Summer is when your child is busy with playing, watching TV, gadgets and summer camps... super fun indeed! However, kids get so engrossed in summer activities, that it becomes a daunting task for parents to get them to leave the activity at hand and eat something healthy and hydrating. Plus, all that kids are interested in eating during summers is icecreams, Pepsi-colas, cold drinks which a mother surely can't allow them to overeat. Listed below are the foods children should avoid eating during summer and cooling alternatives for the same.
List of foods to avoid and opt for during summer season
1. High-spice foods
This may not be very applicable to younger kids as they themselves throw up highly-spiced foods. But with older kids, once they develop a liking for spicy, chatpata foods, it becomes very difficult to restrict them. The extra spice content in foods can result in acidity, abdominal pain, cramps, nausea due to an inability to digest these foods properly. These foods can also heat up the body as they boost your metabolism.
Opt for cooling herbs like mint instead to add flavour to your foods. Mint is known for its cooling, refreshing and digestive benefits.
2. Junk foods
This encompasses a wide variety of foods like street foods, fried snack treats, fats foods, etc. Street foods being uncovered and unhygienically prepared, need to be restrained in any season especially during summers as your child's immune system is not as well-developed as yours. Instead, with a lil' effort, you can make your child's favourite snacks easily at home. Fried snacks are high in fat content and hence considered unhealthy if had in excess. They also result in excess heat production. Fast foods like pizzas, burgers too are a strict no-no during summers.
Instead, healthy home-made snacks like bhel, veggie cutlets, sandwiches can ensure your child eats to his heart's content and you'll not be worried about the quality and safety of the food too.
3. Soft drinks
Soft drinks or cold drinks are a quick resort for most kids - thanks to its instant refreshment and cooling effect. However, these foods contain empty calories, soda and several harmful additives, which are not appropriate for your growing child.
Instead of stacking your refrigerator with these cola drinks, its advisable to make fresh fruit juices at home. Watermelon juice is one such cool drink that can instantly satiate a thirsty child. Lemon cordial and Aam Panna concentrate can also be prepared in advance and kept handy for reconstituting with water as and when needed. Among others, khus sharbat and kokam sharbat are quick coolants too. Cooling seeds like basil or sabja seeds can be easily added to a child's drink!
4. Rich non-vegetarian foods
Rich meat gravies or oily chicken and fish preparations can add up to the body heat and make kids sweat more this summer. It is better to keep kids away from these foods as much possible.
Vegetarian preparations especially made out of leafy greens, cucumbers and fruits will help ward off body heat. Yogurt is a protein-rich option to go for during summers. It helps in may ways: it aids digestion, improves immunity as it is a probiotic and offers a cooling effect in the body. Kids love it the most when its flavoured with their favourite fruit!
Apart from these foods, ensure you include foods like fennel seeds, lemongrass or gulkand which are known for their cooling effect and pro-digestive benefits. Coconut water also replenishes the system with vital minerals that are often lost through sweat. Choosing rehydrating, cool foods is the name of the game here.
Can you suggest any other food/s that you prefer feeding your child during the summer season? Let us know in the comments below.
The author is a nutritionist and Founder of Nutrify