by Udita Saklani
Ten power foods which can really help in boosting immunity of your child!
A mother often finds herself looking for the best foods in her child’s daily diet which will help in boosting their immunity. In this quest, she gets disappointed the very moment when her kids fall sick or are battling with seasonal changes. Even with the best care, our kids tend to catch the virus or the bacteria prevalent in the air.
Sickness takes a toll on not only mothers, but kids as well. As much as they want to play and be all out in the open, their body just doesn’t allow them to. Kids do not have very developed immune system which makes them even more susceptible to the numerous viruses during seasonal changes and otherwise as well.
Gone are the days when kids used to fall ill, only during winters. Times have drastically changed and so has our city air with increasing levels of pollution, with even more immune virus and bacteria. Remember those times when your grand mom used to give Chawanprassh on those cold winter mornings and a minimum of four almonds was a mandate thing with a glass of milk.
Presenting some power foods which can really help in giving that much needed boost to your child’s health:
Trying to remember the last time you included berries in your kids’ diet? We are pretty sure, it would either be in his favorite ice cream or milk shake! But it’s about time you started doing that. Berries have vitamin C in them which boost the immune system. They also help in quick revival from a bout of cold and flu. Apart from this, they are a powerhouse of antioxidants. Just keep them in your kids’ lunchbox as a snacker and we are sure they are going to love this new change.
Yes, you heard it right. This small little fungus, as its popularly known, has the ability of boosting up your immunity levels by at least 300 percent! Isn’t that great? Mushrooms are in fact researched to be so powerful that they ca slow or even in some cases reverse cancer growth. Certain varieties of mushrooms are capable enough to kill bacteria and viruses. Mushrooms can be easily incorporated in your kids’ diet either in the form khichadi or in pastas as well, which will make them even more nutritious and healthy.
Nuts are rich in selenium, zinc and vitamin E. Selenium is a mineral which is vital for the proper functioning of the immune system. Now you can easily recall those days as to why your mom made sure to include at least four soaked almonds in your diet each day. The various kinds of nuts which can be included in your kids’ diet are almonds, cashews, walnuts and even pumpkin seeds. Giving them, a fruit bowl or smoothie mixed with dry fruit powder is also a good alternative.
Turmeric is one of the most powerful ingredients in your kitchen. Of course, it adds color and flavor to your favorite chicken curry, but do you know that turmeric also has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties which is great booster of the immune system. Curcumin which is the root of the turmeric is an excellent source for tackling immunity issues as it helps the body to protect itself.
Fishes are an extremely excellent source of healthy fats for your little ones. They are a powerhouse of Zinc, which in turn helps in boosting the immune system. Zinc also helps in repairing the damaged cells thus aids in faster healing of bruises. For infants you can try making a fish puree, which can then be gradually shifted to puree with lentil or vegetable soups. Preschoolers would love to have fish cutlets with their favorite mayo dips or chutneys.
Eggs are also a storehouse of zinc, selenium and anti-oxidants. They are super rich in proteins, hence beneficial for the little ones if we include them in their daily diet. You can introduce eggs in your childs’ diet as early as six months. Infants as young as six months can be fed mashed eggs while elder kids would surely love to have banana and egg pancakes for their Sunday brekkie!
We all knew garlic possesses medicinal properties, but are we aware of its immunity boosting power as well? Garlic has a very unique property of boosting the virus fighting T-cells in our blood. That is also one reason, it is extremely beneficial in providing relief from cold and cough. You must have rubbed garlic infused oil on the back of the feet of your little one when he was down with flu like symptoms.
If you really want to increase your kids’ immunity then dig your fridge for these greens mamma!! That will save you from investing in immunity capsules for sure. Green veggies like cauliflower, broccoli are rich in anti-oxidants which make them the perfect food for boosting that much needed immunity. Try incorporating veggies by giving them in stuff paranthas or by making a puree of these veggies for their favorite red sauce pasta.
We all know good bacteria aid in yogurt formation which makes it one of the best natural probiotics. If your little one catches cold and cough very often then probably yogurts are your solution. Yogurts should be avoided when a kid has viral or cold, but are completely safe to give otherwise, in contrast to the popular belief that yogurt causes cold. Try to give your little one at least one bowl of curd or yogurt per day either in its usual form or in the form of lassi or add it to smoothies.
10. Sweet Potatoes:
Sweet potatoes are rich in beta carotene which get converted to Vitamin A, which is great for your eyes as well as gives a boost to the immune system. They also increase T-Cell activities in our body which helps in fighting infections.
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