Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Treating Your Kids’ Allergies With Healthy Foods

Allergy season is in full swing. As a parent, I believe that most ailments can be treated naturally with properly grown foods.

five kids jumping outside

Photo: Lighttruth (Flickr)

The discomfort from having allergies can cause kids to lose interest in school, extracurricular activities, and simple playing.

What Does It Mean To Be Allergic?

When I looked up the definition of allergy on the web, I found the following information through the Mayo Clinic:

Allergies occur when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance such as pollen, bee venom or pet dander.

Your immune system produces substances known as antibodies. Some of these antibodies protect you from unwanted invaders that could make you sick or cause an infection. When you have allergies, your immune system makes antibodies that identify your particular allergen as something harmful, even though it isn’t. When you come into contact with the allergen, your immune system’s reaction inflames your skin, sinuses, airways or digestive system.

I also found some interesting statistics through the CDC:

  • 7.2 million kids have reported hay fever in the past 12 months
  • 8.2 million kids have reported respiratory allergies in the past 12 months
  • 3.8 million kids have reported food allergies in the last 12 months

Preventative Eating

The problem of allergies is magnified in my mind because it affects so many of our children. The discomfort from having these problems can cause kids to lose interest in school, extracurricular activities, and simple playing.

I am not a doctor or a nurse, but I am a concerned parent that is willing to take charge of the health of my children.

As parents, there is a piece of this that we can control by paying attention to the foods that our kids are eating. There are foods that are great for treating allergy symptoms and there are foods that cause allergy symptoms to flair up.

Vitamins

Generally speaking, vitamins provide a magnitude of strength to a child’s immune system. Coughing and wheezing can be brought under control by increasing the right vitamins into your child’s diet.

Vitamin C and Vitamin E are known as antioxidants. Foods such as tomatoes, apples, and citrus fruits are rich in these vitamins that help ward off allergy symptoms.

Magnesium

Lung function is improved when one increases their magnesium intake.

If your kids are not allergic to nuts, they can be a great source of magnesium, and if your child is experiencing increased mucus, nuts may be a good option for you to consider.

Resveratrol

Over the years, I have read a great deal about the benefit of resveratrol. Its benefits are not only significant in terms of allergy symptoms, but also with asthma related issues.

Red grapes are full of this antioxidant. Consider adding red grapes when you make your next fruit smoothie with your kids.

Zinc

Zinc is another nutrient that combats allergies as well as asthma. It helps to strengthen the immune system due to its antibacterial and antiviral makeup.

Some of the foods you can find zinc in naturally are roasted pumpkin seeds, dried watermelon seeds, and dark chocolate.

Omega 3s

Getting Omega 3 fatty acids from our food can be more beneficial than trying to get it from a supplement.

Fish such as salmon and mackerel are high in Omega 3s. As with all other foods, it is necessary to be careful in where you are purchasing your fish from. In our family, we feel that buying good quality fish is worth the investment.

Each Child Is Unique

Learning how to treat allergies is an extremely individualized experience. It is important to pay close attention to your kids in order to determine what works and what does not work. What I have learned is just because something may work for one child does not mean it will work for another child. Talk to your kids about how they are feeling.

It may be necessary to keep a food journal depending on the severity of your little ones’ allergies.

All in all, this an excellent time to teach your children healthy eating habits that can last a life time.

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Nicole I. Henderson

Nicole I. Henderson is a wife and mother of three kids. The question that she gets asked everyday is ‘What's for dinner?’ She has realized that what we put into our bodies has an impact on our health and well being. Nicole is coaching parents on how to transition and maintain healthy eating habits for their kids from her own journey as a parent. Nicole is also the owner of Selsi Enterprises, a marketing communications and event planning company based in Atlanta, Georgia.

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  • http://strawberries-chocolate.com chocstrawberry

    Keeping your kids healthy through a natural healthy diet with raw foods and lots of veg is such a great way to start them on a healthy/happy route in life. 

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