Immune Boosting Foods

What foods should we eat to support a healthy immune system?
Do I need supplements? We'll answer these questions in this post!
Foods for Immunity
Kids are back to school this week and with winter / flu season upon us, it’s natural for kids (and parents!) to get sick more often. However, good nutrition and loading up on specific vitamins can help fight off infections and lessen the severity of an illness.

Here are some key immunity boosting nutrients to focus on and the foods to get them from:

Vitamin C: Found in many fruits (kiwi, papaya, strawberries, orange) and vegetables (green bell pepper, broccoli, tomatoes, spinach).

Vitamin D: You get vitamin D from sun exposure + very few natural food sources. These foods include fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines), mushrooms, eggs and fortified foods. Because people often don’t get much sun and there are few food sources, deficiency is common.

A regular daily supplement is recommended:
  • Babies < 12 months: 400 IU / day
  • Toddlers and School Children: 600 - 1000 IU / day
  • Adults: 1,000 – 2,000 IU / day
Zinc: Found in a variety of foods – Red Meat (Beef, lamb, pork), shellfish (oysters, crab), seeds (pumpkin, hemp), beans (chickpeas, lentils), nuts (cashews, almonds), veg (mushroom, spinach).

Omega 3s: These healthy fats can be found in fatty fish (salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines), walnuts and seeds (flaxseed, chia seed). Aim to get it from food by eating fatty fish 2 – 3 times a week.

Probiotics: Found in fermented foods (yogurt, kefir, kimchi, pickles, kombucha, miso, tempeh). A regular daily supplement can also be useful for gut health.

Is supplementation needed?
In general, I recommend getting nutrients from food over supplementation. The exceptions are: 
1) Vitamin D – where deficiency is common and few natural food sources are available and
2) Probiotics – I find that it is useful to take a small maintenance dose on a regular, daily basis to help encourage gut health (2 – 5 Bn CFU for kids, 10 Bn for adults). 

I also recommend additional supplementation when you or your child feels a cold / illness coming on or during the course of the illness. Vitamin C and Zinc supplementation in the early stages of illness can help halt the progression or improve the recovery. 

I hope this helps! Stay healthy & Happy Eating!

Join our Baby Bites Course!

A 12 week, fully guided, weaning course & meal plan for parents! 
  • Asian cuisine focus
  • BLW / Traditional suitable 
  • 6 video guides
  • 12 weeks of meal plans
  • 40+ recipes
  • 60 foods + common allergens
Write your awesome label here.
Created with