Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

How to Boost Your Child’s Immune System with Food During COVID-19

Cold and flu season, coupled with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, has parents concerned about the health of their young athletes. Fortunately, there are simple and effective ways to support your child’s immune system without relying on supplements or medications. One powerful tool at your disposal is food. In this article, we will explore expert tips from TrueSport nutritionist Kristen Ziesmer, a registered dietitian and board-certified specialist in sports dietetics. By implementing these strategies, you can help keep your child healthy and resilient.

Educate Your Athlete

Ziesmer emphasizes the importance of educating kids about nutrition to encourage healthy eating habits. Explaining the process of digestion and how food affects the body’s overall performance can inspire children to make better dietary choices. Watching informative videos about the digestive system together can be a fun and educational way to get your child on board.

Improve the Microbiome

Research has shown that a healthy gut microbiome is closely linked to a strong immune system. The gut is home to about 70% of the immune system, so maintaining a healthy balance of good bacteria is crucial for overall health. Ziesmer recommends incorporating fermented foods rich in probiotics, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and kefir, into your child’s diet to promote a healthy gut and boost immunity.

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Eat the Rainbow – Especially Greens

A well-rounded and colorful diet is essential for optimal health. Encourage your child to consume a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and clean protein sources. Green vegetables, in particular, have been shown to potentially enhance immune function. Finding creative ways to incorporate greens into meals, such as adding spinach to smoothies or broccoli to stir-fries, can make healthy eating more enjoyable for picky eaters.

Add More Fiber

Certain types of fiber, found in apples, oats, and nuts, have been found to strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. Prebiotics, which are fibers that feed the healthy bacteria in the gut, can be found in apples, bananas, asparagus, oats, and Jerusalem artichokes. Including these fiber-rich foods in your child’s diet can help promote a healthy gut and support immune function.

Watch Out for Fast Food

Fatty, deep-fried, and high-sodium foods have been linked to compromised immune health. While the occasional fast-food meal won’t harm your child’s immunity, it’s crucial to prioritize a high-quality diet. Consuming excessive amounts of saturated fats, salt, preservatives, and additives can increase inflammation in the body and counteract the benefits of a healthy gut microbiome.

Even Picky Eaters Must Eat Right

Dealing with a picky eater can be challenging, but it’s important to prioritize their health. Start by introducing new vegetables to their plate during mealtimes. It may take several attempts before they are willing to try new foods, so be patient. Involving kids in the recipe selection, grocery shopping, and food preparation processes can also increase their interest in trying new foods. When all else fails, you can disguise vegetables in smoothies or incorporate them into other dishes. For example, wrapping asparagus in prosciutto or freezing bananas can make them more appealing and nutritious.

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Food plays a significant role in supporting your child’s immune system. By implementing these expert tips and incorporating wholesome, nutrient-dense foods into their diet, you can help boost their overall health and resilience. Remember, TrueSport is a movement dedicated to promoting positive values and life lessons through youth sports. Let’s create a culture of health, sportsmanship, and clean performance for our young athletes.


Q: What are some gut-bacteria-boosting foods?
A: Foods rich in probiotics, such as sauerkraut, kimchi, kombucha, and kefir, can help promote a healthy gut microbiome and support immunity.

Q: How can I encourage my picky eater to try new foods?
A: Start by introducing new vegetables gradually and involve your child in the process of selecting recipes, grocery shopping, and food preparation. Disguising vegetables in smoothies or freezing fruits like bananas can also make them more appealing.

Q: Are green vegetables particularly beneficial for the immune system?
A: Green vegetables have been shown to potentially enhance immune function. Incorporating them into your child’s meals can be a simple and delicious way to support their overall health.


Boosting your child’s immune system during the COVID-19 pandemic is essential for their overall health and well-being. By making simple adjustments to their diet, you can provide them with the necessary nutrients to support their immune system. TrueSport expert Kristen Ziesmer recommends educating young athletes about nutrition, improving the gut microbiome through fermented foods, consuming a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables, increasing fiber intake, avoiding fast food, and finding creative ways to introduce new foods to picky eaters. Incorporating these tips into your child’s lifestyle will help them stay healthy and perform at their best. For more information and resources, visit the TrueSport website.

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Call to Action: Visit Alpinetgheep.com today to discover more expert tips, resources, and guidance on how to support your child’s immune system and promote their overall health.