Nutrition Tips, Food Habits to Improve Child's Immunity During Monsoon
Created by Tanuja Sodhi Updated on Apr 09, 2020
Although we all wait with bated breath for the first monsoon showers to drench us with glee, it is our little moppets who are truly enthused at the sight of a pitter-patter. Now, why does such an exhilarating activity have to be accompanied by hoards of sickening bacteria and fungi that attack mostly our little ones who suffer from low immunity? But then, the monsoon season also has a synonym called ‘season of illnesses’. Sigh!
While it may be raining buckets to lift our parched spirits, the ensuing humidity may simultaneously play havoc with our children’s delicate immune systems leading to conditions like allergic rhinitis, malaria, typhoid fever, cough, cold, viral fever and diarrhea. Read more on what to eat & what not to eat in monsoon seasons.
Nutrition Diet to Fight Against Monsoon Maladies
The only way to break the vicious cycle of recurring illnesses is by bolstering our children's immune system with immunity-boosting foods packed with nutrients and multivitamins as listed below...
- Vitamin C laden fruits & vegetables: Citrus fruits such as oranges, sweet lime, guava & kiwi fruit, strawberries, amla, jamun & cherries, and vegetables such as red capsicums, broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage are excellent sources of vitamin C that fights off free radicals that could make your child sick.
- Foods rich in Vitamin A and beta-carotene: These enhance the functioning of white blood cells and the body’s resistance to infections. So, feed your child milk, egg yolk, yellow and orange fruits and vegetables (carrots, sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, apricots, mangoes), and green leafy vegetables.
- Vitamin E rich foods: Vitamin E stimulates the production of natural killer cells that hunt and destroy germs. These include oats, olive oil, canola oil, avocado, and nuts like almonds, walnuts, and pistachios.
- Foods rich in Zinc & Selenium: These two minerals help in the development of white blood cells that fight bacteria and viruses. The best food sources are lean meat, chicken, fish & seafood, milk, cheese, egg yolks, legumes (soybeans, lentils, dried peas & beans), whole grains (bread, brown rice, whole wheat flour, barley) and seeds (sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds).
- Omega-3 & 6 FA sources: These protect the body against damage from over-reactions to infection and are found in oily fish (mackerel, herring, sardines, tuna, trout, and salmon); oils like olive, canola, mustard; soy products; nuts like walnut & almonds; seeds like flaxseed, pumpkin and sesame seeds; dark green vegetables; legumes and wholegrain cereals.
- Spice up your meals with super immunity - boosters like ginger, garlic, pepper, asafoetida, cumin seeds, turmeric and coriander to improve immunity.
What Foods to Avoid to Strengthen Immunity
- Processed/ready-to-eat meals/frozen foods that are either loaded with sodium or sugar such as cookies, namkeens, boxed cereals and sodas, readymade soups & ready-to-eat noodles.
- Street treats & cut fruits from roadside vendors could be unhygienic and easily contaminated.
- Stale food: Try to eat freshly cooked food. If stored in the fridge, warm before eating.
- Avoid oily and deep-fried foods. Kids will be kids at the end of all these long discourses and may turn diet-defaulters from time to time succumbing to unhealthy temptations.
If parents get their little ones to follow even 80% of healthy dietary habits, then this diet rich in immunity-boosting foods can help their young bodies build infection-fighting white blood cells and protect itself against illnesses.