Cold, windy or snowy weather and crowded classes at school, as well as spending time in shopping malls and entertainment centers during vacations cause children to frequently get sick in winter. You need to be aware of some important points to strengthen your child's immune system and ensure that it remains healthy. Dr. Seda Günhar from the Department of Child Health and Diseases listed recommendations to protect children from winter diseases step by step.
STEP 1: Healthy nutrition and adequate rest are two golden rules for a strong immune system. It should be ensured that the child's diet is balanced and contains all food groups - meat, dairy, fruit and vegetables and grains. A healthy and regular nutrition program consisting of three main and at least two intermediate meals should be implemented. The child should also get enough rest and sleep.
STEP 2: Since vitamin C is not a stored vitamin, vegetables and fruit rich in vitamin C must be consumed daily. Vegetables, such as broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, celery, spinach, chard and radishes, and fruits, such as citrus, apples and kiwis, should be eaten in winter because they are effective in strengthening the immune system's defenses.
STEP 3: To strengthen the immune system, vitamin supplements should not be used without first getting a blood test and determining the deficiencies, and most importantly, without consulting a doctor. High doses of vitamins can cause many health problems like heart diseases and toxic poisoning.
STEP 4: Quality and adequate protein play an important role in the growth and development of the body. However, when you are sick, the body digests less protein. For this reason, it is important to increase protein consumption, especially during and after being sick. Red meat, fish and chicken are rich in protein and minerals. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids should be eaten at least once a week.
STEP 5: 70 percent of immune cells that produce antibodies live in the digestive system, and probiotics prevent disease-causing microorganisms from multiplying. Studies show that people who consume probiotics are approximately 50 percent more resistant to infections. By including homemade, natural yogurt, ayran and kefir made from natural yogurt in the diet, the probiotic strength of the child can be easily enhanced naturally without the need for probiotic pills. Boza and homemade pickles also strength-boosting probiotics. Excessive use of medicine, especially antibiotics, reduces the body's good bacteria. It is important to consume probiotics - also found in leeks, eggplants, onions and garlic - to feed probiotic bacteria and help them multiply.
STEP 6: Keeping children away from sick friends is also an important precaution. Children should not be sent to school while they are sick, and they should be kept away from environments where they could become ill during vacations. It is important for adults at home not to hug or kiss their children if they are sick.