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Facebook Live: Immunity starts on the Inside

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Wondering what you can do to keep your kids healthy during winter… and beyond? Strong immunity all starts with the food that goes in their mouths. To find out more about the link between nutrition and immunity, we sat down for a Facebook Live with Karina Savage from Smartbite and Nik Loveridge from Danone Nutricia to get the latest information about good gut health. If you missed the FB Live, don’t despair! You can watch it now…   

About the panel

Karina Savage is a paediatric dietitian with over 15 years’ experience and specialising in children’s gut health. She’s also a North Shore Mum living in Mosman and has two children. She’s written numerous articles for the North Shore Mums website about feeding fussy children and healthy food. Click here to read.

Nik Loveridge is the Head of Healthcare Nutrition Science at Danone Nutricia, the makers of Aptamil Toddler. Nik is also a trained dietitian and is passionate about early life nutrition. He also lives in St Ives and is a Father to two young children (with another on the way) and married to a midwife.

Watch the Immunity Facebook Live

What is immunity?

Immunity is provided by the immune system, which protects us from disease caused by bacteria, viruses and toxins. A strong immune system acts as a first line of defence against internal and external threats, but at birth is just developing.

What is the role of a healthy gut?

Scientists are only beginning to understand the microbial ecosystem that flourishes inside our bodies, where trillions of microbes work together to digest food and guard against disease. That process begins during birth. As soon as babies exit the womb and enter the birth canal, they are exposed to a host of friendly microbes. These microbes train babies’ immune systems, helping to avoid infections and diseases late in life.

Why is nutrition so important in building immunity?

Immunity starts on the inside, through the development of a healthy gut – where up to 80% of the immune system lives.2 This occurs primarily from breastfeeding, or formula if breastfeeding isn’t an option. Immunity is also built from the outside – when little ones come into contact with germs in the world around them, their bodies learn to build resilience against them. – which parents become all too familiar with once they get their first cold or flu from daycare!

Why is nutrition so important in building immunity?

Nutrition plays an important role in the development of a healthy gut microbiome, which enables a healthy robust immune system. It may help to reduce or prevent later health problems such as obesity, diabetes and allergy.

What if a child is a ‘fussy eater’ or not receiving enough nutritional support?

There are times when additional nutritional support may be required for toddlers who are fussy eaters. Toddler milk drinks are formulated supplementary foods which contain additional vitamins and minerals above standard cows’ milk and help support the immune system.

How does breast milk build immunity?

Breast milk is the first source of nutrition an infant is exposed to1 and is by far the best nutrition for developing the immune system. It contains antibodies and immune-boosting substances to fight against many potential diseases.

What if a mother is unable to breastfeed?

When breastfeeding isn’t possible, a scientifically formulated infant formula is the only safe alternative and a complete source of nutrition for infants 0-6 months old to help support healthy immune development. In Australia, all formulas are required to meet the food standard code requirements for nutritional composition. However, different formulas contain added optional ingredients for additional support.

Where can I get more information?

Always speak to a healthcare professional when seeking medical advice.

For any nutrition, pregnancy or infant care-related questions, the Nutricia Careline is available to provide expert advice – free of charge. The Nutricia Careline is a team of trusted midwives, dieticians and nutritionists who are here to support and reassure you through your pregnancy and beyond. They are available on live chat or 1800 438 500.

You can also get in touch with Karina Savage from Smartbite via her website or on 0402 142 517.

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