Boost Your Child’s Immunity

Yogurt

  • Yogurt with live active cultures contains strains of beneficial bacteria called probiotics, These “good bacteria,”  have been shown to boost the activity of immune-fighting cells in the body
  • Most kids find the creamy, smooth texture of yogurt appealing. If they will not eat it straight from the container, it can be disguised. Here are some ideas:
    • Blend it into smoothies
    • Make yogurt cheese and use it as a substitute for butter, sour cream, or cream cheese.
    • Make tuna and chicken salad with half plain low-fat yogurt and half mayo.
    • Blend it into low-fat evaporated milk and parmesan cheese to create a “healthy” Alfredo sauce.
    • Add it to “cream-based” soups instead of cream.
    • Use low-fat plain yogurt instead of milk in boxed Mac n’ cheese preparations.
    • Use low-fat plain yogurt instead of mayo as a salad dressing base. Children love dipping veggies in salad dressing.
    • Sweeten plain low-fat yogurt with a little maple syrup and drizzle it over fresh cut up fruit.
  • The healthiest yogurt is plain low-fat.  Flavored yogurts have lots of added sugar. Some contain more sugar than a standard dessert!  If your kids do not like plain, sweeten it with a little honey or maple syrup.
  • Small children, 2 to 5 years old, should eat 4 oz or more daily.
  • School aged children should eat 6 oz or more daily

Garlic

  • Garlic contains a number of immune-fortifying elements.
  • The beneficial phytochemicals in garlic that provide immune protection are diminished by processing and high heat.
  • To maximize garlic’s effectiveness, it’s best to chop or mince fresh cloves directly into foods after they have been cooked.
  • Adding freshly minced or chopped garlic to prepared salad dressings or other kid-friendly sauces, like spaghetti/marinara, or Alfredo is a great way to bring this healthy spice into your child’s diet.
  • Prepared or homemade bean dips (hummus, black bean, etc.) go great with garlic and are popular with kids because of their smooth textures. Most kids love dipping baby carrots into these dips.

Exercise

  • Current recommendations are that kids accumulate at least an hour or more of moderate or more intense physical activity each day. There are many different activities that qualify as “moderate” including:
    • brisk walking
    • climbing stairs
    • shoveling snow – walking through snow
    • playing organized sports (some are clearly vigorous – but that’s fine too)
    • raking leaves
    • vacuuming/washing windows
    • washing a car
    • jumping rope
    • riding a bike
    • pushing a stroller
    • playing chase
    • playing on playground equipment
    • dancing
  • No one should exercise when they have an infection associated with fever or lower respiratorysymptoms (i.e.: wheezing, shortness of breath, productive cough, or chest tightness).
  • It’s generally fine to engage in moderate activity when the infection/cold is limited to a stuffy/running nose without a fever.

Fruits and Veggies

  • Provide an abundance of brightly colored fruits and veggies.  They are brimming with a host of immune-boosting plant chemicals and several key nutrients required for optimal immune health including vitamin C and beta carotene.
  • The very best choices are: berries, any whole citrus, kiwi, apples, red grapes, kale, onions, spinach, sweet potatoes and carrots.

Copyright 2010, Just Wellness LLC

About this tip sheet
This tip sheet was created by Ann Kulze M.D., a well-respected physician and nutrition expert.  Dr. Kulze is also a
member of the Prevent Cancer Foundation’s Board of Directors. This tip sheet has been edited for adherence to recent

findings by the Foundation’s Programs staff.
All information on this tip sheet should be considered general health information published to aid the reader in their
personal quest for holistic wellness. Our goal is to support readers in maximizing their wellness and vitality.