The key to a healthy child is a healthy immune system. We want our kids to have an immune system that is balanced and responds appropriately to illness & infection, and is not over or under active. Zinc is the core of our immune system! Zinc deficiency is being called an epidemic worldwide and is typically the culprit behind frequent illness and infection (among other things). Giving your child a zinc supplement is a great way to build the immune system. Posted below is the zinc supplement I use for my child, and have had great results with. Indy is 15 months old and I give her 5 drops a day. Not all kids need it every single day, but zinc deficiency is of particular concern in the Down syndrome population so I give it to Indy every day. A few drops a few times a week would be great for immune system maintenance, and can be increased in times of illness. This supplement has a metallic taste and is best when given with something like juice or a smoothie. I put Indy’s together with her multivitamin, which is linked below, that has a good raspberry flavor.
Mary Ruth’s Organic Multivitamin is so good- for children and adults! The reason I love this multivitamin in particular is because it is sourced from Whole Foods. It does not contain synthetic vitamins, artificial flavors, dyes, or any other questionable items. It is well rounded and far superior when compared to other liquid multivitamins, which may contain artificial flavors, MSG, synthetic vitamins, and other hidden things. Indy has done great on it since 6 months of age. I give her 1/2 tsp daily, and will increase the dose as needed as she grows. The supplemental Zinc together with this multivitamin is a powerhouse for your child’s immune system.
Another essential boost for the immune system is elderberry. Elderberry is AMAZING for a whole list of reasons which are written below. Hippocrates (the father of medicine) called the Elderberry his “medicine chest”, because it is that good! Elderberry is one of the top antiviral herbs on the planet. It is great at building the immune system & giving you support to prevent colds and flus. But even better, once you do have a cold or flu Elderberry can treat it- shortening your symptoms by several days. It can treat a sinus infection, inflammation, nerve pain (usually caused by virus), allergies, constipation, fever, and even cancer. It also helps detoxify the liver with its high antioxidant/flavonoid profile. We use elderberry in our house regularly. Three times a week I add 1/4 tsp of elderberry syrup into my daughter’s smoothie for immune maintenance. If she starts to come down with something I give it to her twice a day until she is better. I take elderberry capsules myself on & off throughout the year, but particularly if I feel something coming on. It is one of those herbs you definitely want in your medicine cabinet at all times. Linked below are the elderberry supplements we use (adults and kids). PLEASE NOTE: The Gaia kids elderberry syrup linked below contains honey and therefore should not be used in children under 1 year of age. Elderberry can be given to children 3 months and older if you make or buy a supplement without any honey, like THIS one from Eclectic Herbs . Elderberry is safe for breastfeeding mothers.
Vitamin C is also absolutely crucial. Along side zinc, Vitamin C forms the building blocks of your immune system. It strengthens all of our immune cells giving them the power to fight off bacteria, virus, and other pathogens. Vitamin C nourishes the adrenal glands when they are tired, cleanses your blood and lymph, and supports liver detoxification. For a more detailed list of how vitamin C works in our bodies, click HERE. Vitamin C deficiency is very common. For the best immune system function, you should take vitamin C regularly. My favorite kind to take is Ester C because it is highly absorbable, but gentle on the digestive system. Traditional Vitamin C supplements can cause an upset stomach. Linked below are the vitamin C supplements I use for adults and children. Any Ester C formula that is free from additives will be great though.
A good probiotic is also great to have. Anyone who has taken antibiotics or eats a traditional American diet will have disturbances in the gut flora. Studies have proven the immense connection between intestinal flora and the immune system, concluding that the gut houses 70% of the immune system. Eating raw and organic fruits and vegetables helps to restore proper balance of bacteria in the intestines. Probiotics also help restore that balance and support the function of the immune system. Below is the probiotic I use for our family, adults and children. The Mary Ruth Organic’s brand came recommended by Anthony William of the Medical Medium. Their products have worked so well for us.
This list is not inclusive– other wonderful and important immune supporting supplements include vitamin B12 (methylcobalamin/adenosylcobalamin) I use THIS one, a good vitamin D3, and other herbs like echinacea.
There are also some incredible foods that help to build up the immune system. I recommend reading “Life Changing Foods” by Anthony William to learn what food can do for you.
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7 Replies to “Building up the immune system.”
I loved learning about this. I’ve been thinking of ways to prevent my kids from bringing home all the school germs and getting us all sick. What do you recommend for a big 6 year old and a big 4 year old? Thanks! -Brianne
HI Brianne! Thanks for reading 😊. I think 2 teaspoons would be a good dose for both of them.
Thank you for the suggestion. Anything to fight off the colds this year!
Hi! I appreciate all of your information so much! My Lila is almost exactly one year younger then your beautiful Indy! (5/15/17) So it is so great that I found your IG page! Did you find out what vitamins Indy was deficient in? Or is the multivitamin you give her pretty standard? Lila will be four months Friday and I want to start her on something. I pump and she takes breastmilk in a bottle. Would you recommend putting the zinc in her bottle? Thank you so much for sharing your sweet girl with us, she (and you) are a true inspiration.
Hi Kristin! I am SO sorry, I don’t know how I missed your message. Congratulations on your sweet Lila!! And thank you so very much for your sweet message, that means a lot. I must say that I think you are superwoman for pumping for your babe for that long. That is a lot of work. What a good mama you are.
As far as nutrition for Indy- I have not done any specific testing. I have researched what nutrients are the most common deficiencies in DS and just started supplementing. I am not supplementing anything in a high enough dose to require testing first. Zinc and Vitamin C are very common deficiencies in DS. Her multi is pretty standard as far as vitamin ratios. But it is by far my favorite vitamin! I think you could definitely try the Multi and the zinc in her bottle. Maybe start with just 3 days a week on the zinc, and a very small dose of the multi, like 1/4-1/2tsp and see how she does. Let me know if I can help in any other way. I love getting picture messages on Instagram if you want to send me one of Lila!!
How exactly do you mix the zinc with the multi? I have the same zinc and it says to dilute it with 8oz of liquid for children.
I just draw a few drops of the zinc into the same syringe as the multivitamin. I do not dilute in water, but you could easily add it to your child’s drink or smoothie!