Does the never-ending coughs and sneezes of your toddler make winter the most dreaded season for you? While a few precautions can keep many of the sicknesses away, concentrating on your kid’s nutrition during this season, will be a wiser choice. Out of all the seasons, winter is supposed to be the most apt one nutritionally, with wide range of food options available around.
The best time to enjoy various fruits and vegetables
Winter is an actual and most favourable season to introduce good quality fresh vegetables and fruits in the diet, also due to drop in temperature the risk of illness are quite low and hence a good season to improve overall immunity. So embrace all the varieties that the season has to offer in your daily diet.
Give your kid’s immunity a healthy boost
Winter foods are usually immunity boosters and clean enough for the children to get optimal nutrition. The varieties of dried fruits, green vegetables and fresh fruits available during chilly weather have a very progressive impact on overall growth and development.
Food options available during winter are at par with respect to quality and nutrients load.
The below food list if introduced during winter, can actually accelerate child’s growth and immunity.
1. Jaggery: –
Jaggery or Gur is widely used in Indian Cuisine. It is an excellent winter food to substitute regular table and refined sugar. Though the calorie contributed by sugar and Jaggery are more or less equivalent, but jaggery being more complex and loaded with important micronutrients, can be conveniently swapped with refined sugar in almost any preparation. Jaggery is an excellent detoxifier and a blood purifier and it also helps in keeping children warm during dropping temperature. It is also a great source of iron, calcium, potassium etc .
2. Carrots: –
Winters are known to offer the best versions of carrots and it should be an irreplaceable part of child’s diet.
Carrots are excellent source of B carotene (precursor of vitamin A); potassium and fair levels of Vitamin B6. Carrots can extensively be used in any cuisine. Encourage children to eat them as salad, halwa or drink it as juice or soup. Carrots are great for digestion.
3. Indian Gooseberry (Amla):-
Amla is an excellent immunity booster as it is loaded with powerful antioxidant, Vitamin etc . Most children can be picky with direct consumption of amla ,as it is too sour. The best way is to use its powder in gravies to give a dish a tangier twist or use its juice in dals, soups or gravies. It also helps to keep cold, flu symptoms at bay. It is an excellent remedy to keep constipation away (which is common during winters as children tend to consume less water and become less active in the cod weather.)
4. Dark green Leafy vegetables: –
The quality of green vegetables ranging from spinach, fenugreek, amaranth or dill is of superior version during winters. Green leafy vegetables are high on water content and loaded with some non-negotiable nutrients (Like iron, Vitamin B6, B9 etc.). Winters provide green leafy vegetables which are most likely clean from pesticides and worms manifestation. However, regardless of the season it is advisable of washing every fruits and vegetables thoroughly before usage. Green leafy vegetables should be widely used in broths, soups, parathas etc .
5. Dates: –
Dates have natural thermo genetic effect and are ideally used in winter to keep internal body temperature warmer. Dates are excellent to keep hair follicles strong and are loaded with fiber, iron and potassium. Dates are also natural sweeteners. Dates can be made part of milkshakes, sweets, laddoos or can be simply eaten early in the morning with almonds and organic desi ghee.
Honey is an easy swap to table sugar and is loaded with micronutrients. Honey is known to be a good immunity booster and also helps in digestion. It is a great idea to swap honey with refined sugar, but it cannot be liberally used as it contributes to extra calories. It can be used in making chikkis, ladoo or immunity boaster drink. Organic honey should be used, as most commercial brands simply sell sugar loaded honey with little/no contribution to health.
Few tips for a healthy winter
During winters, due to drop in temperature, chances of cross infection or contracting illness are seldom. If complimented with well balanced nutrition, it can have a positive impact on child’s growth and development. However here are a few tips that will help your child to stay healthy during winter :
- Make sure your child washes her hands regularly even during the cold season. In general, washing hands after using toilet, before an after meals, after coming back from playground, or after returning home from outside ensures a healthy life.
- Offer her to drink and eat warm food and liquids.
- Ensure that she gets enough sleep. Lack of sleep increases the vulnerability to sickness.
- Encourage her to be physically active. Exercises help greatly to keep diseases away. Play some games as a family or go for a bike ride.
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