Try These Simple Nutritional Hacks To Strengthen Your Child’s Immunity
Nutritionists Rujuta Diwekar and Somya Gupta have spoken about the importance of giving children the right foods.
A strong immune system can help fight against diseases and infections effectively
- A healthy diet and lifestyle promotes better immunity
- Adequate sleep also plays a role in maintaining a healthy immune system
- It is crucial to control consumption of junk food
The COVID-19 pandemic has sparked a renewed interest in practices that help to strengthen the immune system. While a large number of adults have been affected by the virus, a significant number of children too have had to battle the infection. In addition to this, many children have also been thrown into long patches of lockdown, adding to stress-related issues such as premature greying of hair. In this scenario, it is important to build their immunity and there are simple practices that you can follow at home by tweaking your daily routine, said experts Rujuta Diwekar and Somya Gupta in an Instagram video shared on May 28.
Here's how you can boost your child's immunity
In an hour-long interaction, the duo discussed subjects such as the necessary foods that children must be fed. Nutritionist Somya shared a list of five must-have foods, which featured seasonal and locally available fruits as a priority. She said that children must include at least one fruit in their diet every day. “Don't force them to eat it if they don't like it but try getting them to have a bite. This will help with gut bacteria,” Somya said. Next on the list is a homemade pickle or chutney as they are a treasure trove of nutrients, she added. This will help with mood swings, cramps and keep their gut healthy.
Somya also mentioned the need to eat something between 4 pm to 6 pm daily. The nutritionist went on to add that children can be given homemade sweet treats like halwa and laddoo. This takes care of their overall health and immunity. She also said that this takes care of cortisol fluctuations in children. Somya further mentioned the importance of having rice in the diet. “Rice is a rich source of protein,” she said, adding that it would help to build immunity and their overall development.
The last must-have food on the list was cashew nuts. Somya said, “A handful of cashews every day will give them microminerals and other nutrients that will reduce body aches, give them a happy stomach and boost immunity.”
The nutritionist also spoke about the need to regulate junk food consumption. The nutritionist said, “Help children identify what junk food is. There is obvious junk food as well as the foods that pretend to be healthy but are not, called 'camouflaged junk flood'.” She advised viewers to avoid packaged food and opt for freshly cooked food and snacks made in their home kitchens.
The experts also mentioned the need for children to get ample sleep and engage in physical activities. With regard to sleep, Somya said, “Children who don't have a fixed bedtime are mostly the ones suffering from poor immunity. Sleep will help them be healthy and disease-free.” She recommended that the bedtime be fixed close to 10 pm, to promote the human growth hormone that peaks between 10 pm to 5 am in the body.
“As adults, we should encourage children to be physically active by even engaging them in small household chores. This can involve cleaning their room or getting up and fetching their own glass of water.” She mentioned the need to regulate the amount of time that children spend on gadgets.
Watch the complete video here:
The experts also advised parents to lead by example and incorporate these healthy practices into their lives.
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