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Top Tips On How To Build A Healthy Immune System as a Working Mum

With equality and gender diversity being a hot topic among women in business, is it any wonder why women are the top sicky takers and considered less employable?

Imagine this .....

You are sitting at your desk, your eye on the corporate ladder and dreams of what climbing it will bring for you; fulfilment, more income, a new car or an overseas holidays. Then your phone rings, it’s your child’s day-care, Little Charlie has green snot smearing on the other kids and needs to be quarantined.


That superbug that we managed to avoid seems to have us now. You take a few days off work, get him back to health, plan to return Monday but on Sunday evening, you’re starting to get hot sweats, a headache and fear the lurgie has you now too.

Now it’s another few days off so that you don’t spread it to your team and parents of other kids. Yes, it’s normal, and a doctor will tell you so. But it’s normal because it happens so frequently. Is it avoidable? Oh, you bet your Medicare gap it is!

If you’re a first-time mum considering returning to the workforce, you may not consider health as a vital factor to prepare for long before you return. A strong immune system among the family could just be the difference between you being a good employee and an awesome employee.

Nobody likes to have sick children but, just think how impressed your new boss is going to be if your child picks up every illness going around the day-care and you then picking up the lurgie whilst at home caring for your sick child.

Time off work even though it’s legally allowed does cost your employer time and money to cover for your absence; this will impact your future employability and progression up the corporate ladder.

Here’s something to consider, your immune system was passed onto your child in utero. If you were placed on antibiotics pre or post pregnancy or your child has been on antibiotics you may want to consider a gut healing regime to get everyone’s biome full of beneficial flora to fight off the bad bugs.

Signs of a compromised immune system

  • Eczema or dry patches of skin
  • Poor sleep and irritability
  • Frequent illnesses and antibiotics, appears always congested, perhaps with watery eyes
  • Suspected food intolerances or allergies
  • Missing key nutrients in diet (common with a picky eater)
  • Digestive problems, constipation, diarrhoea, loss of appetite and nausea
  • Delayed growth and development

Do you have autoimmune diseases plaguing the family or already have a highly stressful life without adding more responsibility to the mix? Stress is a psychological pain that is triggered by the health of your endocrine system and the ability to excrete hormones and cortisol to combat and effectively deal with daily stresses.

If your immune system is compromised from the outset, you’ll find stress and mental clarity much more difficult to overcome.

Furthermore, stress can trigger the onset of illness associated with autoimmune diseases and even linked to cancer.

Here are five suggestions for strengthening yours and your child’s immune system so you can both battle illnesses.


If you or your children has been on any courses of antibiotics or penicillin its always recommended to follow up with 30 days worth of a good pro-biotic to replenish the gut flora. Without healing the gut, the absorption of essential vitamins and minerals is severely compromised causing a risk of a reoccurring illness, intolerances and allergies. Always buy your pro-biotic from a health food store and make sure it’s one that is kept refrigerated and doesn’t contain dairy.

Vitamin C

No! I don’t mean the little chewable sugar loaded orange tablets that you can buy in a supermarket; I mean the real-deal plant sources delivered in 100% juice! Fruits that are high in vitamin C include oranges, kiwifruit, guava, berries and papaya.

Vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient, so it needs to be replenished daily. Why not make it a ritual that the whole family enjoys? The most nutritional benefits come from blending a whole food in a high-speed blender otherwise juicing machines (preferably cold pressed) are also great.

Bone Broths

There is medicinal theory behind chicken soup being fed to cold sufferers in our parents’ eras. Not only in our culture, has almost every culture throughout history used bone broth for its medicinal benefits of eradicating inflammation and reducing cold symptoms. The longer you cook it (I cook mine for 48 hours) the more beneficial it is as it draws out collagen proteins, minerals and fats that are easily digested and absorbed by your body to heal in various ways. It is considered a super food and is far more beneficial than taking a supplement.


This has become a popular mineral therapy for the common cold. Though there is conflicting information on its benefits. If you’re lacking zinc in your diet then taking zinc upon the onset of the flu can reduce the endurance and severity by up to 50%; however, taking an over supplement of zinc has not been proven to provide any benefit at all. Be careful when administering to children as over-dosage can be very dangerous.

Vitamin D

Last but by no means least Vitamin D: Vitamin D is commonly known as coming from the sun rays and helping us absorb calcium, but it also has many other benefits. Vitamin D is associated with decreased autoimmunity as well as a decreased susceptibility to infection. Cod liver oil is a rich source of vitamin D but good luck getting the kiddies to lick this off a spoon!

I like to use 1 drop of vitamin D blended up in my son’s orange juice each morning.

Reactions to allergies and intolerances can sometimes trigger symptoms similar to colds and flus. These symptoms include swelling in the nasal passages, increased mucus production, runny nose and asthma symptoms.

Intolerances are much harder to detect than allergies. If you suspect that food may be the cause of ongoing illness, seek advice from a nutritionist on ways to eliminate suspect foods.

Do you need help getting your child to sustain a healthy diet? Are mealtimes a battle or have you given up the fight? You can learn more about my work with families of fussy eaters on Facebook and learn about my online courses.

Written by Beth Bonfiglo

Beth Bonfiglo is an international nutritionist and founder of Little Fusspot. Beth has become known worldwide as the “Supernanny of Mealtimes”. She understands the impact that poor eating can have on the physical and mental health of children. She has worked with leading occupational therapists and psychologists, researching and developing strategies for dealing with various fussy eaters.

Beth has now pulled together years of her work into a series of online courses tailored to helping three different types of fussy eaters. The courses aim to make this highly specialised care accessible and affordable to families with little fusspots on a global scale.

Follow Little Fusspot on Facebook and Instagram. Their courses are outlined here

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