By Dr Ravi Gaur
Monsoon brings with it a lot of diseases that children may face because of hygiene issues during the season. Some of the common infectious diseases are cough and cold, diarrhea, typhoid, influenza/flu, cholera, and jaundice. Then we have dengue and malaria that happens because of mosquito bites. But other diseases have more to do with the immunity, which can be enhanced by taking proper food so that the body is capable enough to fight germs.
These days we hear a lot about super foods, a common marketing term, which basically mean foods that are rich in nutrients and boost immunity. Most of these foods are plant-based, besides eggs.
All kinds of citrus fruits can be consumed during the season as they improve the immune system because of the presence of Vitamin C and create an alkaline environment in the body that helps in taking care of inflammation. Lemon and oranges are full of Vitamin C which are easily available during the season and are beneficial for the digestive system. Guava has high Vitamin A content and is good for kids’ vision. It is also rich in Vitamin C and prevents kids from developing scurvy apart from providing good resistance to cold and congestion. It has antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C and E.
Parents should try to give as much raw green vegetables to kids as possible. Develop a taste of green vegetable salads in kids because after cooking, a lot of nutrients get lost. It will have tremendous effect on their immunity and give them energy to perform their tasks well. One should properly wash and clean them before serving it to kids.
Banana can also be given during the season but one should not overdo it as it can cause cold. It is rich in potassium, magnesium and is anti-inflammatory. Coconut water and coconut is also suggested, which helps in improvement of PH in skin. Tomatoes, on the other hand, are a source of Vitamin E and are good for kids in raw form.
Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B complex and some minerals (calcium, magnesium, and zinc) are very important. If kids can eat eggs then there can be nothing better.
As far as cooked food is concerned, vegetable soup has got all important nutrients and should be given regularly to kids. Then we have chicken, garlic, ginger, and corn. Ginger and garlic are good they take care of inflammation of the throat. It is good for cold and cough. Children also love to have fruit pancake in their tiffin to which you can add jaggery to give them a complete solution for all the necessary vitamins and and carbohydrate. For lunch, you can give them khichdi such as pulses and legumes that improve immunity. You can also give them sprouts with onion to boost their strength.
Besides eating right, teach kids to take care of hygiene around them, including their body and surroundings.
(The author is MD (Pathology), COO, Oncquest Laboratories Limited)