Back To School: Immunity Boosting Foods and Herbs for Young Children

Back To School: Immunity Boosting Foods and Herbs for Young Children

Parents, here's how to help protect your child against nasty viruses.

In the face of the coronavirus, many of us worry about our elderly parents and young children belonging to the more vulnerable groups.

And now that the kids will soon head back to school with Phase 1 of post-circuit breaker kicking in, it is inevitable that parents are concerned over their children’s health and safety. 

With younger kids generally having a weaker immune system, what can parents do in learning how to increase immunity in their kids and against the possible coronavirus attack? Read on.

How to Increase Immunity in Young Kids: Foods to Eat

From a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) perspective, adhering to certain diets could help improve a child’s immunity. Doctor Wu Shi Yu shares insights and diet recommendations in an interview with ‘Living Well’ on Shin Min daily.

But whether it is during or post-pandemic, Dr. Wu advises parents to abide by the rules of ensuring “nutritional balance” in their child to protect the spleen and stomach.

Back To School: Immunity Boosting Foods and Herbs for Young Children

Having children consume a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables can help to boost their immunity. | Photo: iStock

The local TCM practitioner recommends consuming these foods: 

  • Consume a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables (especially vegetables that are white or orange in colour)
    • White veggies, e.g. Chinese cabbage, winter melon
    • Orange veggies, e.g. Carrots, tomatoes, pumpkin, as well as various fungi and whole grains
  • Food products containing quality protein 
    • e.g. Eggs, lean meat, beans, dried fruits
  • Drink yoghurt in moderation – to help maintain gut health
  • Drink plenty of water
 

Recommended Chinese Herbs for Children

Apart from these dietary recommendations, Dr Wu also recommend that children take some Chinese herbs in moderation to strengthen their immunity.

“Medicine and food are related. They are food as much as they are medicine. Besides, most of their medicinal properties are milder and the taste is more acceptable for children.” 

The Chinese herbs as recommended include:

  • Codonopsis 
  • Jujube or Red dates
  • Huai shan (Chinese yam)
How to Increase Immunity

Chinese yam. | Photo: iStock

How to Increase Immunity in Young Kids: Foods to Avoid

On the contrary, there are some diets that could weaken the immune system of children, according to Dr. Wu.

There might have been increased snacking at home during this #StayHome but moderation is always key in keeping the children healthy.

The local TCM practitioner recommends consuming less of these foods: 

  • Sweet food or snacks (e.g. donuts, sweets and chocolate)
  • Fried, greasy, spicy and cold food
  • Excessive supplements 

Especially for newborns who have not been that exposed to germs and bacteria yet, Dr. Wu shares that their immune system would be weaker and thus more prone to falling ill.  

So here are some of the healthful ways on how to increase immunity in children, but through it all, ensuring personal hygiene is one of the top considerations to keep the viruses away. 

It always helps for parents to remind little ones to clean up litter and wash their hands frequently to be on the safe side.

ALSO READ: Students to Receive Free Sanitiser, Reusable Face Shields From Temasek Foundation

Back To School: Immunity Boosting Foods and Herbs for Young Children

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Written by

Jia Ling

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