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  • TABLE OF CONTENTS

    Written by Shelley Cameron

    Supplements & Foods for Cold & Flu Season

    Supplements & Foods for Cold & Flu Season
    Estimated time to read 4 minutes

    With cold and flu season ahead, many of us are looking for ways to boost immune and overall health in ourselves and our little ones. So we wanted to compile a list of functional foods and supplements that are both safe and effective for you and your family. 

    And remember, the best defense is a good offense, so remember to practice good hygiene, like frequent hand washing and staying home when you aren't feeling well! 

    What Is A Functional Food?

    “Functional food” doesn’t have a strict definition, but the concept has been around for all of human history. In general, functional foods can be thought of as those that provide health benefits beyond basic nutrition and help prevent disease. The table below highlights some functional supplements that are immune-boosting and appropriate for babies and toddlers as well as adults.

    How Supplements Can Support

    We’re all about food first here, but sometimes, food alone just isn't enough, or isn’t feasible. Supplements are a great way to get additional nutrients into little ones (and yourself). The list below includes supplements that are well-researched for their influence on immune health, as well as recommendations for high-quality brands that we trust.

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    If you or your little one have a hard time with supplements, try different methods like adding them to their favorite drink (or our pouches), mixing them into everyday meals, and using different utensils, like a syringe, dropper, finger, or spoon.

    Serenity Kids is on a mission to make babies healthier, but we are not doctors. We always recommend consulting a health professional when feeding or giving supplements to your baby.

    Breast Milk for Immunity

    Before we get into the immune boosting foods and supplements, it’s worth noting that if you’re nursing, breast milk is an incredible immune booster for little ones. Breast milk has the amazing ability to actually change composition to adapt to what a baby needs. And if you are sick yourself, keep nursing as much as possible as your milk can provide protective antibodies to your little nursling. Just remember to stay hydrated. 

    Immune-Boosting Foods & Supplements

    Functional Food or Supplement

    Our Favorite Sources

    How Does It Boost Immunity?

    Dosage and Delivery for Babies and Toddlers

    Bone Broth

    -Homemade (instructions here) 

    - Bare Bones Bone Broth

    - Serenity Kids Toddler Purees with bone broth 



    Full of protein, collagen, gelatin, minerals, and amino acids that support the gut and promote healing

    Can start at 6 months in a slightly warm bottle and move up to a straw cup when ready; can also cook grain-free pasta with it.



    Liver

    - Liver Bone Broth (how Serenity makes it)

    - Use grass-fed beef liver or organic chicken liver for maximum nutrition.

    Contains many nutrients, including high levels of Vitamin A (a 100-gram serving has 860-1100% of the recommended daily intake)

    Liver can be combined with other meats or made into broth. Read all about why and how to feed your kids organ meat.

    Herbs and Spices

    - Garlic, ginger, and turmeric

    - Serenity Kids Turmeric Chicken with Bone Broth

    Sends cell signals that regulate the immune system and reduce inflammation

    Introduce one new spice every four to five days to see if there's an adverse reaction, then include small amounts in foods regularly

    Green Vegetables

    - Broccoli, cabbage, kale, and all dark leafy greens

    Contain phytochemicals (compounds from plants) like carotenoids that boost immunity 

    1 cup of vegetables per day for toddlers. Adding leafy greens to a smoothie with A2 Whole Milk Toddler Formula and some berries and healthy fats is a great option!

    Whole Berries and Fruits

    - Strawberries, blueberries, apples, citrus, kiwi, and cherries

    Contain phytochemicals like quercetin and flavonoids that fight inflammation and terpenes that fight viruses, as well as vitamin C

    Avoid juice and processed fruit purees, which are nutrient poor and stress the body with more sugar and less fiber.

    Elderberry

    - Gaia Kids Black Elderberry Syrup & Seattle Elderberry

    Contains vitamins and antioxidants that fight cell-damaging radicals

    ½ tsp daily for 12 months+ (not for babies under 12 months). The syrup is easy to feed baby directly because it tastes so good!

    Olive Oil

    - Any of our pouches with Organic Olive Oil

    - Any good quality pure olive oil sold in a dark glass bottle

    Contains bioactive compounds that help reduce cellular damage

    Feed regularly, cook food with it and use it as dressing for veggies, noodles, or other favorite foods. 

    Omega-3s 

    - Our Wild-Caught Salmon pouch

    - Wild caught salmon or sardines (both are soft and easy for babies to gum down)

    - Nordic Naturals Children's DHA Liquid

    - Rosita Extra Virgin Cod Liver Oil

    Essential fatty acids that work in our cell membranes to regulate inflammation, promote heart health, and protect against cancers

    Nordic Naturals: 1.25 mL daily. Can be given in a syringe, on a spoon, or mixed into food

    Rosita: 4 drops to ¼ tsp daily 

    Fermented foods

    - Kefir, yogurt, sauerkraut (Cocoyo, Wildbrine, Bubbies)

    - Just Thrive Probiotic




    Beneficial bacteria that promote digestive health and deliver necessary antioxidants to the GI tract

    Foods: Avoid dairy-based fermented foods until 12 months

    Probiotic: 1/2 capsule daily for under 12 months, 1 capsule for 12+ months. Open the capsule and add it to a pouch, liquid, or sprinkle on food. 

    Vitamin C

    - Pure Synergy Pure Radiance C Powder

    Helps collagen form and iron absorb to develop and repair all body tissues

    ⅛ tsp or a small pinch in any liquid or sprinkled on food or in a pouch

    Vitamin D

    - Carlson Labs Kid’s Super Daily D3+K2 

    Stored in fat cells until needed to regulate the absorption of calcium, which keeps the skeleton healthy

    One drop daily. Our suggestion has no added sugars or fillers, and you can add it to a child’s regular food or drink.

    Astragalus

    Herb Pharm Immune Fortifier 

    May increase the body’s production of white blood cells which can fight infection and boost immunity

    Five drops for toddlers over age 2. Note this formula also contains immune boosters echinacea, reishi, elderberry, and cinnamon

    Baby Steps

    Yes, this list is long, and it can seem overwhelming. But don’t think you have to give (or take) all of them every day. Think of it as a toolkit - these powerful functional foods and supplements are all helpful tools to help boost immunity and support health. Do what you can, take what seems most feasible, and note what seems most effective for your own family.  



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