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A fit and healthy child can achieve wonders and a child’s immunity plays a crucial role in his or her success.
The time-tested way of building immunity, according to my dad is letting my child get a healthy dose of mother earth and sunshine. The old method of playing in the mud, falling, getting dirty and experiencing the wonders of outdoors worked for most children until a generation ago, but today, the stressors children face are very different. Pollution, imbalanced diets and heightened stress all add to low immunity and more vulnerable children today.
The most crucial ingredients in our life are what we eat, our fitness and sleep habits, and our overall lifestyle. I follow these five steps to ensure my child has strong immunity to tackle any challenge.
“Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments” – Bethenny Frankel. Fish, lean meats, eggs, fruits, vegetables, nuts, dry fruits, and curd are all easily available and are included in his diet. Vibrant foods like beets, mushrooms, salmon, walnuts, berries, etc not only make a refreshing meal but are healthy as well. The varying tastes and colors making it easy to add in his favourite dishes – most of the days. A rainbow diet is highly recommended.
While the basic vaccination is done by the hospitals for all children at birth, I ensure that the follow-up and boosters, as well as optional vaccines, are done on time. Not just for the initial two years but the booster doses for him as he grows are completed on time to bolster his immunity through the growing years. The third dose of the oral polio vaccine, for instance, is required at between 4 and 6 years, while at this stage, two other vaccines that are also suggested are a typhoid booster and a second dose of the chicken pox vaccine (if your child has already received the first one earlier). Consult your paediatrician on the correct time to administer these.
No parent can overlook the importance of teaching good oral and general hygiene to his or her child. Young children often put all kinds of things into the mouth, and even children above the age of four can pick up infections in many ways such as not washing hands after using the toilet. I started early, and ensured that even as a toddler he understood the basics of clean vs. dirty. Clean and dirty were concepts easiest to explain when he started walking and revelled in the dirt.
I emphasize this not just for my child but for the whole family. Stress is a major factor in our lives today and our little ones are facing it as well. The pressure to perform, to stand out, to excel in all aspects of their lives takes the fun out of childhood. Some practical ways to reduce stress are ensuring an early and consistent bedtime, making sure your child has sufficient time to play, and doing enjoyable activities such as reading a story or building a castle together.
Staying as healthy and fit as you can is crucial in boosting your child’s immunity. Getting a daily dose of exercise, some outdoor activity or play is very significant. It slowly becomes a lifestyle routine that promotes health and boosts immunity as well.
Building and boosting your child’s immunity is not a one-day affair. It is a continuous process, a daily step to good health. It is a lifestyle choice that promotes healthy choices. These simple yet effective methods that I follow will make it a lot easier for you to monitor and build your child’s immunity, and yours too.