Master’s Student in Clinical Nutrition
Faculty of Health Sciences
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)

The role of nutrition in the first phase of a child’s life, especially in the first thousand days, is huge and influences the immune response system and later health.


Nutrition during the first 1000 days, including the intrauterine period, is crucial for a child’s development, affecting the gut microbiota composition and immune system.

The immune system receives benefits from dietary omega-3 long-chain fatty acids, prebiotics, and micronutrients.

There is an intricate relationship among diet, microbiome, and epigenetic elements influencing this interaction. Numerous non-communicable diseases (NCDs) linked with dysbiosis begin their ‘programming’ in childhood.

Nutrition also plays a significant role in shaping the composition and development of children’s microbiota, thus exerting a powerful influence on the development of NCDs.


In the first 2 years of a child’s life, breastfeeding plays a crucial role in providing essential nutrients and immune support for infants.

Breast milk offers a unique blend of antibodies and nutrients that help strengthen a baby’s immune system and overall health. Introducing a variety of nutrient-rich foods after breastfeeding can further enhance a child’s immune health.

Diversify Nutrient Intake

Enhance your child’s immune system by incorporating a variety of colorful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins into their diet. These foods provide essential nutrients crucial for building strength and immunity.

Citrus Fruits for Immune Support

Include vitamin C-rich citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons in your child’s diet. These fruits act as natural immune boosters, safeguarding your child’s health.

Promote Gut Health with Probiotics

Opt for probiotic-rich yoghurt to support a healthy gut environment, which plays a significant role in overall immunity. A balanced gut ensures a robust defense system against illnesses.

Harness the Power of Antioxidants

Incorporate antioxidant-rich berries like blueberries and strawberries into your child’s meals to enhance their immunity. These berries provide a powerful boost to your child’s health and immune function.

Essential Vitamins from Leafy Greens

Ensure your child consumes leafy greens such as spinach and kale to benefit from vitamins A, C, and E, which are essential for strengthening the immune system.

Prioritize Hydration

Encourage your child to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water and natural fruit juices. Proper hydration helps flush out toxins from the body, supporting overall health and immunity.

Healthy Swaps for Immunity

Replace sugary treats with wholesome options like fresh fruits and natural sweeteners to boost immunity in a healthier way.


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