For most of us, the fresh air makes spending time outdoors a lovely treat.
However, it’s quite the opposite for those prone to allergies.
Allergies are caused by over-activation of the immune system. The body mistakes allergens like dust, pollen and moulds as harmful, mounting a histamine release, responsible for symptoms such as runny nose, coughing, sneezing and watery eyes.
Allergens can enter the body in many ways including breathing them in, eating trigger foods, being stung or body contact such as brushing up against plants.
Other than being aware of your toddler’s allergens and helping your toddler avoid them, providing your toddler with a good diet to support their body to deal with allergens is important.
To help keep your toddler healthy during allergy season, here are some healthy foods to include in their diet:
Papain is a compound found in the fruit papaya and is traditionally used to help break down mucus. Try adding fresh papaya to fruit platters, puree and serve with yoghurt or blend into a smoothie.
Red grapes, apples and onions (quercetin)
All of these foods are rich in an anti-oxidant called Quercetin, which, similar to papain, helps to break down mucus. Try grating apple and serving with cheese on bread or with porridge, freeze grapes and handout as snacks and use onion in cooking.
Berries, broccoli, pineapple and strawberries (vitamin C)
These foods are a source of vitamin C, important for immune health. To help the body regulate its reaction to invading allergens, supporting the immune system is important. Try mashing broccoli or pureeing into a soup, puree berries and serve with yoghurt and add pineapple and strawberries to a fruit platter.
Seafood, pumpkin seeds, red meat (zinc)
Zinc is a mineral also important for immune health. Make sure your toddler is eating some of zinc rich foods daily. Try grinding up pumpkins seeds and sprinkling on porridge or adding to a smoothie. Swap chicken for seafood 1-2 nights per week.
Fatty fish and chia seeds (omega-3 fatty acids)
Omega-3 fatty acids evoke an anti-inflammatory response in the body and help reduce the inflammatory symptoms of histamine release. Try making a chia porridge for breakfast or mashing flaked salmon with pumpkin for a quick meal.
Yoghurt and kefir (probiotics)
Probiotic rich foods are important to support a healthy balance of gut flora, which in turn strengths immunity. Try a daily serve of a probiotic rich food during allergy season, serve yoghurt and kefir on its own or add to smoothies.
How do you help your toddler with their allergies? Share with us in the comments.