It’s officially sickness season! There’s no surefire way to keep our kids from getting sick, but there are things we can do to make it less likely that they’ll get sick a million times a month.
A poll by Petits Filous found that 51% of parents say their biggest worry this time of year is juggling work obligations when their child gets sick.
Nearly a third (30%) said that their children get sick about twice a month in the fall. To be honest, we’re shocked that it’s not more.
Right now, a lot of different bugs are going around, such as Covid-19, the flu, RSV, and hand, foot, and mouth. To help parents protect their children’s health, nutritionist Dr. Carrie Ruxton has shared her top food choices.
1. Take a bite of the rainbow
Eat lots of fruits and veggies to get your daily five-a-day. They are high in vitamins A and C. Not at all. It doesn’t mean buying all the berries in the world and going broke.
“Remember that all kinds count toward this goal,” Dr. Ruxton said. “This includes baked beans, dried fruit, frozen or canned vegetables, and one glass of 100% fruit juice every day.”
2. Important vitamins
The chef also wants parents to pay attention to foods that are fortified, like yogurt and fromage frais. She said, “Vitamin D deficiency is very common in the UK because of our diets, lifestyles, and weather. About 16% of children in the UK are deficient in vitamin D.”
All year long, kids ages one to four should take a vitamin D supplement every day (10 micrograms of the stuff). This is because food and sunshine alone don’t always give us enough vitamin D.
3. The sun is up
Eggs have a lot of folate and B12, which are known to help the immune system, said Dr. Ruxton.
Her advice was to make a Spanish-style omelette with peppers, potatoes, and peas to change things up from boiled or fried eggs.
“Alternatively, making pancakes at home with bananas is another great way to feed your child eggs.”
4. Eating smart snacks
The dietitian tells parents to “make snacks count” when their kids are hungry. It’s easy to give them a chip or carrot puffs when they’re hungry.
She suggests making a “picky platter” with peppers, unsalted nuts (crushed or flaked if under five years old), dried apricots, easy-peel citrus fruits, and carrot sticks instead of giving them empty calories like sweets and chips.
5. Drink lots and lots of water
Staying hydrated is important for your health as a whole. If your child doesn’t like drinking water, Dr. Ruxton says to make “spa water” by adding slices of fruit like cucumber, orange, or berries to it.
She also said, “Kids can try mixing different fruits to make their own flavored water, which will help them drink more water.”
6. The vitamin sea
The dietitian also said that foods that are high in zinc and selenium are a “goldmine” for your immune system.
“Try giving them fish a few times a week,” she suggested. “This could be grilled salmon, tuna in a can, or even fish fingers.”
Cheers to a (hopefully) better winter!