Foods to increase immunity for children during monsoon

Foods to increase immunity for children during monsoon

The onset of monsoons brings along a host of diseases and infections that can pose a serious range of health threats for you and your family. The risk of being exposed to multiple viruses, bacteria, parasites and other infections is two times higher during the monsoon than in any other season. The high moisture content in the air and water accumulation enables harmful micro-organisms to thrive, leading to a number of health- related ailments.

Usually the common monsoon diseases remain undetected until there is a major symptom or a big impact on the health of a person. Early diagnosis and a few preventive and hygiene measures can keep you stay safe during this season.

Dietary Recommendations

  • While avoiding street food/junk food is imperative, make sure to add foods rich in Vitamic C and fibres to your diet. They not only keep you safe from any stomach related problem but also help build immunity.
  • Smaller meals- Due to high humidity during the rainy season, he body takes a longer time for digestion. Therefore, it is best to have smaller meals rather than larger ones.
  • To boost your immunity, include herbs and spices like ginger, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, holy basil, etc, in your diet. Loaded with essential nutrients and antioxidants, these are useful for your overall health and wellness.
  • Foods rich in mineral and iron like pulses and cereals should be key components of your diet during rainy season. You can have well-cooked sprouts, soya beans, corns, ragi, etc, in generous quantities.
  • Also parents need to be watchful of the sugar intake of children – excess sugar intake alters the absorption of other vital nutrient

Top Foods for Increasing Immunity in Children

1. Hot Soups: Diet in monsoon season should include soups to keep body warm as well as to fight infections. Soups with child’s favourite vegetables can be included or soups such as chicken and chicken noodle soups are recommended to include in diet. Soups should contain extracts of Ginger and Garlic that have antibacterial properties. Black Pepper can also be added in spices to increase the immune-boosting power present in the soup.

2. Citrus Fruits: Children are more prone to injuries while playing outdoors and indoors. To promote the healing process and for boosting immunity to fight infections Vitamin C which is present in rich amount in citrus fruits is the best source. Thus, adding citrus fruits in child’s diet can be beneficial for them. Citrus fruits such as orange, lemon, sweet lime, grapefruit are excellent source of Vitamin C. Other sources are guava, papayas, tomatoes, bell peppers and broccoli.

3. Vegetables: The good source of folic acid and Vitamin C in vegetables are green leafy vegetables like Spinach which should be included in child’s diet at least three times a week. A portion of cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli can be included in a diet for atleast twice a week. Cruciferous vegetables helps eliminating toxins from the body and prevent illness.

4. Nuts: Dry fruits and nuts are among the best foods to have during monsoon for children, especially Almonds. They help in improving blood circulation, boosting immunity and promoting general wellness to the body. Dry fruits can be used in different recipes like brownies, cake and laddoos after keeping the taste of children in mind.

5. Other foods: In other foods, a protein rich diet is very necessary for the development of child as well as for boosting immunity. This can include egg, chicken, fish, dals, paneer, soya, tofu etc. It is also preferred to include yogurt or curd in a diet as it is probiotic and the bacteria’s present in the curd can help in increasing immunity and fight infections.

These are top foods which should be included in daily diet of a child. In addition to this, keeping the child well-hydrated with fresh water is recommended. Water is very important for human body as it helps in strengthening the organs and improves health. This all will lead a child stronger, healthier and happier.

For a healthy monsoon do not compromise on two essential activities- adequate sleep and a regular exercise regimen. A rigorous physical activity strengthens the immune system, therefore, if outdoor exercise isn’t possible, choose yoga or aerobics to stay active.

Dr Priyanka Rohatgi

Dr Priyanka Rohatgi, Chief Nutritionist/ Dietician at Apollo Hospitals