A change in weather requires a change in diet. Here are the best monsoon foods for kids to stay healthy and disease-free during the rainy season.
Its the rainy season, which means it’s time for Moms and Dads to start stocking up on medicines for cough, cold and flu! But when you eat right, you don’t have to rely on medicines – your food will keep you healthy and hearty! Here are the best monsoon foods for kids to stay healthy and fit this season.
14 Healthy Monsoon Foods for Kids
For any season, turmeric is the number one food to protect your family against diseases of all kinds. The various benefits of turmeric is thanks to its active ingredient, curcumin. Turmeric is anti bacterial, anti viral, anti fungal and anti inflammatory; in fact, it is considered nature’s antibiotic in Ayurveda. Curcumin also fights free radicals that weaken the immune system.
Turmeric Milk Masala is a quick and easy way for kids to get the healing benefits of turmeric. Here are some turmeric recipes you can try:
2. Black Pepper
Black pepper contains piperine, a compound that has antioxidant properties which help to fight free radical damage, thus preventing weakening of the immune system. Pepper can also increase the absorption of nutrients like calcium, ensuring strong bones. Besides, studies suggest that pepper can improve gut health, an important consideration during the rainy season.
Garlic is a food that was prescribed for many medical conditions by the father of Western medicine himself, Hippocrates. When crushed, garlic releases many sulfur compounds which are responsible for its wide health benefits. As far as monsoon illnesses are concerned, several studies have found garlic to be beneficial in treating the common cold and flu. Garlic also promotes bone health, especially for growing children.
Ginger is a spice that has loads of healing benefits, to the extent that it is considered a must have during the monsoons. Ginger contains the compounds gingerol and shagol, which directly tackle common flu symptoms like raised temperature, body aches and throat irritation.
5. Dry Fruits
Dry fruits and nuts are among the best foods to have during the monsoons, especially almonds. They are tiny little powerhouses of nutrients, which improve circulation, boost immunity and promote a general feeling of wellness even when there are illnesses all around. Try to include a mix of dry fruits so kids can get the benefits of all of them.
- Dry Fruit Gujiya
- No Bake Dry Fruit Brownies
- Dry Fruit Balls for Toddlers
- No Cook Dry Fruit Modak
- Dry Fruit Jaggery Energy Bars
- Fruit and Nut Granola
- Dates and Nuts Cooker Cake
- Mixed Nuts and Poha Laddu
Monsoons bring with it a sluggish digestion, which is one of the reasons tummy troubles abound in this season. One of the easiest and most natural ways to prevent this is by including lots of bananas in the diet. With lots of Vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, this is the perfect fruit to boost immunity in a season when it’s the most needed.
All kinds of bananas are good for monsoons, and many Moms prefer Kerala bananas, or plantains. Even babies can get these benefits with these:
- Raw Kerala banana powder
- Banana Makhana Cereal
- Banana Oats Cereal
- Banana Rice Cereal
- Banana Wheat Cereal
- Banana Soya Cereal
- Sprouted Ragi Banana Cereal
- Banana Omelette
- Whole Wheat Banana Cake
- Banana Oats Pancakes
- Healthy Breakfast Banana Bars
- Strawberry Banana Pancakes
- Banana Coconut French Toast
That vibrant color of pomegranates isn’t just for beauty – it’s also an indicator of how antioxidant-rich this fruit is! Pomegranates have three times the antioxidants as green tea, making them a super food for the monsoons. They protect the cells from damage, prevent inflammation and improves digestion. What’s more, a single pomegranate can give you 40% of your daily Vitamin C requirement – boosting immunity to a great extent.
Be very careful when feeding kids pomegranate as the seeds pose a choking hazard. Younger children can have pomegranate juice or this constipation juice instead. Older kids can enjoy the fruit in a whole wheat apple cake with pomegranate or a Sathumaavu papdi chaat.
Papayas are like bananas, they’re available for most of the year and are often grown in people’s backyards. But this humble fruit is one of your best bets to keep your family protected during the monsoons. Papain, the enzyme in papaya is even sold as a health supplement. They are full of antioxidants called carotenoids which are more bio available from papaya than from other fruits.
