As the end of summer approaches I am reminded of that feeling of the last week of summer from when I was a little kid. As a parent I find myself thinking of another part of back to school-the ever so lovely cold and flu season. A great way to boost your little critters immune system and yours-you know how kids love to share their colds, so kind of them- is to prepare meals that are rich in immune boosting vitamins.
Dr.Sears has a straightforward list of immune boosting vitamins. Here’s his list, along with some of the foods that provide these golden nuggets of nutrition.
Vitamin C. I’m sure most are familiar with this list, aside from oranges and citrus here’s a few of the less common foods- Bell peppers, Fresh thyme and parsley, dark leafy greens, broccoli, kiwi, papaya, and strawberries
Vitamin E. There are a lot of nuts in this group so if your child is to young or has an allergy, obviously, avoid those. Aside from nuts cooked spinach is a great source, along with dried basil, oregano, chili powder (this doesn’t have to be hot) and paprika, and dried apricots (great for snacks).
Cartenoids (most common member here is beta carotene). This one has great food options for kid friendly recipes: carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, cantaloupe, spinach, and broccoli.
Bioflavenoids. Garlic (awesome superfood), broccoli, spinach, citrus, and brussels sprouts
Zinc. this one is a little tough for kids because again it’s a nutrient found heavily in nuts and shellfish, like oysters (oh yeah, I can see my kid sliding one of those down his throat.) lamb and mutton. You can get it from toasted wheat germ, but I feel like is coming most from their multi-vitamin.
Garlic. Garlic, garlic, everywhere. Seriously, it’s so good for you.
Selenium. This category again features a lot of nuts and fish, like tuna and red snapper, but other sources include white meat chicken, egg yolks, whole grains, cottage cheese, and of course, garlic.
Omega-3 fatty Acids. THe best way to get this into your diet is with fish oil or flax. flax seeds are a great addition to baking or cereals, while flax oil can be added to almost anything. taken with vitamin E its a huge immune system booster.
More information about these vitamins HERE.
I’ll be posting recipes on the blog that are full of these vitamins and have been tested on my very own little critter- along with the rest of my family. Stock up on these foods and save your sick days for when you feel just fine but want to do something fun!