So, what are the best foods that boost immune system for babies? No doubt this answer is important to many parents. That is understandable since good immunity, for the most part, means getting sick less often. To be honest, there is no such a magic food that can strengthen immunity immediately as it is associated with overall nutritional status. Instead, there is a close link between a strong immunity and a balanced and healthy diet.
Immune system fights diseases and disease-causing pathogens. On the one hand, this is an innate ability to most babies. Unfortunately, for certain reason some may suffer from congenital defects. In this case, foods are of little use here. On the other hand, this is also an adaptive (acquired) ability. Once the baby is born, he or she has to face the real challenge on its own. For example, babies get antibodies, lymphokines, and more when they are exposed to a variety of germs and infections. So to speak, the process of kids getting sick is the one of activating and improving their ability of defending them against disease-causing microorganisms.
In order to avoid the consequences or injury caused by some serious infectious diseases, vaccination is required to produce corresponding antibodies. That’s to say, vaccination is an effective way to defend kids against some specific types of disease-causing microorganisms.
Many people believe that some foods can produce magical effects. This is why they try to find out the list of foods to boost immune system. In fact, the main job of food for immunity is just to meet the body’s nutritional needs. In other words, a balanced, healthy diet ensures the babies to get enough vitamins, minerals and other required nutrients. As a result, it helps avoid malnutrition, lack of special elements, and the lowered immunity.
This is why parents should introduce solid foods, in particular foods high in iron, to their 6-8-month-old babies. Otherwise, iron deficiency anemia can affect the activity of some enzymes and increase the risk of infections. If a child is a picky eater, he gets infected with germs more easily. For example, vegetarian children tend to suffer from zinc deficiency, which then increases the risk of diarrhea and other diseases. So, it is a good idea to fill their plate with lots of different kinds of fresh fruits, vegetables, and meats, instead of so-called immunity-boosting foods.
If there is such a thing as natural immune booster in the world, it is breast milk. For newborns and infants, breast milk provides the most balanced nutrition and, more importantly, it contains some active ingredients, such as probiotics, some enzymes, antibodies, epidermal growth factor, etc. All of them can help decrease the number, severity, and duration of many infections. Studies have confirmed that breastfeeding could help reduce the risk of diarrhea, otitis media, upper respiratory tract infections and other diseases in babies and toddlers.
In comparison, other foods mainly provide nutrition. As far as nutrition is concerned, neither a particular ingredient is contained in only a particular kind of food, nor is a kind of food is irreplaceable. So, this is an unrealistic expectation to give the baby a strong immune system through diet. Or they are not foods but drugs.
In a word, for healthy babies breastfeeding, instead of adding so-called immune-boosting foods to their diet, is the best way to boost up their immune system. So, for the first 26 weeks of infants exclusive breastfeeding means a lot to their health and wellbeing since it provides all the nutrients required to protect them from potential sickness and disease.