Health Food and Nutrition

Winter Immunity Boosting Superfood, Herbs & Veggies for Child

Ankita A Talwar
3 to 7 years

Created by Ankita A Talwar
Updated on Dec 05, 2019

Winter Immunity Boosting Superfood Herbs Veggies for Child
Reviewed by Expert panel

We all want our children to always remain healthy. But while we cannot control external factors, such as the change in the air quality, we can help build their immunity to such a level that common viruses and infections don’t bother them. Winter has almost started in every state of our country and as a mother the worry! This time of the year is hard on many bodies, particularly on our young ones. The question which is on everyone’s mind is how do I protect my child this winter or how do I build my child’s immunity this winter?  so that s/he does not fall sick and start missing the schools.

Here, our proparent, Ankita Talwar tells you about healthy food for children and immunity-boosting foods that most often, help to increase immunity against cold and cough, and help you stay healthy and fight illness. Read on to learn what the 7 must-eat superfoods are...

What is Immunity?

Basically immunity is a state of protection of the human body from infectious diseases, (or) body’s defence against diseases.

Immunity-Boosting Superfood for Children

Though winter brings many infectious diseases but also brings some amazing food which naturally helps us to protect ourselves from some common illness of winters. We wish there was a rule against children falling sick, but obviously that’s not possible. So till the time our little ones grow into healthy adults, we need to take care of their health requirements. Check below...

  1. Nuts & Cashew - Give your child 2-3 almonds, cashew nuts, and other dry fruits, every day. Dry fruits are a powerhouse of essential fatty acids that boost immunity. Omega-3 fatty acids in them help with brain development also.
  2. Household Herbs - Include common household herbs such as tulsi and ginger to keep colds and coughs are bay. Loaded with anti-oxidants they not only prepare the body against common viral infections but also work as medicine. Boil in water; strain and give your child a few sips a day during a cold. Note: check for allergies first.
  3. Fruits and Vegetables - Nothing beats 2-3 helping of fruits and vegetables every day. They are a must for any healthy child. Serve in interesting ways—fruit chaat, grilled on skewers, vegetable cutlets or sneak in children’s favorite foods such as pasta.
  4. Don’t Be Afraid of Ghee and Fats for growing children. A host of nutrients, such as lycopene from tomatoes and beta-carotene from orange and yellow vegetables gets absorbed by the body only with the aid of fat. Therefore a couple of spoons will make your child healthier.
  5. Non-vegetarian Foods - Foods such as egg and chicken give a very good choice of lean protein—the building blocks of the body. Fish too is healthy though check for allergies and contamination.
  6. Curd or Dahi - is another must-have food for growing children. Dahi is loaded with healthy bacteria that keep the intestines and gut in smooth, working conditions. The more these organs work better, the better they absorb nutrients and keep the body ticking.

Other lesser appreciated foods are seeds— sunflower, or pumpkin. Seeds are very high in zinc, an uber-important nutrient required by children for immunity-boost and skin health. Crush and sprinkle on the child’s dahi, or powder and mix in dough. [Suggest Reading Immunity Boosting Super Foods for Child]

Winter Friendly Immunity-Booster Food for Your Child

What are the top winter foods? A few amazing foods like amla, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli, and oranges are god’s gift in winter to protect yourself and your child throughout the winter as these fruits and vegetables are loaded with Vitamin C and all the important nutrients which boost the immunity in winter. Here are the must-have winter food i.e. Garlic, turmeric, ginger, sweet potato, spinach, broccoli, amla (Indian gooseberry), fennel seeds, red bell peppers, and oranges.

#1. Garlic: 

One of the most common medicinal herbs which are seen in an Indian kitchen. But do you know garlic helps immensely in boosting the immunity too, be it for a child or an adult? Garlic is known for its pungent smell, antibacterial, antifungal, and antibiotic properties. According to most of the researcher's allicin, the active sulfur-containing compound in garlic helps in fighting the common cold. Garlic also helps to build the immune system of a child.

Ways to Add Garlic in Your Child’s Diet:

You can crush some cloves of raw garlic and add it to any stuffed paratha you are making. Be it paneer paratha, methi paratha, aloo paratha or methi paratha. You can also crush the raw garlic finely and add it to the flour while kneading the dough, then you can make the stuffed paratha or plain paratha or even roti.

You can always add one or two cloves of garlic to any vegetables you are cooking for your family. Finely chopped or crushed garlic can also be added to the soup which you are offering to your child.

