Food and Nutrition

5 Immunity Boosting Foods & How These Help in Boosting Child's Immune System

Puja Sharma Vasisht
3 to 7 years

Created by Puja Sharma Vasisht
Updated on Apr 19, 2019

5 Immunity Boosting Foods How These Help in Boosting Childs Immune System
Reviewed by Expert panel

Is anxiety filling your heart as you nurse your child's third cold in two months? As a parent, you might often wish for a magic wand to cast a "no-illness" spell on your child. It is heartbreaking to see a child struggle with frequent colds and viral illnesses. These 8 immunity booster foods to make baby fight with them. While, unfortunately, there isn't such a wand, there are some healthy additions to your child's diet that can help keep illnesses at bay.

How Can I Help Boost My Child's Immune System?

There are simple food and lifestyle factors that can aid in boosting your child's immune system_

  1. Freshly prepared food: Avoid packaged and processed food as much as possible. Juices have high sugar content, which suppresses the immune system
  2. Healthy digestive tract: The bacteria that live in the digestive system influences the immune system, too. When there is an imbalance, immunity decreases. Probiotics help in keeping the balance of healthy bacteria in the gut
  3. Rest: Your child needs sufficient sleep to have a healthy immune system

What Are Some Immunity-Boosting Superfoods?

Here are some superfoods that you can include in your child's diet-

  1. Vegetables: Nothing beats two or three helpings of veggies a day.
    • Green, leafy vegetables are especially known to boost immunity. They are rich in iron, which aids in producing white blood cells and antibodies. An interesting way to offer it is to make some delicious spinach and onion soup, or palak paneer to go with yummy paranthas
    • Vegetable cutlets are a great way to include many, different vegetables
    • Sweet potatoes are great for immunity building
  2. Fruits: Vitamin-C rich fruits like oranges and antioxidant-powerhouse berries are known to improve immunity. If your child refuses to eat berries, make yogurt smoothies with strawberries and blueberries. Fruit salads are also a good way to increase fruit intake
  3. Dried Fruits & Nuts: Almonds, cashews, figs, raisins, apricots, walnuts – all these are powerhouses of nutrition like essential fatty acids and omega-3, which boost immunity and aid in brain development
  4. Herbs and Spices: 
    • One of your basic kitchen essentials, turmeric, has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Enough said, don't you think?
    • Tulsi, a common household plant, works wonders at keeping colds at bay due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties. It also helps when your child is already down with a cold. Boil a few leaves in water, strain and give him a few sips throughout the day
    • Ginger and garlic: Commonly used in preparing masalas and gravies, these two contain flavonoids that boost immunity. Use them in your cooking to enhance flavor while ensuring good health
    • Ghee: A host of nutrients, such as lycopene from tomatoes, and beta-carotene from orange and yellow vegetables, get absorbed by the body only with the aid of fat. Therefore, a couple of spoons of ghee in a day will make your child healthier
    • Eggs and Lean Meat: Whip up that delicious omelet, or give him a boiled egg topped up with delicious herbs or pepper, for your child's daily dose of lean protein—the building blocks of the body. Chicken soup is soul food. When you were a child, didn't your mother offer comfort during illnesses with a bowl of steaming chicken soup? Another good option is fish, although do check if your child has any allergies first
    • Yogurt: Dahi is another must-have food for growing children. Dahi is loaded with healthy bacteria that keep the intestines and gut in smooth, working condition. The better these organs function, the more they absorb nutrients and keep the body ticking
    • Seeds: We don't really pay them the attention we should - watermelon, sunflower, or pumpkin seeds. These are high in zinc, an uber-important nutrient for boosting immunity, and for healthy skin. Crush and sprinkle on dahi, or powder and mix in dough while making rotis
  5. Note: Check for Allergies first

Keep changing your child's meal, as the variety will help in keeping his immune system ticking. A portion of these essential foods in rotation every day will make your child not only physically healthy but help his brain develop, too. [Read More - Food That Will Boost Immunity in Kids]

Do you have any tips on superfoods to boost a child's immunity? Share your tips with us in the comments section!

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Nov 04, 2015

Hi puja, thanks a lot for this article. This is really informative. But could you please mention from which age group can we give these food

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| Nov 04, 2015

hi pujay thanks very informative

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| Nov 06, 2015

@Priya, this blog has written for toddlers.

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| Nov 06, 2015

Thanks for information.... n specially for different recipe u mentioned here

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| Nov 06, 2015

Hi thanks for information

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| Nov 07, 2015

Thanks pooja.. it is very helpfull information.

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| Nov 07, 2015

Thanks pooja.. it is very helpfull information.

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| Nov 19, 2015

Very helpful thank you so much

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| Nov 23, 2015

Thanks....

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| Dec 08, 2015

Very helpful. .thanq so much

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| Dec 08, 2015

Very helpful....

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| Dec 08, 2015

Thnx Puja... its really helpful...

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| Dec 09, 2015

Thanq very helpful..

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| Dec 09, 2015

Very useful.

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| Dec 09, 2015

Thanx

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| Dec 09, 2015

Very Informative

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| Dec 10, 2015

THANK U,IT IS VERY USEFUL

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| Dec 10, 2015

Thank u for wonderful information.

