By Heather Tubbs
Keeping our children healthy and out of harm’s way is every parent’s priority. These days everywhere you turn there is often sensationalistic news about an upcoming flu and cold season. Fear and paranoia is everywhere, even Elmo is teaching kids the proper way to sneeze and cough, which, for you who are not privy to this, is into your elbow. While taking precautionary measures is important to avoid becoming ill, the foundation for a truly healthy child is to build a solid immune system from birth by nourishing your children with the highest quality and most nutrient-dense whole foods available.
What is Nutrient Dense Food? It is energy-dense food that has more nutrients per calories than conventional food. The difference in whether or not a food is nutrient dense is determined by how it is raised or grown, this is why it is important to “Know your farmer” and understand farming practices. Meat and dairy from animals that are grass-fed are significantly more nutrient dense than meat or dairy from conventional farms. Fruits and vegetables grown on mineralized or organically fertilized soils are significantly more nutrient dense than conventional produce.
Providing your child with whole, organic nutrient-dense food is the basis to building a healthy immune system. There are many well known nutrients that are fundamental elements for building a healthy body: Vitamin C is well known for its benefit in strengthening the immune system, while Vitamin D plays a role in the regulation of both the “infectious” immune system and the “inflammatory” immune system.(1) and therefore is vital for building children’s immune systems.
The fall season is here and there is wonderful fresh bounty available. Fall brings us potatoes, sweet potatoes, butternut squash, broccoli, carrots, green beans, apples and pears (this foods are readily and conveniently available from specialty/certified organic retailers such as Yummy Spoonfuls who guarantee the provenance of their baby food). When grown organically in nutrient-dense soil, these foods contribute enormously to a healthy immune system. Here’s but a few of the nutrient details on these nutritious foods:
Broccoli is a great source of glucosinolates, phytonutrients rich in sulfur that stimulate the natural antioxidant systems in your body.
Carrots are packed with beta carotene, a phytonutrient that increases your body’s production of T-cells and natural killer cells.