Children are exposed to plenty of germs and infections. They go to school where there are different types of children and unknowingly they face a lot of open contact from different sources of infections. It is, however, not possible to prevent them from interacting and mixing with other children.
Importance of a Strong Immune System
A strong immune system is very important for children to stay healthy, as it protects their developing body from diseases. When children fall sick frequently, not only do they end up missing school and other activities, but their physical and mental development may also suffer. As parents we need to boost up their immune system so that they do not get infected with germs easily. Feeding children a balanced and healthy diet is very important for having a strong immune system. Foods rich in antioxidants should be fed to children. Children who have a better immune system can lead happier and better lives as compared to children with low immunity.
Best Foods to Boost the Immune System: Carrots, Chickpeas and Sweet Potatoes
Carrots, chickpeas and sweet potato are all very good for the immune system. Carrots are rich in vitamin A and they are very good for the eyes. Chickpeas also known as chana or chole in Hindi are good sources of protein. Protein is very good for children as it helps in building and maintaining body cells. Chickpeas are rich in protein and low in fat which makes them ideal foods. Chickpeas are a good source of Vitamin E which is an antioxidant. Intake of vitamin E helps the body to fight infections. Sweet potatoes are very high in nutrition; hence they should be included in a child’s diet. Sweet potatoes are great for protecting against cold and flu. Growing children need to be fed properly so that they become strong and healthy. They should be fed with nutritious foods which are beneficial for the immune system.
The following is a recipe for incorporating all the three foods in your child’s diet and improving the immune system:
Carrot, Sweet Potato and Chickpea Soup
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add one roughly chopped large onion and 2 crushed cloves of garlic. Cook and keep stirring for 3 minutes. Add coriander (dhaniya), cumin (jeera) and chilli powder to it. Quantity should be 1 teaspoon of ground coriander powder, 2 teaspoons of ground cumin powder and 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder. Continue stirring for 1 minute. Add the sweet potato and carrot. Quantity for adding is 600grams of peeled and diced sweet potato and 500 grams of peeled and sliced carrots. Let it cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Add six cups of chicken stock which is low in salt. Vegetarians can replace chicken stock with vegetable stock.
After adding the stock, cover the saucepan and let it boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas to the soup and let it simmer, covered, for 10 minutes or until the chickpeas are tender. The next step is to take out your blender and blend the soup. You can blend little by little in batches till it is a smooth gravy. Pour it back into the saucepan over medium-low heat. For seasoning, add salt and pepper. Squeeze 1 tablespoon lemon juice and add. Heat, stirring, until hot (do not boil). Pour into bowls. Top with croutons. Again sprinkle with pepper. Serve delicious sweet potato, carrot and chickpea soup to children and family.
Yoghurt and Fruits to Boost the Immune System
Eating yoghurt everyday is very good for health. It strengthens and stabilizes the immune system. Yoghurt which contains probiotics has a lot of health benefits. Yoghurt parfaits can be prepared which are easy and tasty. You can use yoghurt to make lassi. Did you know that apart from simple and plain lassi, you can also prepare fruit lassi? Fruits like strawberries, oranges, blueberries, blackberries, tangerines can be added to your child’s diet to boost their immune system. You can prepare fruits lassi with strawberries and other fruits to make a delicious and healthy drink for your child. Citrus fruits and berries are rich in antioxidants and contain nutrients which boost the immune system. This fruit and yoghurt drink is especially good for winter to prevent cold, cough and flu.
from these, parents should also take other steps to ensure that children are
healthy. Stress can be detrimental to the immune system so parents should try
to ensure that children are stress
free. Include fruits and vegetables in your child’s diet. Ensure that they
get adequate sleep every night. Physical
activity is also beneficial to strengthen the immune system so parents
should try to ensure that children go out and take part in sports or other
Do you worry about your child falling sick? What foods help protect your child from diseases? How can you help boost your child’s immune system? Discuss here.
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- The Indiaparenting Team