It's easy to contemplate never leaving the house with your little one if it means they'll stay happy and healthy. But since we know busy lives and rational thought prevent us from taking those extreme measures, here are some nutrition-packed superfoods to add to your baby’s meals to help build their immune system.
Healthful Foods That Help Boost Immunity
Ginger root is a popular immunity-building food. There are many ways you can incorporate ginger into your baby's food. A little bit of grated ginger can be a great way to flavor grains like quinoa. To mellow the taste, you can mash or purée it with a sweeter fruit like a pear or a root vegetable like sweet potato. No matter how you present it, ginger can help boost immunity!
Cauliflower contains Vitamin C and has many benefits related to its Brassica family. Steam cauliflower before serving to your little one to ensure a softer texture. Raw, hard veggies can pose a choking risk for both babies and children under the age of five. Cauliflower also comes in a range of colors and exposing your baby to a variety of colors of food from an early age will help stave off picky eating and build a foundation for adventurous, healthy eating!
Garlic is rich in nutrients and contains compounds that help the immune system. Whole garlic contains alliin, a compound that turns into allicin when garlic is crushed or chewed. While we know your little one won’t be quite into chewing a clove of garlic, it can be blended into baby food or garlic oil can be drizzled on other food to boost your baby’s immune system.
Greens such as kale and spinach are packed with immune-boosting properties. With vitamin C and vitamin E, kale greens contain antioxidants which help the body. (Fun fact: one cup of kale has more vitamin C than an orange!) If your baby is eating purées, blend some kale with turmeric or a sweet fruit and serve to your little one. If your baby is exploring solid foods, mince sautéed kale and fold it into an omelet.
Turmeric root is dried and typically ground into its yellow-orange powder and is often added as a spice to curries and other foods. Curcumin is the active compound in turmeric. To increase the power of curcumin, pair it with black pepper. It can be blended into baby food or lightly sprinkled onto your child’s finger foods. Keep in mind that turmeric can stain little hands, table cloths, bibs, and almost anything it comes in contact with!