Boost Immunity: 5 Best Ways to Prevent Colds for Children!

Is your child constantly getting sick by mingling with friends at childcare or school? Or perhaps your little one is a social butterfly, always running towards the crowd and catching a cold in the process?

Prevention is key to maintaining a good health, and the kitchen is a treasure trove of natural remedies to fortify the immune system and combat the common cold. This article will explore five natural ways to prevent and combat catching a cold using kitchen ingredients.

According to the National Library of Medicine, young kids experience frequent colds, often up to 8 to 10 annually before reaching the age of 2. That is a lot when you think about it. And especially during winter, children tend to spend more time indoors, making them more susceptible to colds due to the close contact with one another.

The confined spaces and shared environments in schools or childcare facilities can facilitate the spread of cold viruses, contributing to an increased frequency of illnesses among young children.

Undoubtedly, the frequent colds experienced by young children create challenges for both parents and their little ones. When children fall sick, they need constant care and attention, often requiring a parent to take time off work to tend to their needs. As a result, this situation can potentially impact the parents’ employment.

Using medication is often the go-to solution. Although they serve their purpose in certain situations, for mild illnesses like the common cold, you may want to consider prevention. And, believe it or not, your kitchen most likely already contains what your kids need to build their own sickness-preventing shield.

1. Immune-Boosting Smoothies

Mornings can be understandably challenging, often rushed and leading us to opt for quick, less nutritious options for our children. That’s where meal prep becomes incredibly helpful. Smoothies are a fantastic choice—simply wash and cut fruits and greens the night before, and blend everything in the morning for a nutritious start!

Blend together fruits rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, berries, and kiwis, with leafy greens like spinach or kale. Vitamin C strengthens the immune system, while leafy greens provide essential vitamins and minerals.

To enhance the sweetness, consider adding a spoonful of raw honey for its antibacterial properties (avoid giving raw honey to children under one year old or those with honey allergies). This wholesome smoothie will effectively bolster your child’s defences against cold viruses, and it tastes fantastic!

Bonus tips:

  1. Prepare a batch of oatmeal for breakfast and add abundant vitamin C-rich fruits.
  2. Juiced oranges can be given throughout the day to aid with hydration, and they are also rich in vitamin C.
Clarisse in the Kitchen

2. Soup

Ever experienced a sudden craving for soup when feeling unwell? You’re not alone. It’s quite common for people to naturally desire food that is gentle on the digestive system when they are sick.

According to a study by Ken Albala titled, “Food for healing: Convalescent cookery in the early modern era” individuals recovering from illness need food that is fortifying and highly nourishing. This food should have a texture and consistency that can be easily broken down by a weakened digestive system, providing nourishment to all parts of the body without causing any blockages

Nothing says comfort and light food like a warm bowl of chicken soup. In our household, whenever someone is unwell, we all come together to enjoy this soothing soup for dinner.

Our family swear by a cherished chicken soup recipe, packed with nutrients. It’s prepared using bone broth that simmers for over 12 hours, ensuring a collagen-rich broth that aids in cell repair, helping you recover faster.

Feel free to adjust the soup according to your taste and dietary preferences. For a zesty flavour and an extra vitamin C boost, you can add more lemon than what’s mentioned in the recipe.

Chicken Soup

Nourishing Additions: Healing Ingredients

Garlic and onions are potent natural antibiotics that can help ward off cold-causing bacteria and viruses.

Ginger helps fight colds by reducing inflammation, boosting the immune system, relieving congestion, soothing sore throat, and alleviating nausea.

Season with herbs like thyme and oregano for added benefits. Serve this warming soup to your child regularly to keep their immune system robust.

3. Vitamin C-Rich Drink Delights

Staying hydrated is crucial during a cold, and a warm vitamin C-rich drink that the whole family can enjoy, especially before bedtime, can be beneficial.

Citrus-infused drinks are a delightful and effective way to boost immunity and prevent colds. Prepare beverages using ingredients like citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, and tangerines, which are rich in vitamin C. Oranges provide immune support, lemons offer antioxidants, and tangerines contribute to overall wellness. Regularly offering these vitamin C-rich drinks to your child can create a natural defence barrier against cold viruses.

Discover the remedy and prevention right in your own kitchen. Learn how to whip up a Ginger Turmeric Shot recipe that blends the strength of ginger, turmeric, and oranges—these essentials team up to keep colds at bay!

ginger turmeric shot.

Note: Allow the drink to cool down before serving to young children to prevent any risk of burns.

4. Vitamin D-rich Foods:

During the winter, when exposure to sunlight is limited, it’s essential to ensure your child gets enough vitamin D. This vitamin plays a crucial role in immune function. Incorporate vitamin D-rich foods into their diet, such as fatty fish (salmon, mackerel), eggs, and fortified dairy products. A daily intake of vitamin D will contribute to a robust immune system, reducing the risk of catching a cold.

A fun and effective way we discovered for our family is preparing a cheese platter as an afternoon snack or before bedtime if we had an early dinner. The healthy fats in cheese help kids feel satisfied and support a good night’s sleep, which can aid in recovery if a cold is already underway.

5. Hand washing and Hygiene:

Preventing the spread of cold viruses begins with good hygiene practices. Encourage your child to wash their hands frequently with soap and warm water, especially before meals and after being in public places.

Avoid touching their face, particularly their eyes, nose, and mouth, as cold viruses can enter the body through these mucous membranes.

Additionally, teach them to cover their mouth and nose when sneezing or coughing to prevent the spread of germs.

Encouraging Hand-washing in Young Children: Building a Shield Against Colds

Lead by Example: Children often emulate what they see. Demonstrate proper hand-washing techniques by washing your hands frequently and encouraging them to join you.

Consistency is Key: Establish a routine for hand-washing, such as before meals, after using the restroom, and when returning home. Consistency reinforces the habit.

Child-Friendly Sink Access: Set up a stool or step for them to reach the sink comfortably. A kid-friendly soap dispenser can also make the process more engaging.

A young child washing hand by using a stool to access the sink.

For toddlers, consider setting up small hand-washing stations or adding a stool to the regular sink. This will help them gain confidence in their abilities while maintaining their independence.

a toddler washing her hand in a small hand washing station.

In our journey to keep kids safe from winter colds, our kitchen holds special powers. Smoothies and soups, like magical potions, help our bodies. Ginger, turmeric, oranges, and vitamin D act like superheroes to keep us strong. And washing hands, like a secret trick, keeps germs away. With creativity and care, we make winter a happy and healthy time. So, remember, the kitchen and good habits are our best friends in the cold season!