8 Ways to Boost Your Child's Overall Immunity & Health Through The Winter & The New Year

We are currently at that time of the year where it’s cold, and children are sniffling and falling sick here and there. Cold is usually a sign that your child’s immune system might be compromised. Your child’s immune system is their body’s defense against germs and diseases. It is crucial to help them boost and strengthen their immune system for overall health.

We have put together some tips to help your boost your child’s immune system during the winter and beyond (even amidst Covid-19). Keep reading to find out Privinta’s tips to help boost your child’s immunity.

1. For newborns, breastfeed, if you can

Breastfeeding your baby is a personal choice. However, there is substantial evidence that breastfeeding plays a crucial role in boosting the immune system of your infant.

Breastmilk is a rich source of antibodies and white blood cells. Breastfeeding your infant may help reduce allergies. If you can exclusively breastfeed for 6 months, this begins the foundation for developing a healthy immune system. However, if for any reason you can’t be exclusive, for the few days, or weeks you breastfeed, your baby will also receive the nutrients found in breastmilk.

2. Avoid antibiotics unless necessary

As parents, it is easier to just give our kids antibiotics when they have a cold, flu, or something else. But did you know too many antibiotics actually do more harm than good?

For one, in a bid to kill the bad bacteria causing the illness, it can also kill the good bacteria found in your kid’s gut microbiome. Good bacteria are responsible for warding off diseases and keeping your kid’s gut flora healthy.

So the next time your doctor prescribes your child antibiotics, ask some questions. Are there natural antibiotics alternatives? Can my child’s immune system take care of the illness without the antibiotics?

Additionally, your child should get the “flu shot” yearly. Particularly for children with asthma and other chronic health conditions.

If your family will be traveling outside the country, it’s is critical to consult with your child's healthcare practitioner about any necessary vaccines.

3. Give them probiotics and prebiotics for a balanced gut microbiome

Your kid’s gut flora is where both the good and bad bacteria reside. To keep their gut health in check, good bacteria must always be present.

Probiotics are live good bacteria found in the gut, while prebiotics serves as foods for probiotics.

To keep your kid’s gut health balanced, and boost their immunity, serve probiotics and prebiotics-rich foods.

For probiotics-rich foods, you can serve kefir which comes in different flavors that your kids will love. Sauerkraut and yogurt are other great options. You can use fruits as toppings for your yogurt. If your child is a picky eater, a probiotic gummy packed with good bacteria is also helpful.

Check out Privinta Probiotic Gummy.

Examples of prebiotic-rich foods include:

  • Asparagus
  • Beetroot
  • Nectarines
  • Garlic
  • Sweetcorn
  • Grapefruit
  • Watermelon

Learn more about probiotics for kids by reading our guide here.

4. Make sure your child is getting enough sleep

You cannot underestimate the benefits of a good night’s rest. Your child needs quality sleep every night, and as a parent, it’s your duty to help them get it.

Not getting enough sleep limits the body’s ability to produce proteins called cytokines that help fight infection and reduce inflammation.

Sleep requirements vary by age. Here’s an estimate of how much sleep your child needs every day

  • Babies between 0 and 3 months need 14 to 17 hours of sleep. Those between 4 and 12 months need 12 to 16 hours of sleep.
  • Children between the ages of 1 and 2 need between 11 and 14 hours.
  • Kids between the ages of 3 and 5 should get from10 to 13 hours.
  • Children ages 6 to 12 should get between 9 and 12 hours.
  • Teens between the ages of 13 to 18 need 8 to 10 hours.

Here are some tips we recommend to help your child sleep better.

  • Set a bedtime. Training your kids to sleep and wake up at a particular time will help set their body’s internal clock
  • Set a bedtime routine. This could be reading a story, saying a prayer, brushing their teeth, or taking a bath before bedtime
  • Limit the use of electronic devices before bedtime
  • Keep the bedroom cool
  • Give them plenty of sunlight during the day
  • Pop in a melatonin gummy if your child is having difficulties sleeping.

Getting enough sleep every day helps your child’s body fight off any germs that come their way. Learn more about melatonin for kids by reading our guide here.

5. Encourage a healthy diet

As much as possible, skip the sugar and the junk (A.K.A processed foods). Give your child healthy whole foods that are packed with the right nutrients to boost their immunity. Incorporate in your child’s diet whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins.

Additionally, Instead of giving candies and sweets for snacks, you can substitute them for fruits or sweets made from natural sweeteners like stevia.

Fruits and vegetables

This sounds cliche, but they are immune boosters for kids. Fruits and vegetables are rich in various antioxidants which protect cells from damage and disease and strengthen your child’s immune system. Vegetables and fruits also contain different vitamins and minerals that are good for health.

But, I understand how difficult it is to get some kids to eat vegetables. What I recommend is to spice things up by preparing fruits and vegetables in rainbow colors, or experimenting with different cooking methods.

