As a nutritionist and an aunt to 2 adorable nieces (2 and 4 years), the most common question that I am faced with is how to keep children from contracting cold and flu with the change in weather especially during winters. Remedies to keep your child safe are present in your humble kitchen.
Top 6 home remedies to keep children safe and healthy:
Tulsi: Tulsi or basil leaves revered for their divine properties in India has immune-modulatory, anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory properties that help improve immunity and fight against various infections and allergies.
Tips: Give 3-4 tulsi leaves to your child empty stomach in morning and make sure the child chews the leaves. Tulsi swallowed whole can block the oesophageal track of small children and cause suffocation or will be excreted whole without giving any benefits.
Citrus fruits: Vitamin C is an essential nutrient to improve immunity that protects children from common cold and flu. Citrus fruits like oranges and lemons are good sources of vitamin C.
Tips: In my personal experience, orange juice and lemon water (nimbu pani) at room temperature are children's favourite and the best way to include citrus fruit. Lemon or orange yoghurt is another great method to include citrus fruits in children's diet.
Soup: A bowl of hot soup especially chicken or tomato soup provides warmth and fluids, reduces inflammation and helps fight infections.
Tips: Do not feed soup to children with dinner because soup would fill them up and they would not have dinner. The ideal time to feed soup to children is about 1 ½ to 2 hours before dinner.
You can watch videos http://bit.ly/Appystore_soups on making variety of soups and give it to your kids.
Ginger and honey: Ginger juice and honey combined together acts as an elixir against common cold and flu. Ginger juice has anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties whereas honey coats the throat giving a soothing feel.
Tips: Ginger-honey juice should be given at bed time. Homemade gingerale made using lemon, ginger and honey is also a kid's favourite
Turmeric: Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory property and boosts immunity
Tips: Turmeric should be added to all curries and dals. Turmeric can also be added to hot milk or give as turmeric toffees
Milk & Yoghurt: Rich in calcium, proteins and vitamin A, milk and yoghurt helps build not just strong muscles but also strong immunity. In addition, the helpful bacteria in yoghurt stops multiplication of harmful bacteria and helps fight stomach upset.
Tips: Children these days are very fussy about drinking milk. Milkshakes and fruit yoghurts are kids all-time favourite. Do not add lot of sugar to milkshake or yoghurt, instead use ripe fruits for sweetness
Tulsi, citrus fruits, soup, honey-ginger, turmeric, milk and yoghurt are easily available and simple remedies to keep your child healthy and protect him from falling ill with change in weather.