Let’s face the facts, its cold and flu season. Unlike the warm summer months or the festive holidays- there is absolutely nothing fun about this time of year, especially when you have a little one.
After spending the past three winters cooped up in my house because one of my girls, both of my girls or more likely my entire household was sick, I decided to take matters into my own hands this year and build up their immunities naturally.
The key to boosting your baby’s (and your) immunity, is to regularly serve and eat foods that are high in vitamin C, E, B6, A and B, folate, iron, selenium and zinc. You can find those nutrients in sweet potatoes, cranberries, blueberries, spinach, apples and all citrus fruits. Adding in spices like ginger, turmeric and cinnamon help boost anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agents. Seriously, those three spices need a big fist bump!
Let’s make some delicious immune boosting purées, perfect for babies 7 months and up.
Here’s a closer look at what fruits and vegetables are the best for boosting the immune system.
Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes are high in iron and help with the production of red and white blood cells that are needed for proper immune functioning.
Cranberries – It’s the proanthocyanidins found in cranberries that help improve immune function in the body and help ward off diseases. Cranberries also have a natural antiseptic property in them that kill bad bacteria.
Blueberries – Blueberries are super rich in antioxidants, which help build immunity and prevent infection.
Spinach – Spinach is full of vitamin C, antioxidants and beta carotene, which help increase your bodies ability to fight infections.
Apples – Apples contain an antioxidant that helps boost and fortify your immune system.
Oranges – Oranges are filled with a ton of vitamin C, which help increase the levels of antibodies released when a virus or bacteria is trying to make you sick. Bonus that they also ramp up the production of white blood cells that helps destroy them!
A list of my favorite add-ins for those healthy fruits and vegetables that can really help boost the immune system while also making some delicious purée combinations.
Yogurt – The probiotics in yogurt enhance resistance to and recovery from infection in your body. Plain, full-fat Greek-style yogurt is the healthiest yogurt for baby.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon is a natural anti-microbial, anti-biotic, anti-fungal, and anti-viral agent that helps ward off the common cold or flu.
Oats (Oatmeal Baby Cereal) – The beta-glucan, selenium and zinc that are found in oats help boost our infection-fighting blood cells that ward off infections.
Ginger – Ginger has antimicrobial properties and two natural antibiotics that help kill off bacteria and viruses.
Turmeric – One of the many ways turmeric helps boost the immune system is by creating proteins that are vital to your body’s immune response for fighting off bacteria.
6 Immune Boosting Combos for Baby
Now that you know what the best immune boosting foods for baby are, you can feel free to mix-and-match to make your own delicious combinations. If you need a little inspiration, here are six of my favorite immune boosting combos for baby.
- Squeeze a Coldpurée™ pouch of banana, carrot & cranberry into a small bowl, add in two heaping spoonfuls of plain full-fat Greek yogurt and a pinch of cinnamon, stir and serve.
- Mix a jar of Beech-Nut Naturals banana, orange & pineapple purée with a pinch of freshly grated ginger.
- Spoon a jar of just sweet potato & barley purée into a small bowl. Add a splash of fresh orange juice (roughly the juice of 1/4 of orange), mix and serve.
- Add in a pinch of cinnamon to a jar of just apple & blueberry purée and stir in jar until well combined. You can also pour the purée into a small bowl, add a pinch of cinnamon and then a heaping spoonful of full-fat Greek yogurt, mix and serve. If slightly warmed, this combo tastes like warm blueberry pie, just saying.
- Make a serving of oatmeal baby cereal and add in 2 heaping spoonfuls of just spinach, zucchini & peas, stir and serve.
- Squeeze a Coldpurée™ pouch of apple, sweet potato, pineapple & oats into a small bowl. Add in a pinch of turmeric powder, stir and serve. Turmeric powder is a natural food dye but should come out of everything with a little soap and water.
More great Beech-Nut purees that are high in immunity builders
- banana, blueberry & avocado Coldpurée pouch
- pear, pumpkin & cranberry Coldpurée pouch
- banana, blueberry & green beans purée
- just sweet potatoes purée
- spinach, zucchini & quinoa purée
- just apple, kiwi & spinach purée
- just carrots purée
- mango, carrot & orange purée
About the Author
Michele Olivier is the mother of two behind the popular food blog, Baby FoodE. Michele has dedicated herself to making the best baby food on the planet and is the author of the best-selling cookbook Little Foodie and the forthcoming Whole Food Baby and Little Bento. Michele and her family live in Denver, Colorado.