Looking at the current lifestyle of children and their parents, immunity gets compromised which is quite necessary for the child’s health. In order to maintain a healthy and strong immune system, fresh, real food is the key.
It’s essential that you keep your kids on a diet that consists of healthy and nutritional foods. Choose all fresh food items over frozen stuff, avoid serving leftovers or canned foods.
Serve up warm, fresh and regular meals every day.
a) Adequate Protein- Proteins both from animal and plant sources have all essential amino acids necessary for immunity building cells. Include eggs, chicken, fish, pulses and cottage cheese in the diet.
b) Nuts: Almonds, cashews, pistachios, and walnuts are a rich source of protein and omega fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids help to fight respiratory infections. Sprinkle some on top with cereals every day.
c) Yogurt- It is a probiotic which helps protect the stomach lining thus protecting from stomach infections. It is a good anti-infection agent.
d) Indian spices: Incorporate spices and condiments in food like ginger, garlic, black pepper, turmeric as all they have antibacterial and antiviral properties.
e) Include organic food and stay away from processed ingredients. Treat the kids less with chocolates, cookies, candies, and junk food as it slows down the digestion.
f) Get adequate sleep: Make sure your kid is getting at least 8 hours of sleep daily.
Preschoolers (ages 3-5), should get between 10 and 13 hours of sleep
Children ages 6 to 13 should get between 9 and 11 hours of sleep
Adolescents ages 14-17 need between 8 and 10 hours of sleep.
- Not completing sleeping hours limits the body’s ability to function well, have good growth, utilize and absorb the nutrition in the right way, and most importantly produce proteins called cytokines. Cytokines help fight any infections, bacterial, protozoal, viral, fungal, etc and reduce inflammation caused in the body.
g) Include more fruits in the diet- Fruits and vegetables rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C are essential for boosting the immunity like oranges, lemons berries, amla(in form of murabba/candy/fresh juice), pomegranate, carrots, tomatoes, etc
i) Instead of adding a lot of processed sugar add natural sweetening agents like jaggery, dates, and honey as all these are rich in nutrients and avoids respiratory and stomach related infections
j) Add Chyawanprash to diet- Give 1 tsp of Chyawanprash with milk or as a jam with bread every day. It is considered as Rasayan in Ayurveda which improves immunity and vitality.
k) Keep them hydrated: Make sure your child is drinking enough water as staying hydrated helps in releasing harmful toxins and infections in the body.