A healthy, balanced foundation for your baby's immune system starts with breast-feeding, good nutrition, a non-toxic environment, and some physical fun. Remember: they're relying on you for the best start.
Children are constantly exposed to bugs and toxins, but this doesn't mean they'll necessarily fall ill. The key to a healthy child is a healthy immune system – it protects and forms natural defences to fight off disease.
Boost your child's immune system
Breast-fed babies experience less infection than bottle-fed babies. Breast milk is vital in building a baby's immunity, and protecting against disease. However, some mothers are unable to breast-feed, in which case a hypo-allergenic formula is best.
- Nurture with nutrition
Highly-processed and sugar-loaded foods aren't good for little (or bigger) ones. It's essential to give your child excellent daily nutrition to keep their immune system healthy and strong. Ensure a variety of fresh produce, including fruit and vegetables, as well as fibre-rich nuts, seeds, beans, and wholegrains. Offer good-quality snack foods, and make meal-time fun through a variety of food offerings. Most children are fussy eaters, but eventually get used to the food choices they're given – just keep trying.
Ensure sufficient sleep and a reasonable bed-time. Your little one's body regenerates and renews itself during sleep. No child's sleeping pattern is the same, establishing a routine helps your child know what to expect. Calm, relaxed babies and children rest better – and so do you.
- Touch and feel
Love and attention are wonderful ways to boost immunity. Children who grow up in a loving environment feel more secure and happy. Hug, touch, and kiss your children regularly. Stress at home depletes the immune system, and lowers resistance to disease.
- Get out and about
Regularly spend time with your child outdoors, encouraging physical activity, and fun. If your baby is still small, use your stroller. Nature and vitamin D-inducing sunlight are excellent immune stimulators.
Studies have shown touch to be as important to children as sleeping and eating. Touch therapy, which includes massage, decreases stress levels, subsequently improving immune function. According to Prof Lawrence Schachner, MD of the University of Miami School of Medicine, it also helps children who suffer from skin disorders, and nurtures parent-infant bonding.
If you know your child's resistance is down, or needs a nudge, use Sister Lilian ImmunoCare regularly to strengthen the immune system. This remedy is a combination of complementary medicine which balances and helps improve immunity, aiding faster recovery from, and reducing frequent bouts of illness.
Administering Sister Lilian Remedies tablets
Made of isomalt, they're quite hard and need to be crushed for little ones. Sister Lilian explains: "Place the tablet on one teaspoon. Put the back of a second identical teaspoon against the tablet and press down, grinding until the tablet is powdered."
Give the powder as follows:
• Place directly in mouth where it mixes with saliva and is swallowed easily
• Make into paste with a little water and give on a teaspoon
• For babies, dissolve powder in 25 ml water, baby's milk or Rooibos tea, or rub onto gums or tongue with clean fingers.
This Article was previously published in Vitalise Magazine.