Monsoon brings with it a lot of diseases and issues that children may face because of the hygiene problem during the season. To keep kids hale and hearty, one should know what are the common problems that they face during monsoon so that the right food for them can be decided. 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 others diseases have more to do with the immunity of the body. And immunity can be enhanced by taking the proper food during the season so that body is capable enough to fight the germs.
These days we always hear about the super foods, which are a common marketing term, but basically mean foods that are rich in nutrients and boost immunity. Most of these foods are plant-based and then we have foods such as egg.
All kinds of citrus fruits should be utilised during the season as they improve the immunity system because of the presence of Vitamin C and create alkaline environment in the body that helps in taking care of the inflammation. Lemon and oranges are full of Vitamin C and easily available during the season and is beneficial for the digestive system also.
Then we have Guava — it has high Vitamin A content and good for kids’ vision. Then 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 them and clean before giving it to the kids.
Banana can also be given during the season but one should not over do it as it can cause cold. It is an alternate to burger of these fast foods, it gives much better ingredients like potassium, magnesium and it is anti-inflammatory. In rainy season, you can found everywhere. Nature’s way of giving food and if you are having seasonal food then you are with nature.
Coconut water and coconut is also suggested. Because you get wet and humidity is there. Coconut helps in improvement of pH in skin. Then we have tomatoes that give Vitamin E. These are available in raw form and good for kids.
Vitamin C, Vitamin E, B complex and some minerals (Calcium, magnesium, and zinc) are very important. If someone can eat eggs then nothing better than that. Equally important is cooked food.
Vegetable soup has got all important ingredients and should be given regularly to the kids. Then we have chicken, garlic, ginger and corn. Ginger and garlic is good as it take care of inflammation of the throat. It is good for cold and cough. Children also love to have fruit pancake in their tiffin and you can add jaggery to give them a complete solution for all the necessary vitamins and carbohydrates. For lunch you can also think of giving them khichdi as pulses and legumes have got everything in them which help boost the immunity. You can also give them sprouts with onion to boost their strength.
Most important during the season is to take care of the hygiene near you that means the body, in the surrounding and inside digestive hygiene through these super foods.
The writer is Dr Ravi Gaur MD (Pathology), COO Oncquest Laboratories Limited, new delhi