7 important vitamins & minerals to boost your kids’ immunity

important vitamins & minerals to boost kids’ immunity

Reading Time: 4 minutes

“Vitamins and minerals are protective foods. They boost our immunity”, read my 8year old son in his science book.

“Mumma, what are protective foods, how do they boost our immunity?” he asked me. I explained to him, “Protective foods are the ones that protect us from diseases. They make our immune system (body system that fights germs) strong and hence boost our immunity.”

Seeing him listening with interest, I jumped on this opportunity to educate him about vitamins and minerals as well as “healthy eating.”

Here is the list of 7 key vitamins and minerals that boost our kids’ immunity

  1. Vitamin C. We have been hearing this since childhood. This vitamin is crucial for strengthening our immune system. Besides other functions, it helps in wound healing & has antioxidant properties.

Vitamin C is found in abundance in citrus fruits like oranges, lemon and  amla (Indian gooseberry), strawberries, bell peppers, potatoes, tomatoes and broccoli. So, we can easily get this nutrient from seasonal fruits & veggies.

An important point is that vitamin C is heat sensitive, which means that it might get destroyed on cooking the food. So raw fruits are a richer source than cooked veggies. Likewise, lemon water or lemon juice sprinkled on salad will benefit more than adding it to heated foods.

2. Zinc. This mineral  makes our body strong against chest and gut infections. It is particularly useful in preventing diarrhea and pneumonia.  Zinc is also essential for healthy skin, hair & nails.

Zinc – rich foods are legumes like chickpeas (kabuli chana), lentils (dals) & beans, nuts, seeds, whole grains , milk, eggs & meat. So there are plenty of options for vegetarians, non-vegetarians as well as vegans.

3. Vitamin A. We all know that vitamin A is essential for eye health. But it also has an important role in protecting against infections. It strengthens the local immune cells in our lungs and gut.

Good sources of vitamin A are milk, curd, cheese , eggs & oily fish. Vegans can take foods rich in beta carotene which our body will convert into vitamin A. They include yellow fruits like papaya. mango & apricots, yellow, red & green vegetables like red bell peppers, carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin & spinach.

4. Iron & Folate: Both these minerals are essential for formation & functioning  of immune system cells in our body. Hence, it is important to stock up on them. Green leafy vegetables like spinach, cabbage,  fenugreek (methi) & mustard (saag) are loaded with iron and folic acid. Other rich sources of these nutrients are:

  1. Ragi
  2. Eggs & chicken
  3. Jaggery
  4. Chickpeas (kabuli chana) & kidney beans (rajma)
  5. Breakfast cereals fortified with iron & folic acid (check the label)

To make the most out of iron in your little one’s diet, combine it with vitamin C rich foods.

Also, avoid giving milk, tea, coffee or cold drink alongside. These foods hamper the absorption of iron in the diet.

5. Vitamin D: This sunshine vitamin is being studied extensively these days. Apart from strong bones, it works for strong immune system too. As kids don’t get much of sunshine nowadays, it is important that they eat vitamin D rich foods,

  1. Mushrooms
  2. Egg yolk
  3. Fish like tuna & sardines
  4. Cod liver oil
  5. Fortified foods like milk & breakfast cereals

According to latest research, many children as well as adults are deficient in vitamin D. Hence, all newborn babies are prescribed vitamin D supplements in first year of life.

6. Vitamin E:  Vitamin E is also needed by immune cells to function normally. It also prevents clotting of blood in blood vessels. This fat-soluble vitamin is found in nuts, seeds and cooking oils

7. Selenium: Many of you might think  “what will this metal do to my diet?” Research has found that  this mineral controls the function of immune cells as well as protecting against tumors & allergies.

Include these foods in your little one’s diet to maintain normal selenium levels

  1. Cottage cheese
  2. Eggs
  3. Milk & yoghurt
  4. Cashews
  5. Sunflower seeds
  6. Spinach
  7. Mushrooms

Dear friends, healthy diet is the most natural way to include these vitamins and minerals in your life. As they say, “Training for a battle is better than throwing a punch directly during fight”, it is imperative to add these healthy nutrients in daily life rather than popping pills during illness.

Include these vitamins & minerals in your family diet to boost your kids’ immunity. Easier said than done , ryt???

Well, you can download these healthy meal plans to include all essential vitamins & minerals  in their diet to boost your kids’ immunity. You are just “one click away” from nutritious diet charts for kids of different age groups. There is a separate plan for diabetics and kids with celiac disease (wheat allergy) too.

Got a fussy eater at home ? Well, you have your solution here .  

In addition to protective foods, healthy lifestyle also plays an important role in keeping immunity strong. Watch this video to get your “7- step mantra to boost the immunity of kids”

Strong immune system  is not going to be an overnight change. Rather, balanced diet and healthy lifestyle  over time will give long lasting immunity and health as it becomes a habit.

As I said earlier, it is better to keep the immunity stronger with a healthy routine rather than loading the body with supplements during illness. Do not take any supplements without your doctor’s advise. Many of these vitamins (D & E) and minerals get deposited in the body when taken in excess. And, excess of these essential pearls will do more harm than good.

Dear readers, if you have any queries, share them in comment section. I’ll answer them all. Join my private community for free to get useful info on kids’ health.

In case you want to consult an experienced pediatrician from the safety of your home,  book a video or whatsapp chat on my app

Eat healthy, live healthy, stay healthy!

Happy parenting!!

Comments (1)

25 May, 2023

Very nicely compiled and useful infos/

Leave A Comment

[email protected] Healthy Kids Online Consultation Parents Community