The Wuhan Coronavirus Covid-19 outbreak is a growing health emergency that has sparked a lot of concerns here in Singapore and across the world.
Since a cure is still not available, people are uncertain about what they can do to protect themselves aside from wearing surgical masks or reducing their time outside.
Children are very vulnerable to viruses such as the coronavirus because their immune systems are still developing.
Aside from the basic precautions released by the Singapore government to protect people from the virus, parents can help their children’s immune system become stronger by feeding them food that can build their resistance.
Here are 10 foods that you can feed to your child to strengthen their body’s resistance.
Vitamin C is often the best way to help the body boost its immune system. It is said that it can help improve white blood cell production, which helps the body fight infections.
Some citrus fruits that you can introduce to your child are oranges, lime, lemons, and grapefruit.
The body does not store vitamin C so you will need to provide your child with regular vitamin C intake to expand its benefits. If your child doesn’t like to eat the fruit itself, you can give it to them as a juice or freeze them to make popsicles.
Red bell peppers
Red bell peppers actually have higher vitamin C content compared to citrus fruits.
They also have beta carotene, which helps both your immune system and your skin. Beta carotene also helps the eyes stay healthy.
Many often call broccoli as a superfood because it is packed with vitamins, minerals and other healthy substances good for the body.
It contains vitamins A, E, and C, plus fibre and antioxidants. Ideally, you should keep it slightly cooked to retain its high vitamin and mineral content.
Garlic definitely is one of the most popular ingredients ever used in the world.
Aside from giving dishes some flavour, it also helps your body fight off infections and reduce blood pressure. It also helps reduce arteries from getting clogged by fat.
Ginger is another popular ingredient in many dishes that you can also introduce to your child.
Ginger has anti-inflammatory properties, which work well against sore throat and other similar problems. It also can reduce nausea thanks to its smell.
Ginger also helps reduce cholesterol in people.
Another superfood that your child should have in their daily meal is spinach.
Like red bell peppers, spinach has high vitamin C and beta carotene content, as well as antioxidants which can help reduce toxins in the body. It is also known to facilitate the growth of new brain cells like other wonder foods listed here.
Spinach is also good if it is lightly cooked because this ensures all the nutrients are still in the meal.
But, unlike broccoli, lightly cooked spinach does enhance the vitamin A content this food has within. It also releases other great nutrients in the leaves.
Some people do not find the taste of yoghurt to be satisfying, but yoghurt does have healthy properties that you and your child would love.
Yoghurt with “live cultures” such as Greek yoghurt allows the body’s immune system to reboot and start fighting against viruses and other diseases.
It is ideal to get plain yoghurt rather than the flavoured ones. You can easily add flavour to the yoghurt with honey or fruits, which your child will also love and get more nutrients from.
It is said that yoghurt also has high vitamin D, a key nutrient that helps the body’s immune system to grow stronger. It also boosts the body’s resistance against diseases and as well as many benefits that are introduced here.
When it comes to vitamin E-rich foods, you can never go wrong with almonds.
Vitamin E helps keep the immune system healthy and reduces fat build-up in your blood vessels and arteries. Almonds, like other nuts, also have healthy fats that your body can use to strengthen its defences.
When serving almonds, make sure that it is only half a cup. You should also remove its shell or chop it into small pieces if your little ones are still not able to eat big bites. Nuts are a choking hazard for small kids if they are very large.
Tea, either black or green, comes with special antioxidants which are called flavonoids.
Green tea, in particular, has a lot of flavonoids and another antioxidant called epigallocatechin gallate or EGCG. EGCG helps with one’s immune system.
Aside from EGCG and flavonoids, green tea has a high amino acid content of L-theanine. L-theanine improves your T-cell germ-fighting properties, which reduces the risks of illnesses.
Finally, vitamin C is high in papaya, as well as papain, a special kind of digestive enzyme that reduces inflammation.
Aside from vitamin C and papain, papaya also comes with B vitamins, potassium and folate, which is good for your overall health.
Aside from these 10 foods we listed above, there are a lot of other foods that can help your child boost their immune system. But, don’t just give your child these foods individually. Always keep their meals a variety and serve it based on your child’s serving requirements and daily intake. However, these are the list of food that your child should avoid.
You should also check with your child’s paediatrician if they are cleared to take these foods since they may have food allergies. Serving different food regularly also helps your child be familiar with other types of food and you will also discover which foods they like. This, on top of having a healthy diet, will benefit your child’s achievement in his studies as shown here.
Doctors always say that we should eat healthy to give our body a chance to develop a natural resistance against diseases. With the growing threats from the Covid-19 and other strong viruses still untreated or without a cure, it is up to us parents to help our kids be prepared in whatever way we can.
Here is some more food list that will help to increase your child’s mental health and overall development: