Nothing pains a parent more than seeing their young one fall prey to an infectious disease. With the novel coronavirus outbreak that started spreading globally since January 2020, it’s only natural to be concerned about the safety of your family, especially very young children and the elderly. Practising good hygiene is more important now than ever. Beyond the basics like washing your hands frequently and wearing a mask, there are also other alternatives to keep your immune system strong and your environment clean so that you and your family are better equipped to combat viruses.
Promoting good eating habits is one way that GUG Preschool is taking to help our children build up their immunity and resistance to any viruses. We do our best to provide for your children’s nutritional needs, including power foods that contain the required nutrients to help them fight illnesses. Even the World Health Organisation director-general tedious Adhanom Ghebreyesus has said that a health and nutritious diet will help your body and immune system function properly, and build the necessary resilience against viruses and pathogens. Here are some of the best and tasty superfoods that you can incorporate into your child’s diet.
This rich, creamy fruit is one of the most nutrient-dense foods available. Each avocado comes packed with protein, potassium, antioxidants, fibre, folate, vitamin E and magnesium. Avocados help to maintain a healthy heart and cholesterol levels, contain anti-inflammatory properties and provide antioxidants essential for good eyesight and a robust immune system. There is good reason why this nutritional powerhouse is nicknamed “God’s butter”!
This anti-inflammatory and powerful antiseptic superfood can be easily found at your local supermarket. A staple in Asian dishes, turmeric can be grated or chopped into soups and added into dishes. Combine this with black pepper to increase the bioavailability of curcumin (the active compound in this spice). An added bonus is that turmeric has a mild taste so when it’s added into rice, meats or even sautéed vegetables, children won’t be able to tell the difference!
- Coconut Yoghurt
Coconut milk is a healthy and filling “good fat” which is important for our brains, particularly children’s developing brains. it is also a dairy-free option which avoids the issues that normal dairy milk would have for children, such as inflammation, mucus-forming and not to mention that many children are actually dairy and lactose-intolerant. The probiotics in coconut yoghurt helps regulate digestive health by providing an ample dose of healthy bacteria in the stomach. The fact that coconut is already naturally sweet win definitely win the hearts of many children.
The importance of fish in our diet has a long history and has been researched upon widely. It is a nutrient-dense and excellent source of high-quality protein. The omega-3 fatty acid is the main nutrient that we are after – which is predominantly found in fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, cod and mackerel. It is great for brain development and increases the activity level of body cells. When deciding on the right types of fish for your children, try to choose wild-caught and smaller fish instead as they would be lower in mercury and are not fed with additional antibiotics such as conventionally farmed fish.
- Colourful Foods
From purple plums to red apples, orange pumpkin to green spinach – nature has a unique way of highlighting the nutritional value of the foods we eat. Fruit and vegetables fall into five different colour categories, with each colour carrying its own set of unique disease-fighting chemicals called phytochemical. Encourage your child to “eat the rainbow” daily. This means offering an assortment of fruit and vegetables of different colours to ensure they get a complete range of the required vitamins and minerals that their bodies need to thrive and become stronger.
Red: helps prevent chronic illnesses like cancer, diabetes and heart disease
Orange/Yellow: Promotes immunity and eye health
Green: Helps detoxify the body and restores its energy
Blue/Purple: Fights inflammation and provides antioxidants to thwart diseases
White/Brown: Keeps bones and heart strong
Not forgetting the multitude of vitamins and minerals in these superfoods such as calcium, fibre, Vitaminds, B, C, D and iron – all of which helps to build strong bodies and fight infections. The best part is, you can always find creative ways to get more colours into your child’s diet by blending a mix of fruit and vegetables into a smoothie, juice or fruit-popsicle!
There are more superfoods out there other than the ones we’ve picked out. At GUG Preschool, our children’s meals are professionally catered and planned by certified nutritionists. As much as possible, we ensure our children consume foods that are low in sugar, fat, gluten and lactose. Every meal is well-balanced with the 5 main food groups; brown rice or whole grains, white meat, lactose-free milk, a variety of vegetables and fresh fruits. As our nutritionists say, children need well-planned meals that give their growing bodies a chance to develop a natural resistance against diseases. With the growing coronavirus worries and other strong pathogens out there, it is up to us parents and preschools to work hand-in-hand to help our children be prepared in whatever way we can.