Published in New York Family Magazine and AM New York on March 12,2020

As cases of Coronavirus multiply, it’s important to remember that one of the best forms of protection is prevention. Enhance your immune system with wholesome food to stay healthy, feel good, and full of energy. We spoke with Stephanie Schwartz, a nutritionist from the New York Presbyterian-Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, who gave us some useful tips on superfoods and immune boosters for the whole family.

“Eat the rainbow,” says Ms. Schwartz. It’s essential to have diversity in our meals, and there is no better season than this spring for fresh fruits and veggies. She says the colorful plants are rich in different vitamins that enhance our immune system and entertain the little ones as well. “You can give them green veggies one day, orange carrots on the next, and keep on mixing them in a rainbow.” Diversity is key to a healthy balanced diet with wholesome, nutritious food.

Fish is rich in Omega-3, while meat is full of iron and B-complex vitamins. Milk and dairy products are also packed with vitamin B, so make sure your child gets enough of these. Ms. Schwartz advises good hydration too. Children should drink a sufficient amount of water and milk as they are the best nutritious drinks with no added sugar. 

Ms. Schwartz thinks all-natural ingredients are enough for a healthy diet, so there is no need for supplements, especially for the children. However, she advises parents to consult with their pediatrician if your child needs more vitamin D. This vitamin is hard to absorb from food, and some children might need a larger dose.

Last but not least, family eating should be a pleasure and not a quick stop at a fast-food restaurant. Try to find time to prepare yummy homemade meals or spend some quality time with the family at a nice restaurant.” Eating should be a pleasurable experience for the whole family and children should enjoy it,” Ms. Schwartz says. “Involve them in preparing meals and show them how much fun it can be.”

Please note that any change or new food in your children’s diet should be discussed with your pediatrician. This list of fruits and vegetables is not exhaustive for full healthy eating. Please consult a doctor or a nutritionist.