As parents and kids prepare for the start of the new school year, new research from Bubs® Australia has revealed concerns around how to manage their child’s health in this new school year. 

Dr Joanna McMillan, nutrition scientist and dietitian joins Dave to look at the results and provide some tips on healthy eating and the role of this in building the foundations of a child’s healthy immune system.

Nearly half of parents (47%) admit they are worried their family will be exposed to illnesses when their child returns to the classroom showing an eagerness to manage their child’s immune system health to keep sickness bugs at bay.  

 

In response to the current environment, half of parents (47%) with children under the age of four say that immune health is their top priority for their child’s health ahead of them starting their primary education. Yet as parents’ concerns rise, they may be overlooking a simple way to help ease their worries – a healthy, well-rounded diet. To build the foundations of a child’s healthy immune system and prevent them from sickness when exposed to germs, the early years of life are crucial so ensuring healthy eating and a good intake of vitamins and nutrients is important and will create good habits for later in life.  

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With the majority of parents (51%) agreeing that fruit and vegetable intake is important to building immunity, Bubs® Australia knows finding ways to get more into children’s diets is front of mind. Despite this, research2 shows only 6% of children between two and 17 years old get the recommended amount of fruit and vegetables. This lack of nutrients is particularly worrying during early development when immune systems are learning to function and prevent sickness. Findings3 show that toddlers between two and three years old eat around half the recommended intake for vegetables meaning they’re likely to be missing out on key minerals and vitamins required for healthy nutrition and immune system development.  

 

To give children an immunity boost it is important to ensure they’re getting the vitamins to help build the body’s defence against germs including vitamin C and D, zinc and iron. With the known gaps in nutrition due to dietary deficiency, and many parents with fussy eaters, not all kids have the defences to support immunity and may have greater susceptibility to germs. So supplying kids with the right foods, and even supplements, can help prevent sick days for the whole family.  

 

Dr Joanna McMillan, nutrition scientist and dietitian, said: “As our little ones head back to the classroom there’s no doubt that anxiety around the spread of sickness bugs and colds is on the rise. To protect our kids, and ourselves, from coming down with illnesses providing a well-rounded diet full of key vitamins and minerals is vital to giving kids the boost they need to fight off unwanted germs and keep them fighting fit. To give a helping hand to parents with fussy eaters, or children who have food restrictions such as a meat or dairy free diet or multiple allergies, finding ways to sneak goodness in their diets is sometimes necessary. Supplements can also play an important role in making sure gaps in a diet are filled, particularly for vitamins and minerals essential for the immune system such as vitamin C and zinc.” 

 

This year it’s more important than ever before to maintain a strong immune system so it comes as no surprise that 38% of parents say they are looking or planning to look for more products to boost their child’s immunity now, compared to a year ago. Bubs® Australia’s new Vita Bubs™ range includes Vitamin C + Zinc to support a healthy immune system and can be beneficial to help children who are regularly coming down with coughs and colds. These vitamins can only be obtained through diet, not produced by the body, so if in doubt, Bubs® has got parents covered with these chewable vitamins that have no added sugar. 

 

Another concern for half of parents (49%) is that their child would regularly get sick when they started school as they mix with their classmates. While we can’t mollycoddle them to keep all germs away, a well-balanced diet is essential to support good immunity and may help to reduce the number of infections and shorten recovery time when they do get sick. To help support parents give their little ones the best start in life, Bubs® Australia has a range of Organic Baby Pouches bursting with goodness. Full of important fruit and vegetables including the delicious Blueberry, Banana and Quinoa, and nutrient-packed Sweet Potato, Carrot and Pumpkin, plus many more flavours.  

 

The Bubs® Australia research also revealed that: 

·        36% of parents are concerned about their kids being exposed to new germs for the first time 

·        One in five parents with children under four say that avoiding catching a cold or flu (19%) is most important right now  

·        16% of parents say exposure to a certain amount of germs and people is one of the most important factors in building their child’s immunity  

·        Parents aged 18-34 are most likely (56%) to be more concerned about their child’s health now than they were a year ago