Seems odd, I know. I recommend getting you kids to munch on pineapple when they are sick because it's loaded with antioxidants, Vitamin C, Bromelain and Manganese. A handful of nutrients that support the immune system.
When it comes to helping your kids build a healthy immune system, it starts with a great diet. As a parent, you want to be focusing on a feeding your kids a wholefood diet that is full of fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, whole grains and well sourced animal protein. Different foods provide us with different nutrients so we want to make sure that we are getting in as much diversity as possible so that they get a balance of nutrients to stay healthy.
Despite our best efforts and even the strongest of immune systems, kids will still sick. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing as we want their immune systems to be recognising and developing. It’s the prolonged sickness or constant merry-go-round of colds that we want to try and avoid.
In addition to a well-balanced diet, there are a few star nutrients I turn to when my kids get run down, and pineapple is one of them. Here’s why.
Pineapple is full of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is well known for helping kick away colds, but pineapple probably wasn’t the first fruit that came to mind when you though Vitamin C. However, just 100g pineapple boasts 98.6% of your recommended daily intake. As well as it’s immune benefits, Vitamin C also helps to increase the absorption of non-haem iron, another mineral that's incredibly important for the immune system and is commonly deficient in little ones.
Pineapple contains bromelain. Bromelain supports the immune system by decreasing inflammation and modulates T and B immune cell responses, as well as reducing phlegm and mucus build up in the respiratory tract and sinuses.
Pineapple contains Manganese. Manganese improves immune function through enhancement of macrophage killing ability.
Try giving it to the kids cut up with breakfast or snack, add it to a smoothie, make sour dishes like pineapple fried rice or pineapple salsa.
Smoothies are super quick to prepare, making them the perfect breakfast option for busy mornings and they are also a great way to sneak some extra nutrients into your little ones. I’ve shared with you my pineapple smoothie recipe.
Kid Friendly Pineapple Smoothie
1 cup of almond/coconut milk (more if you want a more liquid consistency)
1 cup of pineapple (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup of mango (fresh or frozen)
1/4 cup ice cubes
1 big handful of spinach
2 tbsp chia seeds or a serve of natural, flavourless protein/collagen powder
1/2 frozen zucchini (it’s tasteless. I promise!)
Optional add-ins: mint, ginger, vanilla - depending on your kids taste buds.
Add everything to a high powdered blender and mix well. Leftovers can be frozen, just make sure you leave some space for the mixture to expand.
Mint and ginger are lovely additions, depending on your kid's taste buds.