Foods for your Immune System

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average elementary school student gets between 8 and 12 colds or cases of the flu each school year.​ Therefore, the key to build up your immune systems consists on:

  1. Getting plenty of sleep: School-age children should get about 10 to 11 hours of sleep every night, according to the CDC.  Sleep deprivation lowers the immune system’s ability to fight off infection.
  2. Exercise regularly, 40-60 min daily.
  3. Eat healthy food.

The gut lining is the core of the inmune system and defends you agains foreign invaders such as viruses and bacteria. The goal is to promote bacterial diversity to protect against bad bacteria and nourish good bacteria. For that we need some pre and probiotics (click here to read more about this topic). If you are going to take any prebiotics over the counter, first check with your healthcare provider since there are only a couple of brands which have been tested and are recommended. In general for a healthy pediatric patient, a dose of 5-10 billion CFUs bifidobacterium and lactobacillus is recommended.

Vitamin C. It appears that for the most part taking vitamin C won’t help the average person prevent colds. However, taking vitamin C before the onset of cold symptoms may shorten the duration of symptoms.

According to the latest research, taking at least 200 mg of vitamin C per day seems to reduce the duration of cold symptoms by an average of 8% in adults and 14% in children, which translated to about one less day of illness. It is better to get vitamin C from food, because you also get other important nutrients. Research is inconsistent regarding echinacea or zinc supplementation. Inclusively, zinc also has potentially harmful side effects so talk to your healthcare professional before taking it.

In this segment we discuss some lunch and snack ideas for kids:

⁃    Oatmeal cups with Yogurt with berries & mixed seeds (mix raspberries)

⁃    Cucumbers, peppers, carrots, naan, hummus

⁃    Bread with PB and raspberries, mandarins, tomatoes

⁃    Apples & celery with almond butter pack, almond crackers & mini avo


Oatmeal cups recipe:

Yields: 10 cups


2 cups of instant oatmeal

3 Tbsp oatmeal flour

1/2 tsp backing powder

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/2 tsp honey

2 egg whites


  1. Mix all the ingredients and follow the directions as shown in the video below.
  2. Microwave for 90 seconds and let cool.
  3. Fill them with non-fat, plain Greek yogurt or yogurt alternative, nut or peanut butter and top with your favorite fruits.
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