#2. Turmeric:

We all know that turmeric is a staple in all the Indian cooking, turmeric is also known as the most powerful spices of all. Turmeric is known for its incredible healing properties as its rich in antioxidants, antifungal, antibacterial and anti-inflammatory. These healing properties of turmeric will stimulate the immune system and keep the flu away not only this winter but every winter.

Ways to Add Turmeric in Child’s Diet:

Take a spoon of this magical turmeric powder and add it in your child’s glass of milk. You can also add a pinch of jaggery powder to add some sweetness to the milk. You can always add a pinch of turmeric powder while making the dough of plain paratha or in stuffed paratha.

#3. Ginger:

Ginger does wonders to digestive health and as per Ayurveda ginger is one of the best remedies in cold and cough. Ginger is also used for treating numerous health ailments. The bioactive compound helps to lower the risk of infections. Though ginger should not be used for children under 2 years.

Ways to Include Ginger in Your Child’s Diet:

You can crush fresh ginger and take out the juice from it by squeezing it properly and add some honey to this juice and give it to your child, this will bring great relief in cold and cough. You can also give Dried Ginger powder laddu (sonth ke laddu), it’s another way of including ginger in your child’s diet because of its pungent taste, we know how a child can avoid having ginger. Finely chopped and crushed ginger can also be added in any stuffed paratha you are making for your child. Some fresh chopped and crushed ginger can always be added to any vegetables you are cooking for your family.

 #4. Sweet Potato: 

With winters everywhere in the country, you can see sweet potatoes everywhere. Sweet potato is a great source of fiber and also very rich in beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, potassium, magnesium and natural sugar, which makes it a super delicious food in winter. The vitamin C in sweet potato helps in preventing common cold and flu viruses in winter and this also adds in the formation of blood cells.

Ways to Add Sweet Potato in Your Child’s Diet:

One of the easiest ways is to boil the sweet potato, cut them into small cubes, sprinkle some salt and serve to your child. You can bake the sweet potato, cut them into small cubes, sprinkle some salt and serve to your child.

Sweet potato paratha, mash the boiled or baked sweet potato add some flour and sugar and make the dough and once your dough is ready, just make paratha out of this. This taste divine and child will finish this in no time.

#5. Spinach:  

Spinach is a rich source of vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin D, calcium magnesium and iron. Spinach also has beta carotene which helps in improving eyesight and responsible for boosting the immune system. All these important nutrients make spinach a super winter food which also keeps children safe from many health issues.

Tips to Include Spinach in Your Child’s Diet:

Spinach puree can be given to your 6 months child if you are in a state of introducing semi-solid. Ensure you get the tender and fresh spinach leaves for puree. Spinach can be included in your child’s diet in various ways like giving spinach paratha, spinach poori, spinach in salads, spinach curry, spinach cutlets, spinach can also be added in dal, etc, It all up to you, how you make your child eat this superfood.

#6. Broccoli:

Broccoli is a great source of vitamin C and very rich in antioxidants which make it a great immunity-boosting food. Broccoli has beta-carotene and other power-packed antioxidants. Broccoli promotes bone health as its high in calcium and vitamin K. These all nutrients make broccoli a must-have food in winter.

Ways to Include Broccoli in Child’s Diet:

You can give broccoli puree as a semi-solid food to your 6 months old. Broccoli can be added to a salad. You can add broccoli in stuffed paratha, in khichdi, daliya, soup, pizza, and pasta.

#7. Amla:

Amla or amlakhi or Indian gooseberry has one of the highest sources of vitamin C and packed with protein, vitamins like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Carotene and Vitamin B Complex, carbohydrate, fiber, and minerals. Its antibacterial properties help in building immunity. Amla helps in constipation, promotes healthy skin and hair, prevents anemia. As amla is rich in vitamin C, it helps in fighting against infections like cold and flu in winters.

You can make homemade amla candy and give to your child, amla chutney, amla murabba, amla juice are other ways to include amla in a child’s diet.

#8. Fennel Seeds:

Fennel seeds are loaded with Vitamin C and are rich in antioxidants which helps the risk of cold, cough and flu away when included in the diet.

Tips to Include Fennel Seeds in Child’s Diet: You can give a handful of these seeds to chew, you can infuse the fennel seed in water for overnight and then let the child drink that water.

#9. Red Bell Pepper:

The red variety of bell pepper is the highest source of Vitamin C and an excellent source of vitamin A and E. Bell pepper has also antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits. 

Tips to Include Fennel Seeds in Your Child’s Diet: You can add red bell pepper in a salad, homemade pasta, and pizza, etc.