Here’s a complete rainbow color fruits and veggies palette I recommend from Alea.

  • White/ Brown: cauliflower, mushrooms, bananas, potatoes, onions, radishes, white peaches, garlic
  • Green: cucumber, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, kale, asparagus, avocados, kiwi, celery, spinach, peas, green apples, green grapes
  • Orange/ Yellow: oranges, pumpkin, carrots, lemons, sweet potato, pineapples, apricots, grapefruit, mangoes, corn, ginger
  • Blue/ Purple: blueberries, blackberries, grapes, plums, eggplant
  • Red: pomegranate, strawberries, raspberries, tomatoes, watermelon, red apples

Fruits and veggies rich in antioxidants include berries and green vegetables such as broccoli and dark, leafy greens like spinach, kale, collard, and mustard greens.

Vitamins and minerals

As said earlier, a healthy diet should contain fruit and veggies, which in turn will contain vitamins and minerals.

Some of these vitamins and minerals help strengthen the immune system. They include:

  • Zinc. Zinc helps to promote the production of white blood cells. These white blood cells are responsible for defending your child’s body against infections. Protein-based foods are usually good sources of Zinc, such as (oysters, red meat, and poultry), beans, and nuts. However, you want to be careful not to serve these excessively, as they may lead to tummy problems.
  • Iron. Iron helps promote the functionality of immune cells. Iron can be found in red meat and fish, as well as in plant-based sources, including whole grains, nuts, beans, bananas, and spinach.
  • Vitamin C Vitamin C is an antioxidant responsible for destroying free radicals built up in the body and supporting the body’s natural immune response. Sources of vitamin C include oranges, lemons, kiwis, and many other fruits and vegetables.
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D is responsible for reducing the production of pro-inflammatory compounds in the body to reduce the risk of viral infections, such as respiratory tract infections. Vitamin D can be found in egg and dairy products, as well as fatty fish. Alternatively, children can obtain vitamin D through exposure to sunlight.


Omega-3 is well-known for its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a normal immune response, but chronic inflammation can cause tissue damage and have a negative impact on health. Omega-3 fatty acids can aid in the rebuilding of functional immunity by preventing additional infections and supporting tissue healing. Omega 3s are also beneficial for your kid’s brain.

Omega-3 can be found in pecans, chia seeds, flax seeds, walnuts, fatty fish, such as salmon, sardine, mackerel, etc.

Nuts and Seeds

Walnuts, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, chia seeds, and ground flaxseeds all provide alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) which is the plant form of omega-3 fatty acids, which are shown to fight illness hence supporting your child’s immune system.

They are also good sources of protein, fiber, “good” fats like mono- and polyunsaturated fats, potassium, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and vitamins E, B6, B12, and A.If you’re finding it difficult to help your child reach their daily fiber intake, a fiber supplement will go a long way.

6. Get Your Child to exercise regularly

I know winter is not the ideal time for outdoor play because of the sniffles and cold, but having regular exercise shouldn’t stop because of the season.

To keep your kid active, take them on a walk or jog, make a snowman, snow fort, or snow angels by lying in the snow. Get them to indulge in a winter sport like, such as skiing, skating, or snowshoeing. Alternatively, do fun exercises indoors.

For warmer months, get them out the door and into the sunshine. Getting adequate sunlight every day promotes vitamin D production. Low levels of vitamin D have been linked to autoimmune conditions such as type 1 diabetes and inflammatory bowel disorders.

Optimal levels have been shown to improve symptoms of these conditions by helping increase white blood cells, which are the defenders of your immune system. Getting enough sunlight also helps them sleep better at night.

Physical activity is crucial for boosting your child’s immune system, so by all means, keep them active.

7. Encourage Personal Hygiene

Good personal hygiene practice is the first step to a healthy immune system for your kiddo. To begin, teach them to wash their hands immediately after sneezing, coughing, using the bathroom, and before they eat.

80% of infections are spread by touch, so teaching them hand washing regularly, will help prevent germs and diseases.

Washing hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds can remove bacteria and viruses and can reduce the chance of lung infections by up to 45%.

If your child is having difficulties with washing their hands regularly, find a way to make it a habit. This could even be in form of a game. Get your creative juices flowing, you can also check online for a variety of tips.

Additionally, remind your child to avoid touching their face, nose, or mouth directly. This can be hard, trust me I know, but reminding them from time to time will imbibe the habit.

8. Try an immune support supplement

There is a lot of information going around about immune supplements not providing the benefits they are supposed to offer. While this may be true in some cases, giving your child an immune supplement will go a long way especially if you have a picky eater, or can’t just meet up with the recommended minerals and vitamins your child needs.

When choosing a supplement, look for high-quality brands and one that contains the required minerals and vitamins your child needs.

Also, look out for brands that are not just interested in selling you supplements, but are ready to provide you with a holistic approach when it comes to boosting your child’s immune system.