Foods that help build a child's defenses are those that contain nutrients such as zinc, iron, or vitamin C because they are key to the proper functioning of the immune system.
These nutrients are obtained through the diet. Food plays an essential role in children's immune systems and there is evidence linking nutritional deficiencies with increased risk of infection.
Recommendations for feeding children
- Breast milk: One of the main pieces of evidence about breastfeeding is that it protects from the risk of infection in the first year of life.
- Zinc: Zinc supports immune function.
- Vitamin C: Vitamin C is an antioxidant and antioxidants help protect cells against damage caused by free radicals.
What foods contain vitamin C?
Vitamin C is found in fruits, especially kiwi, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, strawberries. Vegetables, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, red and green peppers, spinach, and cabbage are some of the vegetables that contain the most vitamin C. To preserve the vitamins it is preferable to steam them.
- Iron: Iron is essential for the proper functioning of the immune system and its deficiency has been shown to affect the body's response to infection.
What foods contain iron?
Iron is mainly present in foods of animal origin, such as beef and poultry. But It is also present in legumes, lentils, chickpeas, and nuts.
Vitamin E: Vitamin E is also an antioxidant that helps protect cells from free radicals.
What foods contain vitamin E?
Oils of vegetable origin, especially sunflower oil, but also olive oil, nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds or walnuts, vegetables such as avocado, asparagus, spinach, or broccoli.
Vitamin A: Vitamin A helps regulate the immune system's response.
What foods contain vitamin A?
Orange and yellow fruits, vegetables such as broccoli or spinach, and most green leafy vegetables
Good nutrition in childhood plays an important role in preventing future illnesses. The habits that are acquired in childhood will be important for children to become healthier adults.