Many babies start crawling at around the age of 7 months. And it is during this time that babies are even more prone to cold, cough and fever. This is because babies tend to pick up all dirty and filthy things and put them straight into the mouth! The infection passes from their hands to the mouth...
I personally observed that when my daughter started crawling, she frequently got infected with cold, cough, fever, and at times, diarrhoea. Being a mother, I found anti-allergic medicines and antibiotics very harsh for my little one. Even today, I personally try to avoid giving medicine (anti allergic-drops or cough syrups) to my 2 year old unless things are really out of hand.
The Foods That Built My Baby's Immunity Against Seasonal Infection
Choosing the right
variety of nutrients is very essential for babies, especially in their
initial days. On the advice of my paediatrician, I added variants of nutritious food
to her diet to keep cold, cough and fever away. They really worked out
for us wonderfully!
I am sharing below the foods which I added to my baby girl's diet to improve her immunity and protect her from seasonal infections.
1. Citrus Fruits
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemon and tangerine (kinnow) are good sources of Vitamin C, and Vitamin C is a great nutrient to fight against flu and cold. It also prevents running nose, coughing and sore throat. Plus, citrus fruits also have antioxidant properties which help to strengthen the immune system.
How I Feed It: Instead of giving her a glass of orange juice, I preferred giving raw fruits. I could distinctly feel the offset of seasonal cold and cough after adding citrus fruits to my daughter's daily diet. It is safe to introduce citrus fruits after the age of 1 year.
The intestine carries most of the infections in the human body. Yogurt or curd contains good bacteria which helps to fight against these bad bugs in stomach. Yogurt is also a good source of boosting immunity. It is safe to give yogurt to babies as early as 7 months (paediatrician-recommended).
What I really love about yogurt is that it is also so vitamin-rich! It contains vitamins such as vitamin C, A, B-6, B-12, D, E, K, thiamin, niacin, riboflavin and folate...all this is very important for a baby's overall development.
Regular intake of yogurt can ease many digestion problem in babies like indigestion, gastric and colic problem. Infection in stomach can be the main reason for fever in babies most of the time, so adding yogurt to babies’ diet will help reduce such infections.
How I Feed It: I prefer homemade curd and give it along with rice or chappati. In summer, you can serve it as sweet lassi or blend with fruits to make a tasty smoothie. This active-culture-bacteria food has eased many stomach problems of my daughter. Do include in your baby's diet to help her have a healthy stomach and thus avoid fever.
3. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has wonderful medicinal properties as it contains lauric acid which is found only in mother’s milk! Coconut oil is a good source to build baby's immune system and is also considered to be safe to give at early stage of weaning.
Fever often occurs due to viral or bacterial infections, and coconut oil
contains antiviral and antibacterial properties. These properties tend
to offset the infection causing fever. So, adding a pinch of this
medicinal oil to your baby's food can really boost their immune system.
How I Feed It: I used to add pinch of virgin coconut oil in khichdi, vegetables, and sometime in cereals. I started giving virgin coconut oil since she was 9 months and really felt the change in her immune system.
Coconut oil massages also help to soothe the fever and ease the discomfort of fever pain. Whenever you feel a high temperature, just apply coconut oil to your baby's head, palms of hands, and foot. It is a quick way to help the fever subside.
Honey is a natural medicine which has been used for centuries. It is also known as a natural healing agent and has been an essential part of our medicine kit. When my daughter turned 1 my paediatrician recommended half tsp of honey daily.
Honey has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-microbial properties which help to fight against viral and bacterial infections. Regularly giving honey to babies helps to reduce the occurrence of cold and its symptoms.
How I Feed It: I’m diligently giving honey to my daughter since she turned year old. I would suggest you go for organic honey or get pure honey. Add this natural medicine to your baby's diet to keep seasonal cold at bay.
Warning: Honey is strictly not recommended for babies under the age of 1 year because of risk of botulism. Please feed it your baby only after the age of 1.
Almonds (Badam) have antiviral properties that fight against viruses. Almonds are also a good source of calcium which is highly recommended for babies, toddlers and even older kids. Scientists have revealed that nuts can increase the immune system's
ability to fight off a wide range of viruses, including those that cause
flu and the common cold*.
How I Feed It: Homemade almond powder is the best nutrient health mix for babies. You can add desired amount of almond powder in your baby's food or in the milk. I always peel off the almond skin. It is best to start with pinches and gradually increase the amount.
Preparing Almond Powder:
-Soak the almonds in water overnight
-Drain completely & peel off the almonds
-Roast it in a pan (until it gets dry completely)
-Blend it with Sugar (optional) & Cardamoms whole (2)
-Perfect homemade nutrition powder is ready for your baby
Warning: Before adding any nuts to the baby's diet, please check
the family history for any nut allergy. It is advisable to feed almonds
after your baby turns 9+ months old.
These were the essential foods I’m regularly giving to my daughter and I have felt her immunity get stronger. I hope these foods will also help you and your little one stay protected from seasonal infections! :-)
*Reference - Institute of Food Research in
Norwich and the Policlinico Universitario in Messina, Italy, 2010
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