Written by Ashwin Dewan and published on 03 June 2021.
Feeding a baby or toddler suffering from a bad cold or cough could pose quite a challenge to parents. Here are some Indian foods that can make your sick child get better
Is your child suffering from a runny or stuffy nose? Does she sneeze continuously? Chances are, she has a cold. Often, in such a situation, parents reach for the nearest bottle of medicine or make their child take a tablet for cold.
But, did you know there are certain Indian foods that can help relieve your toddler's cold and cough symptoms? Tomato soup, honey in warm water, ginger tea, ginger and garlic khichdi, and turmeric milk are some home remedies for cough and cold symptoms in children.
However, for parents, it can be quite challenging to make babies eat, especially when they are sick and don't feel like eating.
For babies down with cold and cough symptoms, it is best to give foods that are easy to digest, rich in nutrients and easy to eat. Also giving smaller quantities at regular intervals will ensure they are taking in adequate quantities.
For babies less than six months old, breast milk is the only recommended source of nutrition. As breast milk is rich in antibodies, it will help strengthen the baby's immune system.
For babies above six months of age or toddlers, the traditional rice gruel or rice porridge can work wonders to relieve symptoms of congestion caused by the cough or cold.
In this article, we look at the top six cough-fighting foods that can help a toddler suffering from a cold.
Foods are as essential as medicine in contributing to the quick recovery of a sick toddler. Some of the best Indian foods to cure symptoms of cough and cold in babies can be found right in your kitchen. Here are six of them:
It is a known fact that the more you drink liquids such as soup and water, the faster the cold will pass. It is no different for a toddler. Loaded with vitamin C, a bowl of steaming tomato soup is ideal for treating cold in toddlers.
Note: Tomatoes are full of antioxidants that boost immunity
Honey has many medicinal properties, one of which is treating the common cold. Give your toddler warm water mixed with a spoonful of honey. This will help in clearing the accumulated mucus and soothe the irritation arising from a sore throat.
Note: Honey should not be given to babies under the age of one year.
Ginger tea is a very effective and inexpensive treatment for the common cold. A natural antiviral, ginger helps to induce perspiration and lowers the body temperature. Ginger tea also acts as a decongestant that aids in relieving the symptoms of a cold. Toddlers can even be given a piece of ginger to chew.
Note: Ginger tea is ideal for toddlers who are aged 1 year and above.
Khichdi is a dish made of rice, pulses and spices. One nourishing and healthy food item that helps in cold relief is ginger and garlic khichdi, which gives a slight twist to the humble khichdi.
Note: However, this comfort food is only recommended for babies 7 months and above.
An onion is more useful than we think because of its natural anti-inflammatory, antibiotic and antiviral properties. Onions are loaded with the anti-microbial compound called allicin, which helps in fighting a cold.
Note: Add a little grated raw onion to soups and sandwiches if your toddler is unable to eat them directly.
Turmeric milk is the best tonic to give to toddlers suffering from cold and cough due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties. A common household remedy for cold, it provides instant relief from respiratory problems such as a dry cough.
Note: Turmeric milk also has anti-inflammatory properties that battle chest congestion.
Cold and cough in toddlers are usually not serious problems. However, if not taken care of properly, a cold can lead to serious infections such as strep throat and bronchitis. But, with the right combination of good food, care and appropriate medicine, babies with cold will recover quickly and there is nothing to worry about.
While modern medicine offers a lot of treatment for cough and cold, there are many remedies in Ayurveda as well. All these are not only time-tested but also made from naturally available herbs.