Whilst we all cosy up for Christmas, there is no question that for many Christmas won´t have the same charm this year. With forced lockdowns and government restrictions on families coming together, it´s natural that some people, especially the elderly may be fearful. Yet should we be worried about our Children regarding Covid, and what can we do to keep them safe?
Toddlekind spoke to Patrick Holford, BSc, DipION, FBANT, NTCRP, who is a pioneer in new approaches to health and nutrition. He is a leading spokesman on nutrition in the media and the author of 37 books, translated into over 30 languages and selling millions of copies worldwide, including The Optimum Nutrition Bible, Optimum Nutrition for the Mind and The 10 Secrets of 100% Healthy People.
Patrick said “there is no reason your child needs to suffer beyond mild symptoms if you do the right thing to support their healthy immunity”. Here´s some key points to note regarding children and Covid:
Children under the age of 14 are remarkably immune. In the UK there is only one death recorded in an immune-compromised child, the details of their underlying health condition were not disclosed.
Optimum levels of Vitamin C (and vitamin D and zinc) naturally increase immunity systems can cope to the virus. In order to cope with the virus vitamin C is key to combating the virus.
Patrick stated “Ever since oxygen-based life started on this planet vitamin C, ascorbic acid, has been essential to ‘mop up’ the exhaust fumes of our cell’s energy factories. That’s why it’s called an antioxidant – it keeps you young. The older you get, as cells become less efficient, the more you need. Your child’s cells are super-healthy so they don't need so much”.
So how do I give my child vitamin C?
Well firstly eating a vitamin C rich diet is key. Here´s a list of the most vitamin C dense fruit & veggies:
Fussy Little Eaters?
Admittedly some little munchkins are very resistant to the exact food their bodies need, which is where vitamins come in. So how do I give them vitamins?
Children’s vitamins come mostly in soluble forms which are great for hiding in soups, smoothies or even adding them to fruit or ginger infused ice cubes for that added boost.
The reference nutrient intake for vitamin C is currently listed below:
- 0 -1 year 25mg/d
- 1 - 10 years 30mg/d
However to protect your children against the virus Patrick recommends high level doses of vitamin C. Keep track of their stools to know whether you need to increase/decrease.
- 0-15 kilos 250mg twice per day
- 15 kilos plus 500mg twice per day
*Tip* Try giving your little one vitamin C twice a day rather than once since it’s water soluble and in and out of the body in under 6 hours, so you can split the dosage with half in the morning and half in the evening.
Vitamin C is usually safe to take even at high dosages. However, some may experience mild side effects, such as digestive discomfort and loose bowels. We don’t store vitamin C and anything not needed is expelled. While ill, the body will need more of it, thus consuming more of it than usual, so you can increase the quantities without side effects.
Vitamin C supplements recommended for kids:
Next on the super hero immunity list is zinc. “Zinc is a great help too, I would recommend finding a vitamin C with zinc”.
Here´s a list of Zinc rich food that you can work into your children´s diets:
- Organic, grass fed meat
- Organic dairy
- Green beans
- Dark chocolate
How much zinc?
You could choose to purchase a vitamin C with zinc already included however if that is not the case, Patrick would recommend the following (dosage per day):
- Children birth to 3 years of age—2 to 4 mg per
- Children 4 to 6 years of age—5 mg per day.
- Children 7 to 10 years of age—7 to 9 mg per day.
Zinc supplements recommended for kids:
ImmuneC High Strength, with zinc (vitamin C with zinc)
Viridian Multivitamin & Mineral - (a multivitamin with zinc for ages a 2 -14 years old).
Not just for Christmas or Covid, Vitamin D is crucial all year round. Patrick says “Vitamin D is important too because we are all designed to be naked, living outdoors and a lot further south that the northern Europe. In the summer, when your child hopefully spends lots of time outdoors in shorts, t-shirts or topless they’ll make plenty of vitamin D which is made in the first twenty minutes of sun exposure. But, from October till March you and they need to give them a supplement to keep your children at optimal health.”
Here´s a list of vitamin D rich foods:
- wild caught oily fish – such as salmon, sardines, herring and mackerel
- red meat
- organic egg yolks
This is the daily recommendation:
- Infants (0 to 1 years) should be given 400IUdaily
- Children (1 to 12 years)should take 600 to 1,000IU daily
Vitamin D supplements recommended for kids:
- Viridian Viridikid Vitamin D Drops 400iu
So by ensuring your children has the right defenses through nutrition and supplementation, your child has all he/she needs to fight off any virus, not just Covid.
“With your child's vitamin C, Zinc and Vitamin D levels at the correct levels, your child is likely to shake off a cold, and even covid, in under 24 hours. That means they won’t be infectious for long. Their immune systems will learn and, backed up by a healthy, wholefood diet, ideally with fish and other marine foods that are essential for the brain, they will grow up with plenty of resilience to fight off an infection.”
For parents and kids alike- nothing is better than vitamin C against viruses. And remember that everything from measles to shingles, even Ebola to rabies, are viruses. We can’t avoid all viruses all the time (well, hopefully Ebola and rabies) so knowing how to strengthen your child’s immune system and increase vitamin c when under viral attack is your best defense.
This information is designed as nutritional therapy being an option to assist the body in its natural healing process and is not intended as a diagnosis or claim to cure, and furthermore is in no way a substitution for seeking the correct medical advice from a doctor.