Worried about your child constantly falling prey to cold, flu, infection and diseases? Then, it’s time you revamped your children’s plate. You may have been on a constant check trying to give your kids ample nutrition; but that’s not enough. You need to make sure you incorporate foods that would boost their immunity. Not sure about what’s right and what’s not? Worry not! Here is a list of 10 foods that will increase your child’s immunity and help them ward off those nasty bacteria and viruses.
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Studies have deeply linked the important connect between proteins and the body’s immune function. A deficiency of protein can make the body’s immunity weak and susceptible to a whole arrays of infections .
Proteins from dairy, meat, eggs, seafood, lentils and legumes are excellent sources and need to be consumed everyday.
GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES
Loaded with wholesome nutrition and antioxidants, this is one of the most despised foods of kids. It is certain that most of the children scrunch their nose and refuse to open their mouth when fed with spinach or vegetables. Spinach is a rich source of vitamins, iron, zinc, beta carotene, carotenoids and folic acid. All kinds of green vegetable and spinach are definitely a must have during the growing phase of your children as each one plays its own role in improving their immunity. You can boil, stir-fry, blanch or sneak them in your child’s favourite food by mashing them into the chapathi dough and thereby calling it the “Green Paratha“!
Macro nutrients are a requisite in building the immunity and in keeping your children resistant to diseases. Eggs are a rich source of proteins, which plays a vital role in your child’s growth and development. Both egg yolk and albumin compete equally well in offering antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. So give a daily dose of eggs the way your kids like them best.
NUTS & SEEDS
This is an interesting immunity booster you can ever think of. The crunchy, creamy and sweet flavour of nuts not only captivates your children instantly, but also strengthens and helps them fight diseases. Nuts are filled with selenium, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that support your immune system. Don’t bore your kids by repeating the same nuts everyday; rather add a mixture of a variety of nuts as they will keep your children interested, as well as impart their unique benefits they have in store. Try making some protein bars with nuts, nut butters and healthy sugar substitutes like dried fruits.
Also read this: Top 10 must have nuts and seeds
Vitamin C is one of the key elements that play a crucial role in affecting the immune system. Citrus fruits are a great source of vitamins and antioxidants that produces antibodies and increases the multiplication of white blood cells that secures your immune system by preventing any form of bacteria or virus invasion.
Having an ample dosage of citrus fruits like lemon, oranges and grapefruits reduces the probability of cold, flu and fevers. Squeeze a tall glass of lemon juice or peel a couple of wedges of oranges for your children and they can be seen fine and fit all through the year. Our very own Gooseberry (Nellikkai/ Amla) has high levels of Vitamin C with the added benefit of not burning the pockets at all. So, apart from eating them raw, serve them as jams, pickles or murabbas (preserves).
If your child loves a bowl of good old curd rice, then keeping them healthy is much easier. Curd is great in improving your child’s gut health as it wards of any kind of bacteria from the intestines. It prevents any kind of gastrointestinal diseases or digestive disorders. If your kid hates curd, then you can opt for flavoured yogurt, which is full of probiotics, offers the same benefits. You can also turn a boring plate of curd rice interesting by topping them with colourful fruits and vegetables.
Make fruits a daily addition. All fruits are healthy so you do not have to worry about what to give your kids. Treat your kids with seasonal fruits and you are sure to witness a healthy transformation in your child’s health. Some parents may have trouble pleasing picky children into having fruits. If that’s the case, then make delicious fruit salads, juices or smoothies and your child will ask you for more.
Sulphur compounds and flavanoids in garlic are great immunity boosters. Consumption of garlic aids in the healthy production of white blood cells that are soldiers of your body. Garlic is also a great antioxidant and has antibacterial and antiviral properties that keep you away from cold and flu.
An addition of whole grain cereals like rye, millets, wheat, rice and barley supply the necessary nutrition in building a strong immune system. They are a rich source of folic acid, pantothenic acid and vitamins B and B6; that are healthy growth promoters. The presence of beta-glucan, makes cereals a great cleansing agent that avoids any kind of digestive disorder. Make sure to incorporate them in your child’s everyday diet in one form or the other. While you do so, also keep in mind not to make it a large portion of the meal.
Turmeric has great antibacterial and antiseptic properties that kill germs, bacteria and any flu inducing viruses. Curcumin present in turmeric is a great antioxidant and has anti inflammatory properties that soothes and heals ulcers. You can also make turmeric soup for your kids when they are suffering from fever and can witness an instant improvement in their health.
Honey not only improves your child’s immunity, but, the antiseptic and antimicrobial properties of honey kills unhealthy microbes, soothes your irritated throat and calms your stomach. This sure is a sweet way of boosting your child’s immunity. While the sweet flavour of honey is savoured by most of the kids, one ought to be careful to not overdose. Treat honey like a medicine.
Include all of these in your child’s menu and you may never have to fix an appointment with your paediatrician ever again.