Risks to your child’s lungs

How diet and nutrition affects your children's lungs

The growth of your child’s lungs may be affected by what you eat while you are pregnant and by their diet in childhood.

Your diet during pregnancy

A healthy diet in pregnancy can reduce the likelihood of your child being born with a low birth weight. Children with a low birth weight are more likely to develop a lung condition.

Read more about eating a healthy diet in pregnancy on the NHS Choices website.

Your child’s diet

A balanced diet with lots of fruit, vegetables and fish can sometimes help reduce the risk of developing lung conditions, especially asthma.

  • If your child is underweight they may not be getting the right nutrients. This can weaken the muscles they use to breathe and lead to chest infections.
  • Some studies show that if you child’s diet contains lots of antioxidants, particularly vitamins E and C, this may help protect them against the effects of air pollution.

Related link: Change4life – eat well

If you have concerns or need advice, call our helpline on 03000 030 555 between 9am and 5pm on a weekday or email them.

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Last medically reviewed: September 2016. Due for review: September 2019

This information uses the best available medical evidence and was produced with the support of people living with lung conditions. Find out how we produce our information. If you’d like to see our references get in touch.