How to boost immunity in children during winter?

Winter has arrived, bringing common cold, flu, and a lot more diseases along with it. This is the season that gets all the parents worried about their children’s health. Children are often prone to such infections because of their not-so-strong or underdeveloped immune systems.
Taking care of the child’s routine and food consumption becomes indispensable for all the parents especially during winters. Children’s immunity should always be kept in check to prevent them from getting infected easily. Despite being infected, our children should be physically strong enough to fight the disease and for that boosting their immunity is vital.
Before diving into the details, parents should know that children follow their actions regardless of good or bad. If we want our children to maintain a good and healthy lifestyle, we should follow it first.
A few ways to boost immunity in children during winter are listed below:
1. Enforce proper nutrition

Food plays a major role in boosting immunity and keeping our children naturally healthy. If the right kind of food is consumed at the right time, children do not need any additional supplements in the present or even during their adulthood. Fruits like orange, sweet lime, and pomegranate are citrus fruits that are rich in vitamin C which is popular for its immunity-boosting property. Papaya, guava, and custard apple are rich in digestive enzymes that promote good digestion in children.
Vegetables are rich in fibre and antioxidants that support the immune system and keep your children away from all diseases. Veggies like capsicum, broccoli, spinach and carrots are great sources of vitamin A, C, and E. When it comes to boosting your child’s immunity; garlic is the best option that cannot be replaced by any other food. Nutritionists say that garlic does not lose its benefits when cooked and a single clove is sufficient to increase immunity.
Choose food options that are organic or free of chemicals. Exposing children to food loaded with artificial ingredients can have long-term effects on their health. There are several brands such as Gerber, Ella’s Kitchen, Holle Organic and Hipp Organic that specialise in organic food and snacks for children.  Adding dry fruits and nuts to our children’s diet is crucial to keep their immune systems in check. Almonds, cashews, walnuts, and pistachios have plenty of vitamin A, B, E, protein, omega3 fatty acids, and much more. These foods are the most common ones that every parent is heard of, but the more common they sound the more important they are.
2. Ensure a healthy stomach

A healthy stomach is the only way to achieve an entirely good immune system. Children nowadays show more interest in junk and unhealthy food, which as a result makes them a victim of several diseases.
Good bacteria are necessary for proper digestion and overall stomach health. Foods that our children consume can impact the kind of bacteria created in their stomach. The above-mentioned food items work great in maintaining a healthy gut. In addition to those, fermented foods like yoghurt, soybean milk, and prebiotics increase the number of good bacteria, keeping your child away from various diseases.
3. Adequate amount of sleep
The amount of sleep affects the overall health of your child. Children without sufficient sleep often seem tired, weak, and prone to common diseases. They also tend to be in a bad mood throughout the day and may perform poorly in school.
Sound sleep should be one of the top priorities for children to maintain a healthy lifestyle. A good amount of sleep not only during winters but in all seasons will prepare the children for an active and healthy day. Make sure your child gets the right amount of sleep by creating a proper sleep routine. The American Academy of sleep medicine (AASM) states the amount of sleep children require:
Age of the child Hours of sleep required
1 to 2 years – 11 to 14 hours
3 to 5 years – 10 to 13 hours
6 to 12 years – 9 to 12 hours
13 to 18 years – 8 to 10 hours
4. Encourage more playtime
Here, playtime means physical and outdoor activities. Physical games have currently been reduced to a great extent as our children find video games more interesting. Parents are not to be blamed as they get busy with their jobs. But it’s high time that they start noticing their children’s activities and encourage them to play more outdoor games.
As we all know, weather conditions during winters are pretty harsh outside. You can take precautions by dressing them up in proper winter clothes, sunscreen, and letting them play outside. Physical activities like running around and playing will keep them active and energetic. When they sweat out, all the toxins are eliminated from their body leaving them fresh and healthy.
5. Teach them hygiene
Last but not the least, teaching your basic hygiene will protect them from being infected by harmful germs. Winters being the season of several common diseases, five among ten people are infected. This can be avoided to a great extent by following proper hygiene.
 Proper hygiene includes:
●  A daily bath
●  Washing hands frequently
●  Using hand sanitizers
●  Not putting hands in their mouth or nose
●  Not sharing foods and drinks that are half consumed
Winter is no more a season to be scared about our children getting infected. With the right actions taken at the right time, our children will grow up to be strong and healthy adults. Paying more attention and allotting extra time for them can be a great help to keep them fit. The above-mentioned ways if inculcated in your children’s daily routine will improve their immunity.
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