For over four months now Corona Virus or COVID-19 has spooked the world forcing complete shutdowns in many countries including India. Although both adults and children are equally at risk of catching the virus, the instances of COVID-19 and fatalities are less in children, as opposed to adults.
This is because of immunity in children and the lack of certain proteins in the growing bodies of children, according to researchers. The immune system in children is pretty efficient and can deal with most diseases and infections and when proper care is taken, it can lead to healthy adult life.
Here are ways to improve your child’s immunity against COVID-19/Corona Virus. Even adults can benefit by following the below-mentioned methods.
Eat right and eat well
In order to improve immunity and general health, children must eat right. They must eat right—which includes a diet balanced in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and fats. Fruits, dried fruits, and vegetables (both raw and cooked) are a must.
These are fruits and vegetables that you can give your child now to improve their resistance to COVID-19.
Citrus: Citrus fruits rich in Vitamin C is often considered the best bet to improve the overall immunity. Includes fruits and vegetables like oranges, sweet lemon, lemon, and red bell peppers (yes, they are absolutely rich in Vitamin C, higher than citrusy fruits).
Broccoli, Spinach, mushroom, tomato: Theseare rich in beta carotene, ascorbic acid, and other essential vitamins that help in building resilience in the body against infections.
There are other immunity building foods like ginger, Indian gooseberry (amla), and turmeric. You can add ginger to your child’s milk or tea. Add turmeric to milk. Eat amla after seasoning it with salt and chilies or just blend it with water and some sugar. Amla juice recipe is available online.
Give your child sunflower seeds, Flaxseed, pumpkin seeds, and melon seeds as these are excellent sources of protein and Vitamin E. Your child might not like these at first however over time he will start liking it. These are acquired tastes. One good way to include these seeds in your child’s diet is to add the seeds to a bowl of fruit.
Include curd as an essential part of your child’s diet. It’s an excellent source of protein and calcium as well as probiotics which are good for your gut. Use it to make curd rice, raitas, buttermilk, and plain or flavored lassi.
- Sleep well
Get adequate sleep. A minimum of 8 to 9 hours of sleep is crucial as it helps in repairing the body, removing tiredness, and improving the immunity. It is said that sleep heals the body. Now that the vacations have already started, you can ask your child to sleep in the afternoon as well.
With access to parks, garden, and even stadiums closed, people, especially have nowhere to go to play and keep fit. If your apartment allows you to walk in the apartment garden then you can walk there to keep fit. If not, then you can do yoga at home. There are several free apps and websites where you can learn age-appropriate yoga at the comfort of your home.
Recently the Ministry of AYUSH, Government of India, came out with immunity-boosting measures for self-care.
- Nasal application: Apply sesame or coconut oil or ghee on the nostrils in the morning and evenings.
- Oil pulling therapy: Pour 1 tablespoon sesame or coconut oil in the mouth and swish for 2-3 minutes. Do not swallow. Spit out the oil and rinse your mouth with warm water.
- For a dry cough or sore throat: Boil waterwith mint leaves or ajwain seeds and inhale the steam once a day.
- For a dry cough or sore throat: Mix clove powder with honey or sugar and take it 2-3 times a day. Do remember that this is an ayurvedic treatment and results may vary from person to person.
- General measures to enhance immunity:
- Drink warm water all day. Don’t consume sugary drinks like colas or bottled juices. Keep the body hydrated all day.
- Practice yoga daily.
- Add turmeric (haldi), cumin (jeera), coriander (dhania), and garlic (lehsun) in your food. These have antioxidant properties and are good for the body.
- Eat 10gm chyavanprash in the morning.
- Drink herbal tea or decoction (kadha) made from tulsi, cinnamon, black pepper, dry ginger, and raisin. Add jaggery and or lemon juice for extra taste.