Do your kids go through a slump during the monsoons? Boost their energy and fitness by feeding them beetroot. Beetroots contain inorganic nitrates, which have many benefits like improving activity. Beetroots also contain betalains which fight inflammation. Besides, these vegetables are high in dietary fiber, preventing constipation and helping a sluggish digestive system.
Babies generally enjoy beetroot thanks to the natural sweetness. You can try beetroot for babies in these recipes:
- Beetroot Potato Puree
- Beetroot Chickpea Puree
- Beetroot Pearl Millet Porridge
- Carrot Beetroot Soup
- Beetroot Halwa
Older kids can try these beetroot recipes:
Take any list of foods to boost immunity, treat cough and cold or gain weight, and you’ll find pumpkin featured in all of them. It’s no surprise, considering the immense health benefits pumpkins have. They are rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C, both of which are essential for boosting immunity this season. Pumpkins also contain an assortment of antioxidants like alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin, which protect cells and fight free radicals.
The easiest way for babies to have pumpkin is in pumpkin puree; but they can also try pumpkin soup or amaranth pumpkin porridge. Kids older than one can have pumpkin in an immunity boosting pumpkin soup, red lentil pumpkin soup or pumpkin spice cookies.
11. Bitter Gourd
They don’t taste very good, but the taste is no indication of their power packed nutrient profile! A cup of bitter gourds contain a whopping 93% of the required daily intake of Vitamin C, making it one of the most sought after vegetables for boosting your family’s immunity this monsoon. Besides, bitter gourds have a cleansing effect on the inside, which helps tackle skin problems that are all too common this season.
Bitter gourd is a tricky vegetable to feed babies and kids, thanks to the taste. However, you can remove the bitterness with a few easy techniques like applying salt or removing the seeds. Juicing the bitterness-free gourd or turning them into kebabs should work with kids.
One thing that’s important to focus on during monsoons is protein. Protein is essential for cell repair, recovery, immunity and of course growth and development in young kids. Since digestion is also sluggish during the monsoons, lentils offer one of the easiest and light ways to get protein in the diet.
- Beetroot Chickpea Puree
- Ragi Urad Dal Porridge
- Moong Dal Ragi Porridge
- Moong Dal Ragi Teething Biscuits
- Vegetable Moong Dal Soup
- Chickpea Veggie Pancakes
Older kids can have lentils in many dishes like these:
- Moong Dal Payasam
- Soya Chana Dal Cutlets
- Roasted Chickpeas Snack
- Moong Dal Pakodi
- Moong Dal Cheela
- Moong Dal Sprouts Dosa
If you’re looking for a single way to add calories to your child’s diet while also ensuring he gets his nutrients and stays protected from illnesses, you should add ghee to his diet. Ghee is highly recommended for the monsoons according to Ayurveda, since it promotes better digestion and promotes an overall feeling of well being in the cold, damp weather.
Use homemade ghee for best benefits and to avoid unnecessary preservatives. Babies can have ghee in khichdi and in ghee rice. While ghee can be added pretty much to any dish, you can make it more interesting by incorporating it in laddus like these:
With so much focus on rice and wheat, we tend to overlook a grain that’s perfect for the monsoons – barley. Barley is packed with all those micro nutrients that children may be missing out on, like manganese, selenium, copper, phosphorous, magnesium and molybdenum. Barley also increases satiety, keeping kids full when they may be prone to get hungrier than usual. The good amount of insoluble fiber in barley also does wonders to keep the digestive system active and running.
You can also check out our list of healthy Monsoon Recipes for Kids. Despite our best efforts, our picky eaters can still be lacking in important nutrients, which is why an extra boost is always helpful, like the Immunobooster drink or Choco Immunobooster drink.
Please be sure to follow general guidelines for monsoon diets like avoiding foods that are too oily or salty. Raw salads are also not recommended, especially leafy greens. Be very careful regarding hygiene, opting for freshly cooked food, washing hands before eating and carrying your own bottle of filtered and boiled water. With proper diet, good rest and safety precautions, this monsoon will be an enjoyable time for the whole family.