Nutritional hacks to strengthen child’s immunity
In recent times owing COVID Pandemic, awareness about superfoods that will aid immunity are making rounds in social media but with the help of ingredients that are available in our kitchen, we can easily strengthen the immunity of children. The importance of having a robust immune system became more predominant in light of recent events when the world was struck by a global pandemic.
Children in the present situation are undergoing tremendous stress mentally with the classes being online and the physical activity has gone down completely as they are constrained to stay indoors.
Nutrients that are required for enhancing immunity
• Vitamin-C: Vitamin C helps in antibody production. Vitamin-C rich foods include lemon, broccoli, strawberry, guava, capsicum, and mustard spinach.
• Vitamin-D: Vitamin-D has bactericidal properties which will help prevent bacteria and some disease causing pathogens. Vitamin-D rich foods are Salmon, Cod-liver oil, egg yolk, cheese, and mushroom.
• Vitamin E: Vitamin E helps in protecting the body from oxidative stress and acts as an antioxidant. Vitamin-E rich foods include almonds, bell pepper and peanut.
• Selenium: Selenium helps to prevent inflammation and is also essential for the normal functioning of the thyroid hormone. Selenium-rich foods include fish, chicken, beans, and lentils.
• Magnesium: Magnesium is a key mineral that assists in 300 enzymatic reactions and is required for the efficient functioning of the heart, muscles, bones, and nerves. Magnesium-rich foods are almonds, peanuts, cashews, pumpkin seeds, salmon, and yogurt.
Some of the nutritional hacks which can be followed to strengthen the child’s immunity are:
1. Colourful plates will attract them to eat better: Including a colourful plate filled with different colour vegetables will be appealing and make them eat healthy as well.
2. Inclusion of flavoured teas: Inclusion of flavoured teas like betel leaf infused tea, ginger-turmeric tea and turmeric-pepper tea will add to the variety and is refreshing too! Ensure that the child is hydrated with at least 6-8 glasses of water as water helps in removing toxins from the body.
3. Prefer boiled veg salad: Use boiled veggies like cauliflower, cabbage, lettuce, carrot, and beans other than using raw veggies to make a salad.
4. Switch to makkanas and popcorn: Prefer makkanas and popcorn over store-bought processed/fried snacks.
5. Complement raitas over pudding/custard: Have carrot raita/cucumber raita over custard/pudding.
6. The goodness of golden milk: Golden milk will enhance immunity (prevents sinus, chest congestion) and helps in better cognitive function.
7. Going nuts: Snacking on nuts like almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews and pistachios will help curb the hunger pangs.
8. Guacamole dip/homemade mayonnaise: Preparing guacamole dip/mayonnaise at home is better than consuming store-bought ones as they contain preservatives /additives which are not required for the body.
9. Spice up the body and mind: Include spices like garlic in the salads, herbs like tulsi in hot water, and cinnamon powder to milk which helps to improve immunity and add on to the flavour.
10. Improve gut health with ghee: Ghee is an excellent source of omega-3, fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, and butyrate. Having an adequate quantity of ghee daily not only keeps the children safe from microbes but also improves your gut health, which is an essential factor to keep your body healthy.
Nurturing and caring for the kids is a crucial part of parenthood. These hacks will ensure they have food rich in nutrients and stay healthy!