3 Foods that Improve Respiratory Health in Children

There are a number of foods that can improve respiratory health in children when it comes to asthma or other chronic conditions. Learn more.
3 Foods that Improve Respiratory Health in Children
Saúl Sánchez Arias

Reviewed and approved by the nutritionist Saúl Sánchez Arias.

Last update: 09 October, 2022

There are a number of foods that improve respiratory health in children. It’s important to know what they are in order to offer them regularly in the diet of young people with asthma. In these cases, there may be certain difficulties in ventilating optimally, which can affect the well-being situation and habits.

It’s important to bear in mind that children tend to be quite active. This is very beneficial for health in the medium term, as physical exercise is one of the keys to optimal functioning of the body. However, respiratory difficulties can be a disadvantage in this regard, making the child less likely to play with their peers.


Yogurt’s one of the healthiest foods that exist. It’s capable of providing a good amount of probiotics, live bacteria that selectively colonize the intestine, thus generating a benefit in the host. It has been proven that ensuring the diversity of the microbiota reduces the incidence of inflammatory or autoimmune diseases, such as some respiratory diseases.

However, when choosing a yogurt, it’s essential to look at the labeling. Most of those offered in supermarkets have an excessive amount of added sugars, which have a negative impact on the child’s metabolic health. It’s always preferable to opt for natural yogurts that are whole, with the fat of the product intact.

Foods that are rich in fiber

Fiber is another of the determining substances when it comes to maintaining good intestinal health. The soluble portion provides the energetic substrate for the bacteria that inhabit the intestine, thus promoting a greater density of microorganisms. In particular, oats stand out above the rest. It has compounds, beta-glucans, which are particularly positive for the microbiota. This is according to research published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

However, many fruits, such as apples, also contain a significant amount of soluble fiber. Their inclusion in the regular diet will contribute to improving the health of the microbiota, promoting the growth of the bacteria that make it up.

Foods rich in vitamins to improve respiratory health

Many micronutrients help to keep inflammation levels under control, also exerting a positive function on the immune system. It will be important to prioritize those foods with a high concentration of vitamins A and C. Among them are grapes, blueberries, red fruits, tomatoes, carrots, kiwi…

Asthma is a chronic disease characterized by a feeling of not being able to breathe, in addition to some wheezing. It can be treated by means of drugs and isn’t always experienced at the same level of intensity. However, there are a number of foods that can improve its management, reducing the intensity of symptoms. These include tomatoes, garlic, citrus fruits, and apples.

Talk to your pediatrician for a good diet

If your child suffers from a respiratory problem, it’s best to consult your pediatrician. Your little one may need a pharmacological regimen, as well as a dietary adjustment, to achieve a remission of symptoms and a reduction of associated problems. It may also be a good idea to see a nutritionist.

Diet can control episodes of inflammation. Many times, these attack the upper airways, causing breathing difficulties. These signs increase when the demand for oxygen increases, for example in the context of sports.

There are foods that are capable of improving the respiratory health of children

As you’ve seen, it’s possible to adjust a diet in order to improve the respiratory health of children. It may also be necessary to include certain supplements, such as probiotics, to facilitate the management of diseases such as asthma. These can be quite common among the population.

Of course, it’s always best to consult a professional before including any supplement in the dietary pattern. First, it’s a good idea to optimize your child’s diet and include products or supplements that can produce a certain benefit. It’s also important to note that there are other strategies, based on respiratory physiotherapy, to improve these problems.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Lin, J., Zhang, Y., He, C., & Dai, J. (2018). Probiotics supplementation in children with asthma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of paediatrics and child health54(9), 953–961. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpc.14126
  • Jayachandran, M., Chen, J., Chung, S., & Xu, B. (2018). A critical review on the impacts of β-glucans on gut microbiota and human health. The Journal of nutritional biochemistry61, 101–110. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnutbio.2018.06.010

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.