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| Dec 11, 2015

Very informative

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| Dec 11, 2015

Hi. thanks for the useful info.. but can you please suggest on food or diet that prevents occurrence of common cold

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| Dec 11, 2015

Really helpful info. . But how to control cold and cough cause due to climate change and pollution and air / dust allergies.

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| Dec 12, 2015

@Seema@Phiroza, the foods mentioned in the blog itself along with a balanced diet, good hygiene and sanitation can help in building up immunity. None of the food can act as preventive food or as vaccination against common infections.

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| Jan 06, 2016

useful information,thanks

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| Jan 07, 2016

My son like to eat all of these except first and third one. But frequently he has cold and cough. what I have to do?

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| Jan 07, 2016

@Malathi, Hi, the foods mentioned in the blog help in building up immunity, so try including them frequently in your child's diet. But a child's overall nutritional status, level of hygiene and sanitation, genetics, exposure to germs, environmental pollutants etc are some of the other factors which affect a child's immunity status too.

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| Jan 08, 2016

It's really very helpful information...

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| Jan 10, 2016

Very useful and i am happy to be here

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| Jan 11, 2016

Good morning

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| Jan 11, 2016

Good morning

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| Jan 14, 2016

Thnq.. this is a really good information... I learn more from this

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| Feb 22, 2016

How often can we give fish to a toddlers

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| Feb 27, 2016

Great tips☺☺thanks

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| Feb 28, 2016

My eats flax seeds and fish egg vegetables but she is always affected with cough due to phlegm formation so I can't give her citrus fruits then what should I do?

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| Feb 29, 2016

@Jyothi, hi, you can give your toddler fish in the form it is prepared in your family. Keeping the spices mild, you may give it in grilled or curry form.

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| Feb 29, 2016

@Kameshwari, hi, for frequent phlegm, you may take advice of your paediatrician. Citrus fruits and amla can be given to increase the vitamin C in your child's diet, which helps in immunity.

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| Jun 24, 2016

my child is 1 yr old. when he was 1 mn old he suffered from pneumonia and chest surgery to remove caugh. ànd my doctor advised to avoid all fruits which contains vitamin c and dry frùits as they cause caugh in child is it true??

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| Aug 02, 2016

Thanks for info

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| Aug 02, 2016

And thank u for suggesting ways v can give to child..

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| Aug 02, 2016

thanks for these tips

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| Aug 05, 2016

Thanks for Good Info..

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| Aug 07, 2016

How to make amla juice??

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| Aug 10, 2016

Thank you

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| Aug 29, 2016

What is sunflower seeds?

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| Aug 31, 2016

Thanks fr ur healthy tips fr our childs

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| Aug 31, 2016

Thank u..

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| Sep 02, 2016

Thank u for the info

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| Sep 02, 2016

good info

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| Sep 04, 2016

thank u somuch for giving this important msg

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| Sep 05, 2016

thank for such valuable information on diet of toddlers

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| Sep 07, 2016

Most of our immunity booster such as Chawanprash or health drinks such as Complain/Horlicks claim to have these as ingredients. Still no improvement.

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| Sep 11, 2016

can I add some powdered mishri in nut n dry fruit laddoos?

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| Sep 12, 2016

can I feed these food to 16months girl. bcoz if I introduce any new food to her she eats but with in the completion of food it comes out as motion so plz suggest.

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| Sep 13, 2016

Thanks for your valuable information ....

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| Sep 13, 2016

wat is da age group to start these food

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| Sep 21, 2016

what is the age group start this foods

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| Sep 21, 2016

Very important & helpful information. In today's world it is very very important to boost child's immunity & stamina. Epidemics of new diseases are increasing day by day. If child's immunity is strong it will fight against such diseases & will need less medicines

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| Sep 22, 2016

very helpful

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| Oct 15, 2016

at what age and how can fish be introduced

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| Dec 18, 2016

can i give dry fruit to my 2 yrs old daughter.

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| Dec 18, 2016

thanks for valuable information

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| Dec 18, 2016

thank u so much for ur kind information

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| Dec 19, 2016

Thanks a lot for all these information .Definitely I will try for my son

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| Dec 19, 2016

thanks so much for your kind information...

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| Dec 19, 2016

Nice

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| Dec 19, 2016

Thank you so much. informative things

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| Dec 27, 2016

How to make pan cake of sprouts

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| Dec 28, 2016

Thanks for useful information.

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| Dec 28, 2016

good information... thank you

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| Dec 28, 2016

@hi nidhi! I started giving dry fruits to my child when she was 18 months. @karpaga- introduced fish to my child turned 2 years recently

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| Dec 28, 2016

Take out the seeds from 2 gooseberries (amla) and cut into small pieces. Grind these pieces in the grinder with little water and make a paste. Mix this paste in 1 cup water and sieve it. Add 2 tea spoon honey or a pinch of black salt into the juice and drink it fresh.

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| Feb 11, 2017

fantastic information. thanks

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| Feb 11, 2017

good info, thanks

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| Feb 11, 2017

gud information thank u so much

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| Mar 03, 2017

thank u so much

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| Mar 03, 2017

7tft7ntggyyyiuis

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| Mar 07, 2017

Thank you so much for your help

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