Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and now with the onset of monsoon, our focus should be on protecting the vulnerable sections of our society – our children.
The health of children is the top worries for most parents. Most children are fussy eaters and have low immunity It is very common for young children to fall sick frequently in their initial years.
As per the current scenario, it is crucial to take care of their health and make them eat a healthy, well-nourished diet. Our focus should be to build their immunity through the right foods.
Food plays an important role in maintaining good health. We all know good food equals good health.
“What we eat – and how much – aﬀects our overall health and mental well being”.
Therefore, a meal prepared using these good foods helps to maintain strong immunity and keep most illnesses at bay.
Good foods constitute all the necessary vitamins, antioxidants, and minerals which helps the body prepare to ward off infections.
So, here is the list of 10 foods that boost the immune system in children.
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All Vegetables have nutrients and protective properties. They contain antibacterial and antiviral agents that keep you disease-free.
- Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, and broccoli are rich sources of vitamins C, E, and K. They have plenty of immune system boosters and antioxidants.
- Green leafy vegetables like Spinach is full of vitamins and minerals that boost our immune systems. It has vitamin A, E, C, and K, folate, manganese, zinc, selenium, and iron.
- Root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, beetroots, yam, and potatoes help in immune strengthening and work in making the respiratory system stronger. They are rich in fiber which keeps gut healthy. Full of vitamins, minerals and which helps in boosting the immune system.
It is important to encourage children to consume vegetables regularly. The earlier they develop the taste, the better.
Serving suggestion – Salads, soups, dips, sauces, sides.
Citrus fruits like oranges, limes, and guavas contain a good amount of Vitamin C and antioxidants.
Vitamin C is known to increase the production of white blood cells, which are key to fighting infections. Moreover, citrus fruits help the body to absorb the nutrients like iron and support the immune system to get strong.
Serving suggestion – Lemonade, juices, fruit Salad.
Eggs are one of the only foods with naturally occurring vitamin D. Presence of Vitamin D in the diet helps to strengthen immunity.
It also includes several other immune-boosting nutrients, such as Vitamin A, Vitamin B 12, Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, iron, choline, iodine, lutein, and zeaxanthin, and omega 3 fatty acids which helps to fight infection.
Serving suggestion – Boiled, scrambelled eggs, pancakes.
Turmeric is a natural way to help boost the immune system. It is known as a superfood with cancer-fighting properties.
Above all, it contains a compound called curcumin, that is known for its anti-inflammatory properties that help boost immunity.
Serving suggestion – Offer Turmeric latte to kids during bed time.
To prepare, add a pinch of turmeric to boiling milk and give it before bedtime once cooled. Adding some saffron will further enhance the healing properties of the milk.”
It is one of the best immune boosters for babies and toddlers in changing weather. Ginger has anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-nausea, and immune-boosting power.
Most importantly, it kills the cold virus and detoxes the system by relaxing the intestinal tract.
Serving suggestion – Add in milk/tea, soups, juices and vegetable curries.
Amla is a powerhouse of Vitamin C, hence it helps boost your immunity, metabolism and prevents viral and bacterial ailments, including cold and cough.
It’s antibacterial and astringent properties boost one’s immune system.
Serving suggestion – Can be served to kids as candies, juice, smoothies.
Yogurt, the best known dietary source of Probiotics, has a general immunity-boosting effect and inhibits a range of pathogenic bacteria and yeasts in the gut.
Full of calcium, which is important for bone health and growth in kids.
Serving suggestion – Serve Yoghurt sugar free or blended with natural fruits.
Avacado, a great source of Vitamin E, which defends and protects our body against all illnesses.
Rich in nutrients and antioxidants which boost immunity and keeps the organs healthy.
Serving suggestion – Serve them as dips, purees, salads.
Holy Basil, also known as Tulasi acts as a natural immune system booster. It protects from any type of infection from viruses, bacterial or fungi.
Serving suggestion – Can be served to kids as drops in their drink or can be consumed raw.
Almonds are abundant in vitamin E, which helps to build the immune system.
Serving suggestion – Serve kids in salads, cakes, bread, shakes or simply offers as a snack.
Other factors to consider for improving the immunity:
- Breathing exercise like Pranayama
- Physical Exercise
- No Sugary and Processed foods
- Drink 1.5 lt of water daily
- Good Sleep and Ample Rest
Doctor Recommended Ayurvedic drinks for stronger immunity :
- Herbal Tea – Add holy basil, cardamom, black pepper, dry ginger, Raisin in boiling water. let it simmer for 2-3 minutes. Finally, after it cools down add honey and few drops of lemon. Serve it 2 – 3 times a day.
- Golden milk or turmeric latte – Also works as a wonderful immune boosting drink. Add turmeric powder in milk. Let it cool. Add Jaggery powder and serve.
To Sum up, Food is the key to good health,and stronger immunity.