The winter months can be tough on parents and kids alike with illnesses such as coughs, colds and the flu going around, wreaking havoc on family health and routines. Food is one of the easiest and most effective ways to combat illnesses that usually strike during the winter. By feeding your child well, you can ensure you are providing them with the essential nutrients to keep their immunity in fighting form. Here are our top tips for healthy winter eating.
Cook With Mushrooms
There are several species of mushrooms that have immune-boosting health benefits. That’s because mushrooms have naturally-occurring antibiotics. This gives them medicinal properties, which helps us to fight off many types of illnesses. Next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to stock up on varieties like white button or shitake mushrooms and add them to your meals this winter.
Aromatics such as ginger and garlic are well known for their medicinal qualities. Garlic is a known antiseptic and ginger eases digestive issues and symptoms of colds and coughs. Adding these two food enhances flavour and it is beneficial to health too. Ginger can also be given to children by boiling it in water and straining it to make a soothing tea to which honey can be added.
Opt for home Remedies
If your child starts feeling under the weather, try some home remedies to boost your kid’s immunity. For example, you can boil a few spices like cinnamon, peppercorn, cloves, ginger, tulsi and thyme (optional) leaves in drinking water. Strain the water and let it cool. Add honey and a pinch of turmeric to the mix. The quantity of spices, consistency and flavour can be modified as per the taste and age of the child.
Don’t Forget Liquids
Cooler weather may mean that your children feel less thirsty than in the summer months. This could put them at risk of dehydration. Remind them to keep sipping on water and include water-based foods such as soups, hot milk and fresh fruit juices into their diets to keep them well hydrated. Hot soups are perfect for cold winter evenings and including vegetables into them can pack the meal with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Winter squash such as butternut, red pumpkin, sweet potato and cauliflower are all great additions to soups, containing loads of vitamins and fibre.
Pack In The Vitamin C
Vitamin C is well known for keeping immunity up and helping fight against colds and coughs. Give your child citrus fruit such as oranges and clementines, which will also help them reach their daily fibre quotient and keep their gut healthy. If your little one is craving something warm and soothing, hot water with lemon juice and honey is just the thing to sneak in some much needed Vitamin C into their diet.
Take Other Precautions
Besides good eating habits, it is important to see other aspects of your child’s wellness to ensure they are healthy in the winter months. Pay keen attention to the weather and clothe your child appropriately when the temperatures get chilly and windy. Carry hats and cardigans with you in case of temperature drops. Also, remember to keep their immunisation schedule in handy. Make sure their immunisation is up to date to prevent them from contracting vaccine-preventable illnesses. For example, one of the most effective ways to protect your child against influenza during the flu season is by giving them the flu vaccine each year.
This is a partnered post.