Immune System Boosters for Families

1 Year & Older

These tasty power foods can boost your family’s immune systems and keep them healthier this cold and flu season. Learn which healthy foods to eat to prevent illness, plus get practical tips to bounce back quickly if the cold or flu bug bites.

Help your toddler grow into a healthy eater with these helpful tips.

Greens

Fresh or frozen leafy greens like broccoli, kale, cabbage, collards and spinach are packed with immune system boosters, like vitamin A, vitamin C, folate and antioxidants.

Tips: Add greens to pizza, spaghetti sauce, mac-n-cheese, soup, chili or a casserole, but avoid hiding greens in the foods. Hiding ingredients can create a picky eater.

Peanuts, tree nuts and seeds

Nuts contain vitamin E and plant-based proteins that help our bodies stay strong and fight germs. But go easy: Just 1/4 cup (a small handful) is a single serving. Remember that nuts are a choking hazard for young children.

Tip: Top salads, stir-fries, oatmeal, yogurt or sliced fruit with your favorite nuts.

Cinnamon

Cinnamon has been used as an immune system booster for thousands of years and contains properties that fight off bacteria and viruses.

Tips: Sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal, yogurt or apple slices.

 

Berries

Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries are packed with heart-healthy antioxidants (and may also help to lower your risk of infections and some forms of cancer). They are also a good source of fiber, vitamin C, potassium and folate. Buy them fresh or frozen.

Tips: Top your pancakes with berries instead of syrup. Berries are a healthy food to eat alone or pair with cheese for a healthy snack.

Bell peppers

Did you know peppers are packed with more vitamin C than oranges? Bell peppers are sweet, not hot—your kids will love them! 

Tips: Dip sliced peppers in hummus or Greek yogurt dip. Or add them to pizza, pasta, stews, casseroles or eggs.

Yogurt

Yogurt that contains live, active cultures helps replenish good bacteria in your digestive tract for better gut health. Greek yogurt contains 2x the protein than regular yogurt.

Tips: Add berries to your yogurt for an extra boost. Swap sour cream with plain Greek yogurt on a baked potato.

Water and hydration

Hydration is important for everyone—especially kids—and can be offered in more forms than water.

Tips: Offer broth-based soups loaded with veggies, make ice pops by filling popsicle molds with water and a mixture of fresh fruit (kiwi, berries, melon) or pump up water with sliced fruit or veggies.

You can also try our flavored water recipe.