In preparation for the school year and cold/flu season, what are the best immune building foods?

Nutrition is the foundation of health. Make food your medicine, and medicine your food. Generally foods high in vitamin c and antioxidants are great immune boosters. Some of the top immune boosting foods are: kefir, mushrooms, broccoli, fish, chicken, garlic, tumeric, and other kitchen spices. The key is to eat a beautifully colorful meal with lots of veggies and lean meats to balance out your diet. Remember, avoiding or minimizing sugary foods (such as cereals, soda, and snacks) is key to maintaining a strong immune system. Ingesting just 1tsp. of sugar suppresses immune system for the next 3 hours.

Here is an example of a healthy and easy meal plan for kids and family:

Breakfast: Protein smoothie with handful of frozen berries and kefir.
Lunch: An orange. Chopped salmon on salad with red bell peppers and mushrooms.
Dinner: Chicken curry with broccoli, pumpkin, onions, and garlic over brown rice.

How do I get my kids to sleep at their bedtime?

We all know how important adequate sleep is for children and adults. Growing and learning kids need at least 9-10 hours of deep sleep every night to cement what they learned during the day. The best way to get your kids to sleep at a regular time is to instigate a sleep routine. Creating a consistent routine prepares the body for sleep and allows your child to get deep, adequate rest. Stop any TV or computer use at least an hour before bedtime. Screens stimulate the brain and can keep the mind from resting. It is best to read a book if the child isn’t tired to help calm down their brain. Keep the bedroom pitch black. Light stimulates pineal gland and can interrupt circadian rhythm and melatonin production, which can lead to chronic sleep issues.

How to prevent/deal with sports injuries?

As fall sports begin to pick up, injuries from practice and games are bound to happen. When injuries strike, suppress the urge to grab for the ibuprofen or asprin. Please don’t suppress the inflammation! Make sure you let them heal. Do not completely stop the inflammatory process by using NSAIDs to stop the pain and inflammation or it will lead to incomplete healing and potentially chronic re-injury and pain years later. Use alternating hot and cold to decrease swelling. Alternate icing and warm compresses to increase blood flow to the injured area and to control swelling. Give joints the necessary building blocks to grow and repair. Collagen building foods such as home made chicken stock (made with the whole chicken carcass) and joint/ligament supplements also help strengthen the joint.

Answers provided by Dr. Sonja Fung of Live Well Clinic in La Quinta. If you have a health related question you would like addressed in a future Q & A, please email

Live Happy, Live Well. 78900 Avenue 47 Suite 102 La Quinta, CA. 760-771-5970