Parents, especially of small children, dread the rainy season for, rains mean plenty of cold and flu. Many times kids have to miss their schools due to these problems. Most of you must be thinking there is no escape from these afflictions, but what if we tell you that there is; that just be eating certain foods your child can become strong enough to ward of cold and flu.
We spoke a number of nutritionists and came up with a list of food items that boost immunity among children. Read on:
Turmeric milk: Ideally a cup of hot milk with half a spoon of turmeric in it should be given to children every day, preferably before sleeping at night. It is a great health booster as turmeric promotes immunity while milk is a laxative and helps in a good night sleep. In fact, this has been an age-old practice in homes in Punjab. And you cannot deny that Punjabis are quite healthy people. So go ahead and start this practice.
Tulsi: This can be had in any form. Put the leaves in tea or make a decoction of Tulsi leaves. If you are too lazy to make this or if your child detests having tea or the concentrate, start giving your child five leaves of Tulsi with a little warm water every morning. Tulsi leaves have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, all very good in all season, more so during monsoons.
Ginger and honey: A combination of honey and ginger juice is an elixir against common cold and flu. Ginger juice has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties whereas honey coats the throat giving a soothing feel. One spoon of honey with half a spoon of ginger juice per day is enough for a child. It works best when given at bed time.
Nuts: Nuts are a rich source of proteins, good fatty acids, anti-oxidants such as carotenoids, selenium, B complex vitamins, vitamin C. These are concentrated source of energy and are an ideal food to fight infection and promote growth in children.
Hot Soups: It is not just winters, but monsoons as well that are the best times to consume hot soups, be it vegetable, chicken or egg soup. These boost immunity, reduce inflammation and fight infection. Add ginger, garlic, onions, cinnamon and cumin to increases the anti-bacterial property of soups.
Apart from making the above eatables as your daily habit, make egg, fish, chicken and pulses a staple in your daily lunch and dinner preparation. Also encourage your child to eat monsoon fruits such as jamun, plums, cherries and peaches as these are a store house of anti-oxidants and vitamins that boost children’s immunity and help them fight infection.