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Healthy Habits for Good Health and Immune Support for Kids

Inside every person’s body is a system of cells and organs that fight off disease and outside invaders: the immune system. It’s like having your own personal superhero squad.

 

No one likes to see their kids get sick. We tend to raise our guard during cold and flu season, but the reality is that kids encounter potential pathogens (bacteria and viruses, for example) every single day. That’s why it’s important to have a good baseline of immune support for kids.

 

What Does the Immune System Do?

 

The immune system works around the clock, every day, but most of the time we don’t even know it. With every germ we touch, virus we inhale or infection that may seep in, our immune system is trapping, killing or fighting them off to protect our health and our kids’ health. It’s when our immune system is unprepared or overwhelmed that we get sick.

 

Two Types of Immune System

 

There are actually two types of immune systems that work together in the body:

 

  • Innate, or the immune system you’re born with. This gives general immune support for kids and adults. Think of this as your body’s personal security team.
     

  • Adaptive, or specific immunity. This type of immune support is learned by the body, usually when it’s exposed to a specific type of pathogen. When that pathogen tries to invade the body, the adaptive immune system recognizes the invader and has the tools to attack it specifically. Your body essentially learns how to spot this invader and stop it in its tracks. It’s like a special-teams police force. Adaptive immunity is what you get after getting over an illness, or when you get vaccinated.

 

While we can’t change the immune system we’re born with, daily healthy habits can nurture strong adaptive immune support for kids.

 

Immune Support for Kids

 

Healthy Habits and Immune Support for Kids

 

The best way to support your kids’ health and immune system is to focus on good habits. That includes:

 

  • Getting good nutrition. Nutrients that support a healthy immune system include protein; vitamins A, C, and D; zinc and iron. It’s easy to get these nutrients directly from specific foods and beverages.
     
  • Being physically active. A healthy heart pumps those necessary nutrients throughout the body, keeping kids healthy. There’s no need to run a race – being just moderately active has been shown to support the immune system, so try to have your kids get outside for some fresh air, or find fun activities to do around the house to get them moving.
     
  • Prioritizing sleep. Quality, restorative sleep is so important for physical and mental health. Imagine moving nonstop, without rest. Eventually you’ll make mistakes, get injured or simply collapse from exhaustion. Your kids’ body is the same: it needs time to process everything from the day, rest and be ready for the next day of learning and growing. Sleep is also the body’s way of calming down so that only the most essential functions – heart beating, lungs breathing and immune system fighting, can do their jobs without other things getting in their way. Kids should get between 8-12 hours of sleep per night, depending on their age and activity level.
     
  • Managing stress. Stress can put the body into fight mode and strain the immune system. Just like it’s hard to fight a two-front war, your body has a hard time battling stress while at the same time fighting off infection. You can’t easily control what germs you may encounter, but you can help your child reduce stress. Things like journaling, taking deep breaths, allowing unstructured play time are great ways to calm the body, heart and mind.

 

Having a good base of immune support for kids helps keeps kids healthy. And remember, fewer sick days means fewer missed school days, which is good both academically and socially!

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