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boost the immunity of children in child care

7 ways to boost the immunity of children in child care

July 16th, 2018

Colds and flu in children can spread rapidly especially in child care.  It is considered normal for children to get a number of infections and colds during a year and helps to build stronger immune systems for later in life.  However, it is a good idea to minimise the chance of infection (and spread) as much as you can and boost the immunity of children in child care.

1. Sleep breeds sleep

Sleep allows our bodies to rest and heal so it is important that children get enough sleep on a regular basis.  The recommended amount of sleep for a toddler is 11 to 14 hours a day including naps.  You can read more information on getting your toddler into a regular sleep routine here.

2. Fresh fruit and vegetables

Fresh seasonal fresh produce is full of immune boosting antioxidants, vitamins and minerals.

Carrots, green beans, oranges and strawberries all contain immunity-boosting phytonutrients such as vitamin C and carotenoids. Click here to read more about how vitamins and minerals in food keep children healthy and strong.

Try to get your child to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day. (A serving is about two tablespoons for toddlers and one cup for older kids.)   Use plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables in your winter casseroles, stews and soups and remember to serve raw fruit and vegetables too for essential health protecting enzymes.

3. Increase probiotics to boost the immunity of children in child care

A big portion of our immune system is located in our digestive system so gut health is also important.   Probiotics keep our intestinal tract free of disease causing germs which we often forget about.

Yoghurt is an excellent source of probiotics, so try to consume yoghurt with high amounts of live cultures.

4. Essential mineral intake

Zinc is an essential mineral for supporting immune functions and for fighting off the common cold.    It is found in lean red meat, fish and poultry, as well as wholegrain cereals, legumes, dairy foods and nuts.

Zinc is important for the development of white blood cells, the cells that recognise and destroy invading bacteria, viruses and assorted other bad guys.

5. Washing hands

Hand washing is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of infection.

Take your time to thoroughly wash and dry your hands with soap and clean water, as well as the hands of children in child care.  Wash hands before and after food handling and after opening doors, patting pets and touching common areas within your centre.

6. Cleaning surfaces

Colds and flu are airborne viruses that are transmitted through droplets released when coughing or sneezing. Covering your mouth with your hand may prevent droplets from flying, however surfaces touched by those hands can create an issue.

Germs from unwashed hands can be transferred to other objects, like handrails, table tops, or toys, and then transferred to another person’s hands. People frequently touch their eyes, nose, and mouth without even realising it, and germs can get into the body through the eyes, nose and mouth and make us sick.

Ensure any surfaces that are regularly used are kept clean and dry, and try to avoid touching your face with your hands.

7. Outside play and exercise

Research shows that exercise, fresh air and sunlight increases the number of natural cells in adults and regular activity can benefit children in the same way.

To boost the immunity of children in child care, create lifelong habits by exercising or playing outside with them. Fun activities include bike riding, hiking, walking the dog, playing in the park, in-line skating, basketball and tennis.

For more information on Hearty Health and how we provide fresh meals daily to boost the immunity of children in child care, please contact us here.     Like our Facebook Page to keep up to date with the latest news from the Hearty Health kitchen.

Hearty Health
P:  1300 728 762
E:  info@heartyhealth.com.au

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