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You don’t need to spend a ton of money and time to boost your child’s health. Instead, you can make small lifestyle choices to improve your child’s immune functioning, development and overall well-being without putting a dent in your wallet. 3 quick and easy way to do so are:
1. Catch some rays
Vitamin D is vital for your child’s healthy bone and immune system development, but many kids (and adults) border on vitamin D deficiency. Just 10 to 15 minutes of direct sunlight per day will give your child all the vitamin D they needs. Encourage sun exposure before 10a.m. or after 4p.m. to minimize the risk of sun damage.
2. Plant a garden
Your kids benefit in two ways when your family plants a garden: They get dirty, and they learn to love veggies. Believe it or not, children need to interact with dirt, soil and dust to build a healthy immune system for life, so it’s actually good for them to get dirty in a garden. Also, kids are more likely to enjoy fresh veggies if they’ve participated in planting and harvesting the produce.
3. Serve more fruits, vegetables and beans
Carrots, green beans, oranges, strawberries: They all contain such immunity-boosting phytonutrients as vitamin C and carotenoids. Phytonutrients may increase the body’s production of infection-fighting white blood cells and interferon, an antibody that coats cell surfaces, blocking out viruses. Studies show that a diet rich in phytonutrients can also protect against such chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease in adulthood. Try to get your child to eat five servings of fruits and veggies a day. Also consider replacing meat with beans and rice a few times a week, as the beans contain healthy protein as well as a full range of minerals that are often missing from diets.
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