One of the best ways to keep from getting sick is to eat foods that boost our immune system! It is important to incorporate a variety of whole foods into your child’s diet, and encourage them to eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support healthy body functions. However, certain nutrients are known for keeping our immune system strong, like Vitamin C, which helps build the white blood cells responsible for fighting off infections, and destroys free-radicals in the body. Beta-carotene, Vitamin D, and Zinc are also known to increase immune function!
Here are some quick and easy snacks that put the Vitamin “C” in deliCious!
Sweet Potato Boats
One medium sweet potato meets more than 500% of your child’s daily Vitamin A and 30% of their daily Vitamin C needs, and is a great source of Beta-carotene! Best of all, they are incredibly versatile, and can be baked into fries, served on salad, or made into a pie!
Our favorite way to eat sweet potatoes is by wrapping them in a wet paper towel and microwaving them on high for eight minutes. Split them open using a knife, and add peanut, almond, or seed butter for some healthy fats. Top with cinnamon and a bit of honey, and you have one delicious boat! Check out the RECIPE.
Chocolate Covered Bananas
Bananas are known for their potassium content, but did you know that they are rich in Vitamin C and other helpful Vitamins?
For a delicious and healthier alternative to an ice-cream bar, try cutting your bananas in half, putting them on popsicle sticks, and freezing them overnight! To make chocolate covered bananas, melt chocolate in the microwave for 2-3 minutes. You can use any chocolate you would prefer, but dark chocolate will provide the best immune system boost, as it is rich in antioxidants and minerals. Dip your bananas in chocolate, and then cover with crushed pistachios, walnuts, nut butter, coconut flakes, dried fruit, or sprinkles. Make sure you sprinkle quickly; the chocolate hardens fast when it touches the banana! Check out the RECIPE which uses chopped walnuts.
Yogurt Spinach Dip
Spinach is packed with vitamins and minerals, and is a fantastic source of vitamin C! It’s important to know that cooking veggies lowers the amount of vitamin C, but if raw spinach salad isn’t for you, you can still reep a lot of the benefits from cooked spinach by trying this delicious and healthy take on spinach dip!
Simply saute some spinach in a pan with olive oil, and allow it to cook down. Then combine with plain Greek yogurt and season with cilantro and salt! Try dipping with pita chips, pretzels, or carrot sticks! Here's where to find the RECIPE.
Bell Pepper Scoops
Bell Peppers are a Vitamin C powerhouse with 181% of your daily needs, and they are delicious raw, which preserves their Vitamin C content! They’re also rich in Vitamin A.
Try coring the inside and filling with guacamole or hummus, which are both great sources of healthy fats! Check out this RECIPE which uses hummus, chopped tomatoes (another great source of Vitamin C) and feta cheese.
Berry Chia Seed Pudding
Like most fruits, berries are great sources of Vitamin C, and chia seeds are loaded with antioxidants.
To make this, mix 2 tablespoons of chia seeds with ½ cup of a plant milk, such as almond milk and a dash of maple syrup or honey. Let sit in the fridge for 2 hours, then top with strawberries and blueberries! Feel free to get creative with the toppings: nuts, seeds, nut butters, and dried fruits also make great additions, and cocoa powder takes this pudding to a whole new level! Take a look at this RECIPE.
Fruit and Veggie Smoothie
An oldie but a goodie: we had to include it! Smoothies are a delicious way to include extra veggies or fruits into your child’s breakfast or dessert! Vitamin C superstars to consider adding include oranges, kale, spinach, strawberries, kiwi, pineapple, broccoli, or mango! Though produce may seem expensive, many of these fruits and veggies are available in the frozen section and still have the same nutrient value!
Blend your fruit and veggies of choice with ice cubes and orange juice, yogurt, or plant milk for a refreshing and immune-boosting treat. Check out this RECIPE for our take on this classic treat.
If you try out any of these recipes, be sure to take a picture and tag us on instagram; we love to see your creations! For more delicious recipes that build strong immune systems, check out our Snack Science Video Series, where we make fruit lions and brain burritos and learn about how to keep our immune systems healthy by washing our hands!