring viruses and pathogenic bacteria from the street, so make sure they wash their hands thoroughly.
- Damp mop and ventilate rooms regularly.
- At first, avoid significant physical exertion on a weakened body. Over time, you can return to your previous activities and start hardening.