5 Foods to Help Fight Kids’ Colds & Flu

Tallahassee Parents,

Among all the current challenges parents and kids are dealing with, cold and flu season is approaching and there are some steps you can take to fight these viruses.

YOGURT

It’s smart to give your kids some kind of probiotic on a regular basis. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that can help strengthen the immune system. Food sources include yogurt and kefir (a cultured dairy drink), or ask your child’s doctor about a children’s probiotic supplement.

SWEET POTATOES

Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A, a key immune system nutrient that helps keep tissue in the mouth, intestines, and respiratory tract healthy. Just a half cup of cooked sweet potatoes has double the A that kids need every day. Other sources include carrots, red bell peppers, mango, and dried apricots are also packed with vitamin A.

BEEF AND PORK

Meat is naturally high in protein, a critical component of the immune system. Beef and pork are also some of the richest food sources of zinc, a mineral used by the body to make T-cells, which play a starring role in immunity. Other sources of zinc are cashews, chickpeas, and kidney beans.

CHICKEN SOUP

Grandma was right:¬†There’s something about chicken soup (even the store-bought kind!) that makes you feel better when you’re sick.¬†Researchers think there may be multiple substances in chicken soup that have beneficial medicinal powers, like anti-inflammatory abilities that can help soothe a respiratory infection.

A WARM DRINK

Got a miserable, sniffly kid? Studies have shown people with symptoms of colds and flu who sipped on a hot drink said it immediately eased their runny nose, cough, sneezing, sore throat, chills, and fatigue. For little ones, brew up some decaf tea with a drizzle of honey, which may help make a sore throat and cough feel better too.

The last thing that isn’t a food is sleep!!! Often neglected, but incredible important. As the year ends, holiday parties, events and travel pick up. Sleep patterns get disrupted and immune systems weaken.

f you are interested in contacting Brad Fantle for speaking engagements you may reach him by email at bradfantle@gmail.com. He is a 7th Degree Black Belt with Tiger Rock Martial Arts, has 25 years experience working with children and teaching self-defense, an ADHD Coach and has a BA in Sports & Fitness from the University of Alabama

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