But there are certain foods that can help give your little one’s immune system a boost as he begins to rely on solids as his main source of nutrition.
It’s a good idea to include these foods in your baby’s diet on a regular basis – and particularly so when there are nasty bugs around, against which you’d like to help him build natural protection.
Poultry, red meat, beans, cheese, yogurt and whole grain bread are all good sources of zinc
Zinc plays a huge role in supporting the immune system and is involved in the production of antibodies that fight infection.
Brightly coloured fruits and veggies…
Your baby’s body converts beta-carotene to vitamin A, which helps regulate his immune system.
Try using sweet potatoes in place of white ones and mixing orange coloured veggie purees with orange coloured fruit ones for double the flavour and double the protection.
We’ve mentioned this already (as a great source of zinc) but yogurt is also helpful if your baby has been prescribed antibiotics, because it helps replenish the useful bacteria in his gut that antibiotics may destroy.
This then helps protect him against the harmful bacteria that may contribute to diarrhea.
Bell peppers, kiwi fruits, citrus fruits and tomatoes (when appropriate) are all good sources of vitamin C
Vitamin C helps your baby’s body make more white blood cells, which fight infection.
Garlic is a powerful booster for the immune system and can be easily incorporated into lots of baby’s dishes.
Not sure about adding garlic to baby food?
Avocados are a wonderful way to get essential fatty acids (EFAs) into your baby!
Essential fatty acids are – as their name suggests – essential to the diet because the body cannot makes its own and are the ‘good’ fats that help the immune system recognize and fight off infections.
Blueberries are a powerful immunity booster and studies have shown that they are the best source of antioxidants of all fruits.
Why spice is nice!
Turmeric is the spice that gives many curries their rich, yellow colour – but what you might NOT know is that it contains circumin which may be effective in fighting colds and flu.
Don’t worry, turmeric is not ‘hot’ – in fact, it doesn’t have a great deal of flavour at all, so you can easily add it to baby’s food without him even noticing!
You could try some of our curry recipes that use turmeric (see Indian Baby Food, Butternut Squash and Chicken Curry, Sweet Potato and Coconut Curry)- or you could just add a little sprinkle to other dishes, for extra colour and extra goodness!
Aside from the damage it does to your little one’s developing teeth, sugar severely impairs the white blood cells’ ability to fight infection. Another good reason to give it a miss!