by: Yumi Team
With Coronavirus (COVID-19) dominating the headlines, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed — especially as a new parent.
Not only do you have to stay on top of feeding, sleeping and pooping schedules, you now have to consider how to keep your baby and entire family (and yes, that includes you) safe from a new virus, the world is just starting to understand.
What is your baby’s real Coronavirus risk?
Luckily, Coronavirus In Babies Appears Less Severe Than In Adults
We have some reassuring news.
To date, cases of Coronavirus in babies have manifested as significantly less severe versus older populations. According to the CDC, COVID-19 afflicted babies generally have mild, cold-like symptoms, such as a fever, runny nose and a dry cough.1
In fact, a robust review of tens of thousands of confirmed COVID-19 cases in China, revealed that there were no deaths under age 10.2 This seems to indicate that babies with coronavirus have a much stronger defense than the rest of the population. So while the virus is a serious issue, you should take some comfort in knowing that your baby will probably fare better than most in your household, even if their immune system is still developing. Still, any measure to prevent coronavirus exposure for you and your baby should be taken, such as hand washing and avoiding large crowds.
While scientists are still determining why this is the case, one theory is that a child’s less mature immune system is actually an advantage here. An adult’s immune system has decades of experience identifying and fighting infections. This programming helps the immune system quickly mount a robust defense—but sometimes this inflammatory response is too much.3
What Can You Do?
Though there’s a lot on your baby’s side, it’s still important to be smart during this time to minimize infection for you and your entire family. (The most at risk populations are those over 65, especially those with certain underlying conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease or a history of smoking.)
10 Things To Do To Minimize Your Risk:
Don’t Forget About Nutrition
During these times, nutrition is more important than ever in lowering your baby’s coronavirus infection risk. It’s important that you and your baby eat well during this time, to ensure the body has all the tools necessary to keep infections at bay or shorten any possible infection. Focus on real foods with immunity-boosting properties. Here are some of the key nutrients and where you can find them:
Zinc is a key nutrient for the immune system, it’s also one of the essential minerals needed to make proteins and DNA in the body. Your body can’t produce or store it, so you need to get it from food. A zinc deficiency is correlated with increased susceptibility to pneumonia and other infections among children and the elderly.5
Children from 7 months to 3 years of age, need about 3 mg of Zinc per day.4
Where to find it: Beans, nuts, red meat, oysters are all excellent sources.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that supports the immune system and liver function. It has been shown to lower inflammation by lowering oxidative stress and inhibiting the replication of viruses.9
Children 1 to 3 years of age should have about 20 micrograms per day.
Where to find it: Grains, garlic, broccoli, nuts, especially brazil nuts, walnuts, fish, beef
Is one of the most critical nutrients for development. You’ve probably noticed that we often wax poetic about iron’s role in neural development. But it’s also necessary for biochemical reactions for your baby’s immune cells and blood production.6
From 7 to 12 months, babies are recommended to have 11mg of iron per day. From 1 to 3 years, the recommended daily amount is 7mg.
Where to find it: White beans, lentils, spinach (other dark leafy greens), organ meats.
Beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body, helps regulate cellular immune responses. It has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Where to find it: Carrots, apricot, mangoes, spinach, cantaloupe
Well, no surprises here. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that is well known for its role in supporting the immune system and cellular function. During infections, vitamin C levels in plasma decreases, as the body uses it to fight infections, which is why it’s important to keep the vitamin C flowing during colds. Bonus: it also helps with the absorption of iron, see above. As an antioxidant it helps neutralize free radicals in the body, helping to keep inflammation in check. Vitamin C should be a part of any parent or caregivers plan for their babies’ coronavirus risk prevention.
Other important antioxidants include glutathione, selenium, and vitamin E.
Where to find it: oranges or insert your favorite citrus fruit, kiwis, bell peppers, broccoli.
You’ll find a healthy dose of vitamin C in our Mango Chia Pudding and Kiwi Chia Pudding.
Vitamin E is another powerful antioxidant. It’s also critical for the normal function of immune cells. T- and B-cell functions are impaired when you don’t have enough vitamin E in your diet. 10
Where to find it: Wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, salmon, kiwi.
Need some ideas for activities in the home? We got you covered with our list of stay-at-home ideas for babies and toddlers.
You asked we listened. For a limited of time, we’re letting you stock up on our immune boosting purees.