Immunity Booster Foods for Kids
Immunity booster foods for kids are essential to keep your child healthy and help their body to fight against diseases. Study says that a kid’s immune system is not as efficient as an adult. They catch colds, flu, or other infections very easily. They even take more time to recover from it. Hence, it is important to include immunity-boosting foods with vitamins and minerals in your child’s diet.
Along with giving them balanced and healthy meals and snacks, try to inculcate the habit of washing hands often and encourage them to do some physical activity. We’ve compiled here a list of foods you should serve your kids to strengthen their immune system:
Fruits and Vegetables
Ensure that you are adding at least 2-3 seasonal fruits and /or vegetables at your child’s meal and /or snacks. Fruits and veggies are full of essential vitamins and antioxidants. These are low in calories however rich in vitamins A and C, which are vital for supporting the normal functioning of the immune system. Vegetables like dark leafy greens, bell peppers, pumpkin, onions, etc. and fruits like grapes, berries, apples, oranges, guava, avocados, dry fruits must be incorporated in the child’s diet.
Yoghurt and other Probiotics:
Yoghurt is a potent anti-infection diary product that fights viruses and bacteria. Several studies tell that the regular consumption of yoghurt increases the activity of vital immune cells. A single serving of yoghurt contains around 400mg of calcium, which is essential for healthy and strong bones. Greek yoghurt is best as it is highly rich in protein. So give it to your small one with adding fruits like banana or apple puree to sweeten it. Kefir, Kimchi, Miso are a few other probiotics which also play a pivotal role in maintaining the innate and adaptive immune responses.
Proteins are extremely important as they contain amino acids which impact the mental as well as physical health of a child. Proteins are necessary for building and repairing body tissues. These are also crucial for fighting viral and bacterial infections. We strongly recommend to include protein-rich foods like chickpeas, lentils, nuts, tofu and seeds in your child’s diet. Lack of proteins may lead to symptoms like weakness and apathy. Eggs, poultry, lean meat and seafood are also rich in proteins as well as other nutrients.
Researchers have found that the bioactive compounds available in whole grains fight off diseases and keep the immune system strong. So, it is advisable to fill one-third of your child’s plate with any of the whole grains such as oats, brown rice, barley, quinoa, etc. these are also rich in vitamin B-6, iron, protein and fibre.
Indian Spices and Fresh Herbs
Indians love with spices is not a secret. But did you know that spices like ginger, garlic, turmeric, cumin, asafetida, carom seeds, holy basil, cinnamon etc. help improve immune system? Along with improving immunity, these spices are also helpful in improving digestion, detoxification and treating throat and respiratory infections. Fresh herbs like coriander, mint, basil, parsley, etc. are rich in iron, folic acid, and vitamin A. One should include spices and fresh herbs in your child’s diet.
A few of the foods like fruits and veggies can be a part of your child’s main meals like breakfast, lunch or dinner. And other ones such as nuts, avocados, dry fruits, yoghurt, smoothie, can be served in noon or evening snacks. So, incorporate these above-mentioned immune-booster foods in the child’s diet to fortify the immune system.