7 key nutrients to boost your baby’s immune system

by Oliver Birk |

These superhero nutrients will boost your baby’s immune system to fight off germs, says nutritionist Sara Patience.

You can boost your baby’s immune system very easily, by feeding him all the nutrients he needs to keep his infection-fighting system in tip-top condition.

Your baby’s immune system won’t reach full maturity until he’s around five years old, so giving it all the ingredients it needs to function well will help him stay healthy.

As your baby’s body encounters germs through illness and vaccinations, he’ll start to develop specific antibodies. He’ll develop most of his immunity between six months and three years, and what you feed him can really make a difference.

Foods to boost your baby's immune system:

View Gallery
7 photos
1 of 7

1) Infection-fighting iron

Your baby needs iron to transport oxygen around his body to help fight infection. The store of iron he was born with only lasts six months, and as his body can’t make iron, he’ll need to get some from
his food every day. If you can, give him iron in every meal – add a tablespoon of red meat wherever you can.

If he’s not keen, try blending it into a paste when you make a cottage pie or spaghetti bolognese. Dark poultry meat has far more iron than white, so another simple way to up the iron in your child’s
diet is to use thighs instead of breasts. Chickpeas are another good source: try mashing a tablespoon to make hummus, and serve with red pepper, as the vitamin C will help the iron be absorbed.

Meet the Expert: Sara Patience is a paediatric nutritionist and mum of three, nurtureandnourish.co.uk

Does your baby love any of these nutrient-filled foods? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!