Young infants are less able to fight any infection as their immune systems are still immature. We always try to protect our babies and toddlers from infection and build their immunity through vaccination. But vaccination alone cannot fight off all kinds of diseases like common cold, flu etc. It is a fact that healthy diet, exercise and cleanliness can ward off various disease causing bacteria, virus and other germs.
Natural and herbal remedies, prepared at home, can also relieve them from the discomfort and suffering of the disease.
Ways to boost the immune system of the babies and toddlers
- Healthy Diet
- Natural Remedies
Healthy diet boosts immune response
Breast milk is not only rich in all kinds of nutrients but also provides immune protection against diseases. It is the richest and only source of antibodies for the babies who solely thrive on breastfeed. No commercial formula can provide the antibodies that are present in breast milk that ward off various infections.
A diet rich in complex carbohydrates like whole grains, and plenty of fruits and vegetables,proteins, is best to support a healthy immune system. Cut down on refined foods like sugar is also suggested. Whole foods like brown rice, whole wheat products provide steady increase in energy and stimulate the immune response of the body.
Give your babies different coloured fruits and vegetables to eat which are rich in immune boosting carotenoids and flavenoids. Veggies like carrot, green beans, raw papaya, white potato, sweet potato, pumpkins etc. are good for babies who have started to eat solids.
Fruits like banana, apple, pear, apricot, plum, prune, and melon are also good. Fruits rich in vitamin C, like the citrus fruits and berries etc. aid in the immune response.
Garlic, onion, and thyme have antiviral qualities. These can be added in little amount to the babies food after 10 to 12 months of age.
Increase in fluid intake during cold, fever, flu or diarrhea provides healing support.
Offer a lot of proteins in the form of full cream milk, chicken and fish to provide all the essential amino acids required by the body.
Exercise will keep them fit
We all know that good diet is a big boost to the immunity of your child but we do not often think of exercise as a help in this endeavor. It is a fact that exercise not only helps to get more oxygen and helps to remove harmful toxins from the body but also stimulates to release certain chemicals in the body, which helps the immune system fight bacteria.
Young infants cannot exercise as old kids but we can always engage them in various kinds of physical activities that would give the same result. Let the toddlers go outside and help them run around. Do not let them sit in front of the TV. Few hours of active play will keep them fit and healthy.
Maintaining hygiene keeps the family happy
Always wash your hands before handling the baby because good hand washing can remove the germs from our hands. The golden rule is to wash your hands with any kind of soap for about 15 seconds.
Avoid people who are most likely to be sick like those with fevers, runny nose or coughs, and also other children-who are the most common carrier of different contagious forms of germs. Maintaining cleanliness and hygiene at home can keep the baby and the family healthy and happy.
There are several natural things that you can buy or prepare at home to improve the immune response of the body and make the baby or the toddler feel better when they are sick.
Eucalyptus oil: If your baby is suffering from cold, fever and body ache put a few drops of Eucalyptus oil in a handkerchief and let the young one smell it. Keep it beside the pillow when he or she sleeps. Eucalyptus fights infection, kills bacteria, and opens the sinuses to drain. This works amazingly well.
Cinnamon Oil: You can massage a drop of Cinnamon oil mixed with olive oil on the bottom of the feet, which is good for boosting the immune system and fighting viruses. Do not to put it on the skin of the face, arms or legs; otherwise, it can burn the skin. The skin under the feet is tougher.
Fennel Tea: Prepare fennel tea with one teaspoon of fennel per cup of boiling water, boil for 20 minutes and give two spoons of the tea three times a day to help break up mucous.
Fennel Water: Fennel water is similar to anise and dill water. This is used to ease flatulence in infants. Syrup made from fennel can be used to treat babies with colic or painful teething.
There is nothing harder to watch your baby suffer from a disease. Some simple precautions and practices can boost their immune system and keep them healthy happy and smiling.
Copyright (2010) Sudarshana Maitra
Author name: Sudarshana Maitra
Source by Sudarshana Maitra