The changing seasons often bring an uptick in colds and flu. Neurological developmental therapist Ollwyn Moran shares tips to strengthen our little one’s immune defences.

At the heart of your child’s immune health lies the gut microbiome – a bustling community of microorganisms orchestrating a symphony of functions. The gut microbiome influences immune system development, training it to distinguish between friend and foe.

A diverse and balanced microbiome is the cornerstone of a robust immune response. The gut and the brain engage in a constant dialogue, shaping not only digestion but also influencing the immune system.

Read more:Five clever interiors ideas to create the perfect play space for your children

This gut-brain connection is particularly vital in children as they navigate the early stages of life.

A harmonious gut-brain axis fosters emotional wellbeing and supports immune resilience. Thus, a happy gut may very well be the key to a resilient immune system in the face of seasonal challenges.


  • Oranges, grapefruits, lemons and limes are rich in vitamin C, essential for white blood cell production and infection-fighting capabilities.
  • Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries are packed with antioxidants and vitamins.
  • Yogurt and other probiotic-rich foods help maintain a healthy balance of gut bacteria, look for varieties with live and active cultures.
  • Chicken, turkey, fish, eggs, and legumes provide essential amino acids necessary for the production of immune cells.
  • Almonds, sunflower seeds and chia seeds are good sources of vitamin E and other nutrients that support immune function.
  • Spinach, kale and other dark leafy greens are rich in vitamins (A, C, K) and minerals (iron and folate) important for immune health.
  • Carrots, bell peppers, broccoli, and sweet potatoes are high in various vitamins and antioxidants that support overall health.
  • Garlic contains allicin, a compound known for its antimicrobial properties. While its strong flavour might not be appealing to all children, it can be included in soups, sauces, or roasted dishes.
  • Foods like brown rice, whole wheat bread, and oats provide essential nutrients, including fibre.
  • Dairy products like milk and cheese provide protein and essential nutrients, including vitamin D.
  • Eggs are a good source of protein and contain essential nutrients like vitamin D and zinc.
  • Mangoes, apricots, and cantaloupe are rich in vitamin A essential for maintaining the health of the skin and mucous membranes.
Expert shares the foods to feed kids to ward of colds and flus and strengthen their immune system
Expert shares the foods to feed kids to ward of colds and flus and strengthen their immune system

Include foods fortified with essential nutrients like vitamin D, including cereals and plant- based milk, as this vitamin is crucial for immune health.

The key is to offer a variety of nutrient-dense foods to ensure a well- rounded, balanced diet. Additionally, encouraging good hygiene practices, promoting regular physical activity outdoors and ensuring adequate sleep and hydration are essential components of supporting a child’s overall health and immune system.

Always consult with healthcare professionals or registered dieticians for personalised dietary advice for your child.

Ollwyn Moran


Adding a small amount of ginger to your child’s meals can have amazing effects, including reducing gas, improving liver function, and reducing respiratory issues. It also possesses anti-inflammatory properties, and has antimicrobial effects, which helps to cure colds and fight against infections.

Turmeric with its active compound curcumin offers immune-modulating benefits and serves as a powerful antioxidant, alleviating inflammation, regulating blood sugar, improving cell functionality, and supporting digestive and brain health. It can be introduced as soon as your baby is ready to start solids.

■Ollwyn Moran is a neurological developmental therapist, and the CEO and founder of

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