Nutrition and Immunity for You and Your Little One During COVID-19
Currently, there is no preventative vaccine, cure or treatment against COVID-19, also known as the “coronavirus”. However, below are a few things to keep in mind to minimize the risk of ourselves and our loved ones from falling ill. You may be wondering what foods can help “boost” your immune system. The reality is, there is no food, supplement or health product that can “boost” your immune system or that can prevent, treat or cure COVID-19. Below we share some tips on how to best support your health and keep your family safe and healthy.
Are children at risk?
People of all ages are at risk of being infected with COVID-19, but at this point there are relatively few children who have been infected. It seems that the severity of COVID-19 infection in children is less than adults. However, the risk for children remains, and infants may be at higher risk of severe symptoms, compared to older children. Regardless, it is important to use preventative measures listed below when taking care of your little one to protect them as best as possible.
How you can help protect your baby and yourself.
Minimize close contact with others and practice physical distancing. Make sure to frequently wash your hands with warm water and soap, and avoid touching your face (eyes, nose or mouth). When coughing or sneezing, do so in your elbow or a tissue and dispose of your tissue right away. Finally, make sure to clean surfaces that you touch or use often, like door handles, counter tops, cabinet handles, toys, and don’t forget to wipe down your phone!
When caring for your baby, wash your hands with soap and water before and after feeding and cough or sneeze in your elbow or a disposable tissue. When preparing a bottle, always wash your hands and kitchen surfaces thoroughly before starting and boil clean bottles, nipples, caps and utensils in water for 2 minutes at a rolling boil to ensure your equipment is properly sterilized.
Nutrition Guidelines for yourself and your little one.
To help support your immune function, focus on a balanced diet including a variety of healthy foods. Having trouble finding fresh fruits and veggies at the store? Frozen fruits and veggies are nutritious and typically frozen during their peak ripeness to ensure best possible flavor. When it comes to canned vegetables, choose options with little or no added salt and make sure to drain and rinse them. With canned fruit, choose options with little or no added sugars, packaged in water or fruit juice instead of syrup.
If your baby is under 6 months, rest assured that your breast milk or formula is providing them with the necessary nutrients. There is no need to add any additional foods or supplements, other than vitamin D if your baby is breastfed.
If your baby is about 6 months or older and having solids, focus on a varied and well-balanced diet, including iron-rich foods, whole grains and a variety of fruits and vegetables. When choosing fruits and vegetables, follow the same guidelines as for yourself, regarding frozen or canned options, but make sure the foods you are offering are at the right textures for your baby’s stage of development.
What are some tips or tricks you’ve discovered to help your little one eat more fruits and veggies? Let us and other parents know in the comment section below!