Best Foods to Boost Baby’s Immune System

Posted on Jul 19 2009 - 12:27pm by Christine

Best food for baby's immune systemBreastfeeding is one of the best ways to give your baby a strong immune system from birth, because breast milk is packed with your antibodies which are then passed on to baby.

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. Try grinding up meat to add to your baby’s veggie purees, sprinkling cheese on to your homemade baby food dishes and offering natural yogurt with lightly toasted whole grain bread dippers.
  • Brightly coloured fruits and veggies – like carrots, apricots, papaya, mango, peaches, sweet potato, squash and pumpkin are great sources of beta carotene. 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.
  • Yogurt – 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 antiobiotics may destroy. This then helps protect him against the harmful bacteria that may contribute to diarrhea. Read more about this here…
  • 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. Read more about vitamin C here…
  • 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? Read our page about introducing spices here…
  • 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. Learn more about the amazing avocado…
  • Blueberries are a powerful immunity booster and studies have shown that they are the best source of antioxidants of all fruits. Read more about blueberries here…
  • 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!

And please note – the addition of sugar to baby food is NEVER recommended. 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!

Sources:

drsears.com

Office of Dietary Supplements – Zinc

Office of Dietary Supplements – Vitamin C

WHFoods – Turmeric

Spicing Up of the Immune System By Circumin

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4 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Anitha July 2, 2010 at 11:45 am -

    Mangosteen which is popular for boosting the immune system also helps in improving lung function. The anti inflammatory – Xanthones useful in promoting healthy lung function. I have started using Proleva and I see that I get better and better day by day not only that I have got rid of common cold and flu and feel more energized with better sleep and memory.

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