Summer can prove to be a difficult time for toddlers. Fortunately, some summer foods provide respite to your children from the heat, and here we have a look at them.
By Ashwin Dewan
Summer is one season that is accompanied by many discomforts – heatstroke, dehydration, heat rashes, and sleeplessness. We stay indoors, use fans and air conditioners to cool ourselves.
But, how many of us know that certain foods play a major role in cooling our bodies and keeping our energy levels stable during summer?
Eating the right kind of foods not only provides us with nutrition, but also helps in handling the summer effectively. Here are 10 such foods that are ideal to consume during summer:
Watermelons are the ultimate cooling food for children. Not only do they quench the thirst due to their high water content (watermelons contain 92 per cent water), but also keep the stomach full for long hours. Watermelons are packed with vitamin A, vitamin B6 and vitamin C, apart from antioxidants and amino acids. They even contain traces of potassium. Children can have watermelons in limited quantities throughout the day to stay hydrated.
Note: You should be careful while buying from roadside vendors as the watermelon slices may not be hygienic. So, it’s always safe to buy a whole fruit.
Yogurt or Curd is a great summer food due to its cooling properties. A staple in most Indian homes, this dairy wonder is also good for the digestive system of a toddler. It is a source of calcium and protein, and is loaded with various other nutrients.
Note: Children can have yogurt/curd in different ways – as a glass of lassi, buttermilk, or raita.
3) Coconut water
Inexpensive, tasty and loaded with nutrients, coconut water is the ultimate thirst quencher for children. Known for its wonderful cooling properties, coconut water is full of simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals that aid in keeping the body hydrated in the midst of the scorching heat.
According to an article, The Benefits of Drinking Coconut Water, published in Livestrong.com, by Sylvie Tremblay MSC, as coconut water contains a considerable amount of fiber, it helps in keeping your one full for longer periods. The fiber also regulates blood sugar making it a healthy choice of drink for toddlers.
Note: You should keep a check on the amount of coconut water that children consume as each serving contains a significant number of calories too.
Onions are one of the easily available food items that make your body cool. You can add them to your curries, dips, salad and raitas. Onions are also rich in quercetin that is an anti-allergen. Children can consume lots of onions to protect themselves from sunstroke.
Note: To get the full benefits of onions, try to eat them raw.
5) Leafy green vegetables
Turning vegetarian in summer comes with a host of benefits. Leafy green vegetables such as cabbage, spinach and lettuce are perfect to keep your children adequately hydrated during the hot months. These have the perfect water content and are easy on the digestive system. Since leafy greens contain a significant amount of water, they help in assisting the body to release heat.
Note: You can make salad and soup using leafy green vegetables, and your children will love them.
Summer drinks your kids will love
Mint is a cooling herb that can be used as an addition in food items or simply taken by itself. A simple, inexpensive and easily available herb, mint can also help in digestion in children. You can try adding mint to curd or make mint juice for your children.
Note: You can grow mint in a small pot at your home for your use. Mint is commonly known as Pudina in India.
7) Lemon water
Apart from being a great summer drink, both for its taste and cooling effect, lemon water can also help in treating indigestion, constipation and dental problems. Children who feel bored drinking plain water quite often can be offered lemon water. Lemon water is rich in vitamin C and is good for children’s skin too.
Note: Lemon water can be had sweet, salted, or by adding a pinch of black salt and cumin powder to it.
The humble tomato provides many benefits, one of which is cooling the body temperature. In fact, tomatoes are 94 per cent water and can help in hydration and promotion of regular bowel movement.
Note: If children do not like eating tomatoes, they can be offered tomato juice mixed with honey or small slices of tomatoes mixed in their food.
Broccoli is not only full of nutrients but also comprises 91 per cent water. So, apart from being delicious and healthy, broccoli also keeps your children hydrated. It is also high in fibre, which aids digestion, prevents constipation and maintains low blood sugar.
Note: Broccoli also promotes weight loss and healthy vision. So, go ahead and give this wonder food to your children during summer.
Found usually at the supermarkets and health stores, gulkand is a great food item to have during summer. It not only prevents acidity but also contains cooling ingredients such as rose petals and other herbs that are beneficial for health. It facilitates digestion and reduces the burning sensation in the body caused by the heat.
Note: Gulkand is available in bottles at all leading stores. This can be mixed with milk and given to children.
Summer is a wonderful time to spend with your children and everyone’s in the holiday mood. However, you should also ensure that children are protected from the extreme heat. With the foods mentioned above, you can make sure that your children enjoy summer to the fullest.
Learn how to make summer fun for kids by going through the pages of this ClipBook.
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