Tips on how to build a healthy immune system

Furthermore, stress can trigger the onset of illness associated with autoimmune diseases and even linked to cancer.  

Here are five suggestions for strengthening yours and your child’s immune system so you can both battle illnesses. 

Probiotics 

If you or your children have been on any courses of antibiotics or penicillin, it’s always recommended to follow up with 30 days worth of a good pro-biotic to replenish the gut flora.

Without healing the gut, the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals is severely compromised, causing a risk of a reoccurring illness, intolerances and allergies.

Always buy your pro-biotic from a health food store and make sure it’s one that is kept refrigerated and doesn’t contain dairy. 

Vitamin C 

No! I don’t mean the little chewable sugar loaded orange tablets that you can buy in a supermarket; I mean the real-deal plant sources delivered in 100% juice! Fruits that are high in vitamin C include oranges, kiwifruit, guava, berries and papaya.  

Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient so it needs to be replenished daily. Why not make it a ritual that the whole family enjoys? The most nutritional benefits come from blending a whole food in a high-speed blender. Otherwise juicing machines (preferably cold pressed) are also great.  

Bone Broths  

There is medicinal theory behind chicken soup being fed to cold sufferers in our parents’ eras.

Not only in our culture, but almost every culture throughout history has used bone broth for its medicinal benefits of eradicating inflammation and reducing cold symptoms.

The longer you cook it (I cook mine for 48 hours) the more beneficial it is, as it draws out collagen proteins, minerals and fats that are easily digested and absorbed by your body to heal in various ways. It is considered a super food and is far more beneficial than taking a supplement. 

Zinc 

This has become a popular mineral therapy for the common cold. Though there is conflicting information on its benefits. If you’re lacking zinc in your diet then taking zinc upon the onset of the flu can reduce the endurance and severity by up to 50%; however, taking an over supplement of zinc has not been proven to provide any benefit at all. Be careful when administering to children as over-dosage can be very dangerous. 

Vitamin D  

Last but by no means least, Vitamin D. Vitamin D is commonly known as coming from the sun’s rays and helping us absorb calcium but it also has many other benefits.

Vitamin D is associated with decreased autoimmunity as well as a decreased susceptibility to infection.

Cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamin D but good luck getting the kiddies to lick this off a spoon!  

I like to use 1 drop of vitamin D blended up in my son’s orange juice each morning. 

Reactions to allergies and intolerances can sometimes trigger symptoms similar to colds and flus. These symptoms include swelling in the nasal passages, increased mucus production, runny nose and asthma symptoms.  

Intolerances are much harder to detect than allergies. If you suspect that food may be the cause of ongoing illness, seek advice from a nutritionist on ways to eliminate suspect foods. 

Do you need help getting your child to sustain a healthy diet? Are mealtimes a battle or have you given up the fight? You can learn more about my work with families of fussy eaters on Facebook and learn about my online courses.  


International nutritionist and founder of Little Fusspot Beth Bonfiglio has become known worldwide as the “Supernanny of Mealtimes”.  

Beth understands the impact that poor eating can have on the physical and mental health of children. She has worked with leading occupational therapists and psychologists, researching and developing strategies for dealing with various fussy eaters.  

Beth has now pulled together years of her work into a series of online courses tailored to helping three different types of fussy eaters. The courses aim to make this highly-specialised care accessible and affordable to families with little fusspots on a global scale. You can also find Little Fusspot on FacebookInstagram and YouTube.

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