There is nothing more annoying than seeing my LO come back sneezing or runny nose from school or park. And one look at my LO, you will know why they say – “How cold a child is feeling is actually decided by how cold the mother is feeling”. I make sure to cover him well with cap, scarf and hoodie right from the onset of early winters. But he still gets running nose almost every 3-4 weeks. It so painful to see him uncomfortable and irritable when he is unwell.
So I have done a lot of reading and overtime I have come to the understanding that there are three levels of immunity
- Hereditary – one that the child is born with
- Seasonal – fluctuations due to seasonal changes and age of child
- Established – a level of immunity that can be achieved through diet and hygiene
My LO doesn’t have great hereditary immunity. By the time he reaches 9-10 years, I believe his immunity will be better and fully up and running, like it happened in my own case. But till the time that happens, I need to work my way through “c. Established immunity”.
I was surprised to know that low levels of Vitamin D is one of the major causes of low body resistance. And we never really check the Vit D levels in kids. Atleast I haven’t done for both mine. With long school hours and almost nill exposure to sunshine, due to multiple reasons, through the year, we are making it a point to soak in a lot of sunshine during the winter months atleast.
I also have very consciously made probiotics in the form of fermented foods like sweet picked amla, chaas, greek yogurts part of their daily diet. As it turns out 80% of our immune system is located in our digestive system and probiotics strengthen out gut.
The age old doodh boiled with haldi and a drop of ghee is our everyday family drink now for next 3 months. I add a little mishri for the kids. And we will be minimizing the use of antibiotics to the extent possible and increasing the intake of Vitamin C in the form of dried amlas or fresh amla-juice-honey shots. Lots of citrus fruits ofcouse but a portion of amla for sure, everyday.
My LO tend to drink very little water during the cold months. He obviously feel less thirsty. But I am encouraging him to finish his designated 2 bottles of water daily so as to be rewarded with a sweet treat like homemade besan laddoo at the end of the day. Staying hydrated helps flush the toxins and stay healthy.
We all also tend to stay indoors once it starts getting coder, but this winter’s we will try to get some exercise in the form mild running, a game of football or throw and catch for exercise increases immune function and helps us sleep better.
What are your hacks? What steps are you taking to boost your child’s immunity against catching cold and flu? Write your thoughts in the comment box below.
This article was first published here