Originally published on Forever Freckled by Katie Friedman.
When your child spikes a fever or is fighting a bad cough, it can disrupt the family routine and cause a lot of stress and fear. But having an infant suffering through an illness adds a whole other layer of stress and fear to your plate. There are so many options for older children to help prevent illness or relieve symptoms. But those options aren’t always approved for use in children under 2 years of age. These young toddlers and infants are high risk for contracting all sorts of colds, especially if they have older siblings in school, including influenza. So how can you boost your baby’s immune system during the worst time of year for illness?
4 Tips to Boost Baby’s Immune System
Treating an infant’s symptoms can be tricky – not only are babies often unable to receive the same medications as older children, but it is also harder to keep them healthy in the first place. Many of the vitamins we can give our older children are typically not recommended for children under age 2. So how do we keep our little ones safe from illness? These top tips will help boost your baby’s immune system this cold and flu season.
1. Foods with Immune Boosting Properties
A healthy diet is imperative to helping your baby fight off illness. Certain fruits and vegetables contain phytonutrients such as vitamin C and carotenoids, which can help to boost your child’s immune system. Strawberries, blueberries, oranges, green beans, and carrots contain antioxidants and phytonutrients that can help to increase your child’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells and interferons which will help them fight off illness.
Recently, we’ve found a great product that addresses both nutritional and immune building points for your baby. Little Spoon makes preservative-free, organic baby foods AND powdered supplements, such as vitamins, probiotics, and other natural remedies, for help with issues from immune health to constipation.
Because when it comes to your baby’s health, what you put in their body during the first 2 years of life is critical to their development.
Little Spoon’s Babyblends organic, fresh pureed foods are formulated for specific nutritional and health needs. On their website, you can even select foods based on the benefits you’re looking to achieve such as brain health, eye health, and overall immunity! Little Spoon takes all the guesswork out of creating a perfectly balanced meal for your little one.
During cold and flu season, I highly recommend any of the Babyblends baby foods. But I especially recommend those containing sweet potatoes or carrots. They are favorites this time of year in all our holiday meals, but they’re also great immune builders for your baby!
2. The Power of Supplemental Nutrition
You can’t always guarantee your child will eat the nutritious foods you put in front of them. Toddlers are notoriously picky eaters. And that’s exactly when you may need an extra boost of nutrition to ensure they stay healthy.
Little Spoon offers powdered nutritional supplements made with carefully sourced vitamins, minerals, and probiotics along with non-GMO, organic fruits and vegetables. The formulas are clean, powerful nutritional supplements you can easily mix into your baby’s food. Little Spoon collaborated with leading experts in food science and pediatric nutrition to develop their line of Boosters. They use only the purest, most nourishing ingredients.
Immune Boosting Supplements
As a pediatrician, I love the Little Spoon Sniffle Shield natural remedy as it provides a convenient and easy way to supply your baby with specific vitamins and antioxidants to help boost immunity. Sniffle Shield contains elderberry, one of my favorite natural remedies during cold and flu season.
Elderberry helps with brain development, immune coordination, digestion, and blood flow. But I love it most for its ability to strengthen immunity and fight off flu-like symptoms. Elderberries are rich in anthocyanins, pigments that boost the production of immune cytokines, helping the body defend against disease and illness. Elderberry also contains a potent antiviral agent called antivirin. The antivirin not only helps prevent viruses from invading cells but also prevents viruses from replicating. Elderberry can help shorten the time your little one will suffer from the symptoms of a virus, like a common cold or even the flu.
Keeping infants healthy can definitely be challenging during cold and flu season. There are not many reliable products on the market created specifically for infants and babies. But with Little Spoon, careful research was put in to determining the exact equation and dosing that is safe and effective for babies.
And speaking of dosing – administering the correct dosage of products through syringes and droppers can sometimes be a challenge. Little Spoon’s powdered formulas are portioned perfectly for delivering a concentrated dose of nutrients without all the fuss. Just stir into baby food or your liquid of choice – easy to incorporate with mealtime at home or on-the-go!
There has been much research on the benefits of probiotics from infancy and beyond. Gut health has a lot of correlation with your child’s immunity. I always tell my patients’ parents that having their child on a daily probiotic can be helpful in many different ways, including cold and flu prevention. Little Spoon’s daily Gut Feeling probiotic is a great option to keep your child’s gut on the right track while also strengthening the immune system.
3. A Good Night’s Sleep
Sleep is extremely important to maintaining good health and strong immunity. When our children are run down and tired, they become more vulnerable to becoming sick. While we sleep, our bodies recharge and become stronger.
The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, backed by the American Academy of Pediatrics, recently changed its recommendations for how much sleep children should get. Below are the new recommendations based on age:
- Infants 4 months to 12 months should sleep 12 to 16 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
- Children 1 to 2 years of age should sleep 11 to 14 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
- Ages 3 to 5 years should sleep 10 to 13 hours per 24 hours (including naps)
- Children 6 to 12 years of age should sleep 9 to 12 hours per 24 hours
- Teenagers 13 to 18 years of age should sleep 8 to 10 hours per 24 hours
4. Washing Hands
Good hand washing skills start with us. The best way to prevent the spread of illness is by washing hands and teaching our children how to wash well. It seems like a simple idea, but it is absolutely the most effective way to avoid spreading germs.
Final Thoughts on How to Boost Baby’s Immune System
This time of year can be scary for parents of babies. But ensuring your baby has all the tools to fight off illnesses is easy with the right nutrition and some helpful tips. And with Little Spoon, feeding your little one nutritious meals and providing safe vitamin dosing is easier and more convenient than ever.
In fact, Little Spoon will ship directly to your door, anywhere in the US. Meal plans are designed for your baby. And you can always pick your own blends if your little one has a favorite! Your deliveries come fresh and cold every 2 weeks.
So don’t stress so much over your little ones getting sick this season. With Little Spoon and these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to give their immune systems the tools to fight off illnesses and build immunities. Have a healthy and happy holiday season!