Various conditions, from pollution to Corona virus infection, can threaten a child's health and cause them to fall ill. To prevent this, parents need to strengthen the child's immune system. One way is to provide children with good nutrition for the body's immunity.
Children's immune system is not as strong as adults in fighting various germs that cause infection. That is why children are more susceptible to disease.
To strengthen your little one's immune system and make it less susceptible to disease, there are several ways you can do. One of the important steps to make your little one's immune system work optimally is to provide him with good nutrition for his immune system.
Boost Children's Endurance with These 6 Nutrients
Various nutrients that are good for the health of infants and children, while also supporting their immune system, can be obtained from breast milk and healthy foods, such as fruits and vegetables, eggs, fish, meat, nuts, as well as milk and its processed products, for example. cheese and yogurt.
Although all nutrients are needed by children, there are several nutrients that are considered very important to maintain the immune system and make children not easily get sick, namely:
1. Vitamin C
It is common knowledge that vitamin C can strengthen the immune system, including in children.
This vitamin can increase the production of white blood cells in the body which plays a role in fighting germs that cause infection. Vitamin C is also an antioxidant that can reduce inflammation and prevent cell damage from free radicals that can cause disease and weaken the immune system.
Vitamin C is found in many fruits and vegetables, such as oranges, guava, mango, spinach, kale, broccoli, tomatoes, strawberries, pomegranate, and papaya.
2. Vitamin E
Similar to vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant that can maintain the performance of the immune system. That way, the immune system will be stronger to fight germs that cause disease. To meet your little one's vitamin E needs, you can give him foods rich in vitamin E, such as spinach, broccoli, and beans.
Zinc It is needed by the body to make white blood cells function properly. White blood cells are the main component in the immune system that functions to fight disease-causing germs.
Some examples of foods that are rich in zinc are seafood, such as shellfish or oysters, meat, beans, potatoes, eggs, and milk.
The body needs folate or folic acid to produce and repair damaged body cells. Folate is also known to play an important role in the production of red blood cells and white blood cells. Therefore, children need to get adequate folate intake so that their immune system is strong.
In addition to maintaining the immune system, folate is also important to support the neurodevelopment of the child's brain.
Folate can be obtained by consuming beef liver, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, mustard greens, or fortified cereals with folate. Mothers can also give your little one formula milk that contains folic acid to strengthen his immune system and maximize the development of his brain nerves.
So that your little one's immune system is strong so it doesn't get sick easily, you need to pay attention to the intake of selenium. If your little one is under 1 year old, make sure he gets 7–10 mcg (micrograms) of selenium every day. However, if he is 1–6 years old, he needs to get 18–20 mcg of selenium per day.
Selenium is contained in various types of food, including chicken, eggs, brown rice, milk, and yogurt. Selenium can also be obtained from vegetables and fruits, such as bananas and spinach.
Omega-3 is one type of essential fatty acid, namely fatty acids that cannot be produced by the body and must be taken from outside. Omega-3 plays an important role in the work of the immune system. These fatty acids are also good for controlling inflammation in the body.
There are several studies that show that adequate intake of omega-3 can reduce a child's risk of developing autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and ulcerative colitis.
To meet the intake of omega-3 for your little one, you can give him foods that are rich in omega-3, such as marine fish, meat, eggs, nuts, and seeds, for example. chia seeds.
Apart from food, omega-3 can also be obtained from formula milk. The content of omega-3 in formula milk has been adjusted to the needs of children based on age. By giving formula milk that contains omega-3, you can also more easily monitor the adequacy of your little one's omega-3 intake.
In addition to the nutrients above, omega-6 and FOS:GOS prebiotics are also important to keep children's immune systems strong. You can find these nutrients in several types of formula milk for children, especially those formulated to increase the child's immune system.
In order for your baby's immune system to develop optimally, you need to provide him with complete and balanced nutritious food, in sufficient quantities. To complete your little one's nutritional intake, you can give him breast milk or formula which is formulated to support the child's immune system.
In addition, Mother also needs to complete the immunization of the Little One according to the schedule determined by the doctor. So, don't forget to check your little one to the doctor regularly so that he is not too late to be immunized and his health condition can also be continuously monitored.