What foods strengthen baby’s immune system from 1 year?

Your child’s immune system is being built up for around the first 7 years of their life. Although, according to WHO, milk remains central to their diet for the first 2 years because of its nutritional benefits, a complete and balanced diet will help them from the age of 1 to become stronger and reinforce their immune system!1

Eating to grow stronger

In their first few years, your child’s immune system is under construction. The immune system is our defence against infections.When everything is working well, microbes and germs will be naturally repelled even if you won’t be able to avoid the odd cold here and there…

Indeed, the older they get, the more your child will go out, live alongside others, see the world, play in the park and make friends. And all of this will expose them to new types of germ. But don’t panic: this helps to strengthen their immune system.

As a parent, you can also boost your child’s immune system by giving them a varied diet, with nutrients such as iron and vitamins.

Tasty foods that are good for you too

Don’t overlook the importance of certain foods for strengthening your child’s immune defences.

Iron is essential for your child as it helps carry oxygen around their body. It can be found in red meat, poultry, fish, breast milk, enriched infant milk2 and enriched cereals

Zinc also helps to strengthen baby’s immune system, and it can be found, for example, in red meat, legumes (lentils, peas, beans, etc.), nuts, whole grains, poultry and dairy products.

Vitamin D found in oily fish and dairy products.

The famous vitamin C, which is found in kiwi, melon, mango, papaya, orange, sweet potato, avocado, etc.

Vitamin A, which contributes to the functioning of the immune system and is found in fruit and vegetables (mango, sweet potato, carrot, etc.), leafy greens, dairy products, oily fish, etc.

To help them grow, feed them healthy, varied products that do not contain too much fat or sugar.

1OMS (avril 2002), Stratégie mondiale pour l’alimentation du nourrisson et du jeune enfant, document A55/15, paragraphe 10

2 Alimentation bébé : quels conseils pour couvrir ses besoins en fer ?, Calculateur de Fer, 2020

Breast milk is the ideal food for infants. WHO recommends breastfeeding exclusively for the first 6 months and then continuation thereof until the age of 2 alongside the introduction, from 6 months, of safe and appropriate complementary foods. Please consult a healthcare professional if you need any advice about feeding your baby.