Many people are looking to build their immune system as the coronavirus pandemic continues and cold and flu season is on the horizon.

Clinical Nutritionist Sharon Brown says doing this is like preparing for a marathon, you don’t want to start the day before but rather work all year to boost your immune system.

Brown says building your children’s immune system starts by keeping them away from sugar because it starts to shut down the immune system.

Instead, reach for healthy snacks.

“Give them things like yogurt that populates all that good gut flora,” says Brown. She explains up to 70% of your immune system is in your gut.

Things like kefir, bone broth, and probiotics also help your gut.

“You want to pack their lunches full of healthy food choices, so load them up with fruits, vegetables, and high-quality proteins that are going to support their immune systems,” says Brown.

Brown says Vitamin C is crucial for the immune system but while many people grab a glass of orange juice for it, she has other options that she says are better for you.

“You want to stay away from fruit sugars, not too much from fruit, so alternatively you can pack snacks like vegetables. Things like broccoli and bell peppers,” says Brown.

Finally, Brown says zinc is important for your immune system.

“Zinc is very important and can be found in blueberries, shellfish, and shrimp, which is a high quality source of zinc,” says Brown.