#10. Oranges:

Orange is one of the citrus fruits and is known for its abundance of Vitamin C. Vitamin C is important for a variety of reasons, but specifically for immune-boosting, which helps to defend the body against colds and flu. Oranges are also rich in potassium and soluble fiber too. Oranges help to protect your child from all the harmful infections that may come along with cough and cold in winter.

Tips to Give Oranges to Your Child: You can give a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice to your child during the day time. If your child does not like the juice, you can offer whole oranges or you can include oranges in fruit salad too.

In addition to this, you should have these items ready in your kitchen jaggery, kiwi, radish, and fenugreek leaves, these are few must-have winter foods for your child.

What Else You Can Do to Keep Child Healthy In Winter?

The following are the things you could do to keep children disease-free. Read this

  1. Wash hands often: Inculcate the habit of washing hands in a child,  encourage him/her to wash hands frequently.

  2. Increase the fluid intake: Any fluid be it water, soup, milk or juice give them plenty.

  3. Enough Sleep: Ensure the child gets proper sleep.

  4. Increase Vitamin D - Some research has shown vitamin D may help to prevent cold. So always ensure your child gets some dose of vitamin D daily.

It is normal for a child to fall sick but taking a few preventive measures might help all of us as a parent. Share anything that you are doing exclusively for your child to improve immunity in winter. A small dose of these essential foods on a rotation basis every day will make your child healthy not only from the body but also keep his brain and nervous system smooth.

This content has been checked & validated by Doctors and Experts of the parentune Expert panel. Our panel consists of Neonatologist, Gynecologist, Peadiatrician, Nutritionist, Child Counselor, Education & Learning Expert, Physiotherapist, Learning disability Expert and Developmental Pead.

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| Apr 08, 2014

Superb reiterated facts... very well written... gud job...

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| Apr 09, 2014

supreb, thank u for the information.

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| Apr 09, 2014

Thank you very much for valible information

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| Apr 09, 2014

Great one Ankita! Very useful indeed :)

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| Apr 10, 2014

Thanks Seema, Rukaiya, Rekha, and Anurima for your encouraging words.

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| Apr 18, 2014

Great..

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| May 01, 2014

g

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| May 02, 2014

Informative

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| May 02, 2014

good one ankita

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| May 02, 2014

very informative

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| May 03, 2014

informative

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| May 06, 2014

very interesting and informative

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| May 08, 2014

we shud roast and peel the skin of pumpkin seeds? or directly we can grind the full seed?

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| May 08, 2014

Thank you for sharing

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| May 08, 2014

Is it recommended to give dry fruits like almond cashew nuts in summers to children? Most of the time i have been told not to?

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| Jun 03, 2014

Thanks for sharing

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| Jun 05, 2014

Good information. . Thank u

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| Jun 20, 2014

Very good info.

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| Jun 30, 2014

Very informative

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| Jul 01, 2014

really love the information that is being shared here its so meaningful and being a first time mother really helps a lot after going through the articles...

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| Jul 01, 2014

Nice information. .. but wat if your child doesn't eat fruits or dry fruits. ... how to make dem eat dat...

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| Jul 02, 2014

Very useful article. Fortunately i have been giving all these things to kids.

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| Jul 02, 2014

Hi Babita, you could try interesting ways of making your child eat them such as make a fresh fruit dessert, add fruit to milkshakes, add dry fruits to cornflakes and cereals. Add cashewnut or almond paste to their gravy (it will be tastier and they will get their dose of nutrition); put some in home made cakes. If the children are older, explain to them the benefits of it and ask them to eat a small portion every day. Don't be too ambitious but gently steer them to try and eat a small bit every day.

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| Sep 13, 2014

Thnx a lot Bcoz I seriously needed this information.. my 4 yrs old gets ill frequently

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| Sep 13, 2014

Informative Article. But can these dry fruits given to 9 month old kid ?

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| Sep 16, 2014

Very useful and thanks for sharing the innovative ideas to make them eat especially mixing of seed powder in dough ..

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| Feb 11, 2015

Very good info

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| Feb 11, 2015

Thanks for the info

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| Feb 11, 2015

Thanks a lot.. gve a few things to her will try others

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| Feb 11, 2015

Very good information, all parents must know this. Helps us a lot.

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| Feb 12, 2015

Want to know dat Anita mam , is it good to serve chocos to kid? Kindly inform me

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| Feb 12, 2015

Thnx for d useful information. ..but I wana ask is Maggi save for tge children of 2 yrs of age... my kidslove it

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| Feb 14, 2015

Great how to give seeds?

