Monsoon Immunity Boosters: Foods To Keep Your Child Healthy
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The monsoon season brings relief from the scorching heat but also increases the risk of infections, making it crucial to bolster children's immunity. Indian cuisine offers a plethora of foods known for their immune-boosting properties. This article delves into six essential foods that parents can incorporate into their children's diet to enhance immunity and promote overall health during the monsoon.

1. Turmeric Milk (Haldi Doodh)

Turmeric, a staple in Indian households, is revered for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Turmeric milk, also known as haldi doodh, is a traditional remedy that boosts immunity. It is prepared by heating milk with turmeric and sometimes adding other ingredients like ginger and black pepper. This soothing beverage not only strengthens immunity but also aids in digestion and promotes overall well-being.

2. Herbal Teas (Kadha)

Herbal teas or kadhas, are popular in Indian households, especially during the monsoon and winter seasons. Kadhas are brewed using a combination of medicinal herbs and spices such as tulsi (holy basil), ginger, cinnamon, and cloves. These ingredients have antibacterial and antiviral properties that help in preventing infections and boosting immunity. Herbal teas are a comforting and effective way to keep children healthy during the monsoon.

3. Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

Incorporating a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables into a child's diet is essential for maintaining immunity. Seasonal fruits like mangoes, pomegranates, and guavas are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that strengthen the immune system. Leafy greens, tomatoes, and bell peppers provide essential nutrients like vitamin C and beta-carotene, which play a crucial role in immune function. Including these colourful foods ensures a well-rounded and nutritious diet for children.

4. Probiotic-Rich Foods

Probiotics are beneficial bacteria that support gut health and boost immunity. Indian cuisine offers several probiotic-rich foods, such as yoghurt (curd), buttermilk (lassi), and fermented foods like idli and dosa batter. These foods help maintain a healthy balance of gut flora, enhancing the body's ability to fight infections. Including probiotics in children's diets during the monsoon season can aid in digestion and strengthen their immune defences.

5. Nuts And Seeds

Nuts and seeds are nutrient-dense foods that contribute to overall health and immunity. Almonds, walnuts, and sunflower seeds are rich sources of vitamin E, which acts as an antioxidant, protecting cells from damage. Additionally, seeds like flax seeds and chia seeds provide omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for immune function. Including a handful of nuts and seeds as a snack or adding them to meals ensures children receive vital nutrients for maintaining immunity.

6. Soups And Stews

During the monsoon season, warm soups and stews are comforting and nourishing options for children. Soups made with vegetables, lentils, and mild spices not only provide essential nutrients but also keep the body hydrated. Ingredients like garlic, onion, and turmeric in soups have antibacterial properties that support immune health. Including homemade soups and stews in children's lunchboxes or as evening meals can help boost their immunity and keep them energised throughout the day.

7. Indian Gooseberry (Amla)

Amla is rich in vitamin C, which plays a crucial role in strengthening the immune system. It helps fight infections and supports overall health. Consuming fresh amla or its juice, or including it in preserves (amla murabba), can provide essential nutrients during the monsoon.

8. Yoghurt

Yoghurt is a probiotic-rich food that promotes gut health, which is closely linked to overall immunity. Including plain yoghurt in children's diets or making traditional dishes like lassi (yoghurt-based drinks) can help maintain a healthy digestive system and strengthen immunity.

9. Ginger

Ginger is renowned for its ability to improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and combat infections. It contains gingerol, which has powerful antioxidant and antimicrobial effects. Ginger tea, ginger-infused dishes, or even ginger-based sweets like ginger candies can help children maintain good health and resilience during the rainy season.

10. Garlic

Garlic is a potent ingredient in Indian cuisine, known for its immune-boosting properties. It contains allicin, which has antibacterial and antiviral effects. Regular consumption of garlic can help children ward off colds, flu, and other infections. Adding garlic to dal and vegetables, or making garlic-infused chutneys, is a common practice in Indian households during the monsoon.

These traditional Indian foods not only strengthen immunity but also contribute to overall well-being, making them invaluable additions to a child's monsoon diet.