Does your child get ill very often? Is your child weak and misses school very often? As a parent, it is really worrisome to see your child lag behind in fitness or studies. A mother will not be able to eat her own meals satisfactorily if her child isn’t fed properly. Well, most kids nowadays are a big fan of junk foods and don’t like to eat nutritious foods. If you offer them a burger and fries from Johnny Rockets, they will eat it readily. However if you make them eat some home cooked spinach or bottle gourd, they will make silly faces and run away from you! By eating junk food, children can gain a lot of weight and may even become overweight.
Your child will not realize the consequences of not eating healthy foods now but in the long run, he/she will have difficulty coping with the pressures of everyday life. If your kids don’t eat healthy foods, their body will not be well-equipped to fight against infections and diseases. The system of the body that detects foreign particles and pathogens and fights them – the immune system will not be strong and this will make the child weak and vulnerable. Although taste is just as important for kids, adequate nutrition is of utmost priority. It is very important for a child to get all the nutrients in adequate quantities else he/she might suffer from nutritional deficiencies and also face problems concentrating on studies or participating in physical activities.
It is very important to educate children about the benefits of eating the correct foods so that they have a strong and healthy body.
Here are some immunity boosting super foods which you must give to your child:
1. Dark green leafy vegetables – Dark green leafy vegetables are known to possess lots of essential nutrients such as vitamins, carotenoids, iron, folic acid, zinc and antioxidants. They help to strengthen the immune system manifold and also help to repair the faulty DNA. Make your child eat spinach, cabbage, broccoli and fenugreek. You may boil the vegetables and give your child a clear soup or make him an interesting salad. If your child likes continental food, you can prepare baked vegetables for him.
2. Citrus fruits – Citrus fruits are packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants and these are very helpful in making your immune system healthy. They help to fight against common colds and many other infections. Most citrus fruits are also very juicy and you can simply juice them up in a juicer and make your child have a refreshing drink. The most commonly available citrus fruits include oranges, sweet lime, lemon, grapefruit and kinnow.
3. Dry fruits – Dry fruits or nuts such as almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, pistachios, dates and raisins are very rich in antioxidants and Vitamin E. They help to boost the immune system and help to keep various ailments away. Loaded with energy, minerals, proteins, fats and fiber, these little eatables are no less than a miracle for the body. Just make your child snack on a handful of these assorted nuts as they are very beneficial for growing children.
4. Honey – Honey is known for its antimicrobial properties. Research has shown that honey is natural immunity booster since it contains probiotic bacteria which are very advantageous for the human body. One spoon of honey on an empty stomach can do wonders for the body. Honey may be added to milk as a natural sweetener. Take honey with some lukewarm water to cure a sore throat.
5. Yoghurt – Loaded with good bacteria, yoghurt is one such super food that is loved by most children. It is extremely refreshing in summers and fights all kinds of stomach infections. It can be eaten with a meal by its own or you may prepare some a glass of lassi with some fresh curd. You can also add hung curd as a dressing for your salads to make them more nutritious and creamy.
6. Whole grains – Whole grains are much healthier than refined grains and they provide the body with the much required fiber. Nowadays you can easily get multigrain flour which contains other grains apart from wheat. Encourage your child to eat whole grains in the form of roti and parantha. Just roll the parantha or roti with a vegetable of your child’s choice and make it eat while he’s playing.
7. Ginger, garlic & onions – Packed with antioxidants and antimicrobial qualities, ginger, garlic and onion also contain sulphur compounds that help to prevent cancer and boost the immune system. Due to the foul smell they leave in the mouth, many people omit them from their diet. You can easily mash up ginger and garlic and add them to your vegetables. Raw onion can be eaten in a salad before the meal and it is often used in various Indian gravies.
8. Eggs & Fish – Excellent sources of proteins, these are vital for the growth of your child. Eggs contain various antioxidants and vitamins and fish contains omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for children. Eggs can be cooked in various forms such as scrambled eggs, poached eggs, omelet and the good old boiled egg.
One of the best ways to cook fish is to grill it.
9. Potatoes & carrots – Root vegetables such as carrots and potatoes help to strengthen the respiratory system. Carrots are rich in beta carotenes and are very beneficial for good eyesight. Carrot can be eaten raw as a salad or you can prepare carrot juice. Potatoes can be eaten in the form of various Indian dishes such as potato cauliflower vegetable, potato pea vegetable, brinjal potato vegetable and it can also be stuffed in to a parantha and eaten with curd and butter.
10. Strawberries – These delicious little red berries are liked by most children and adults. Packed with antioxidants and fiber, they are loaded with Vitamin C which helps to toughen the immune system. Just eat them on their own, in a fruit salad or with milk.
Include the above mentioned super foods in your child’s diet in a fun way and see your child grow in to healthy adult!