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| Mar 05, 2015

Great information. Bt few kids r fussy eaters. Making them eat sometimes gets tough.

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| Mar 05, 2015

Thanks for sharing very useful information.

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| Mar 25, 2015

very informative.

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| Mar 31, 2015

Shagun singhal garg, you can powder the seeds together and store in a bottle. Add half a tsp to the child's milkshake, dahi, atta (dough for making rotis), or even to daals.

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| Mar 31, 2015

sumaiya khan, any processed, pre-packaged, and ready-to-eat foods are not a great choice as they are loaded with chemical preservatives, are high on salt and even have MSG (mono sodium glutamate, a chemical which enhances the taste but is known to interfere in the nervous system of the body). though your daughter loves it, limit the consumption and always add vegetables to it to increase the volume and bring some nutrition to it. hoep this helps.

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| Mar 31, 2015

Hi babasaheb gaikwad, any processed, pre-packaged, and ready-to-eat foods are not a great choice as they are loaded with chemical preservatives, and also sugar which in turns gives the child an energy high and, later when the body sugar falls down, makes children cranky. Limit the consumption. and always pair it with something healthier--raisins, or almonds with chocos.

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| May 23, 2015

Nice article.. very informative.. my 2 year old gets cold and cough in summers very frequently.. what should I do to increase the immunity.

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| May 23, 2015

Vryy informative.....

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| May 24, 2015

Gud info n tanx fr sharing

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| May 24, 2015

Gud info thanx

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| May 25, 2015

Hi parul You may find this blog helpful- https://www.parentune.com/parent-blog/8-ways-to-boost-your-childs-immunity/382

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| May 25, 2015

Do we need to roast seeds before adding to dahi or dough?

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| May 25, 2015

Can we give flax seed powder to a 2 year old boy?

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| Jun 19, 2015

Hi wished to kow how many seeds of sunflower can be given to a 2 yr old daily.... and yes again can flax seed be given

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| Jun 23, 2015

Perfect for the awareness

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| Jun 23, 2015

Healthy informatn...

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| Jun 23, 2015

Nice info ankita.... thanks a ton !!!

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| Jun 24, 2015

Nice info

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| Jun 24, 2015

Nice info.. really useful..

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| Jun 24, 2015

Thank u very important healthy information

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| Jun 25, 2015

Can we give dahi when the child has cold & cough along with Chest congestion?

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| Jun 25, 2015

Can we give dahi when the child has cold & cough along with Chest congestion?

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| Jul 08, 2015

Very informative

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| Jul 22, 2015

Very gud infrmtn, bt my kid has allergy so suggest me accordingly

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| Jul 29, 2015

Thank u very much for sharing.. very informative..

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| Jul 29, 2015

Very informative... Thanks

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| Aug 21, 2015

Informative Article.. Thanks for sharing

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| Aug 21, 2015

Good article

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| Aug 21, 2015

So useful tips thank u....

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| Aug 21, 2015

Nice

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| Aug 21, 2015

Very usefull information. its fine to give dry fruits powder to even babies. I do give to my 6 months baby and it really works. u can just add a pinch in the milk. Kids love different tastes too

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| Aug 21, 2015

Nice information very useful

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| Aug 21, 2015

Nice information

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| Aug 22, 2015

Very informative. Thanks for sharing.

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| Aug 22, 2015

My baby is 2. 5 years old but he is fussy eater his Wight is under 10kg he is a aggressive baby always crys wt I can do so he can eat...

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| Sep 01, 2015

Really useful information

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| Sep 01, 2015

Thanks for the wonderful information. where can v get the seeds that u mentioned,? And do v riast it or grind it directly?

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| Sep 01, 2015

My daughter doesnt chew food. So plz suggest how to give her dry fruits. Like almonds nd all in which form?

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| Sep 02, 2015

Very useful article????????

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| Sep 02, 2015

my baby is 1. 6 yr old.. he does not chew so how can i giv dry fruits to him.. i heard walnuts and almonds are very good for babies but can we giv dry fruits in summer.. please let me know ..

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| Sep 27, 2015

My daughter is 16 month old, can I give her dry fruits almond,walnut etc

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| Sep 27, 2015

Is there any drink you can suggest which has a dry fruits and we can give to kids (3-1/2) with milk or can we prepare this kind of powder at home lyk bournvita so u can suggest the ingredients plz..

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