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12 superfoods that boost immunity in children

Foods you should encourage your child to eat.

Written by Debjani Arora |Updated : November 18, 2015 3:48 PM IST

foodBeing a mum makes you anxious about your child's diet. Is your child having healthy food? Is he getting his quota of proteins? What about the antioxidants and vitamins? Now it's too much work to sit and select food meticulously. So here is a list of super foods that should surface in your child's diet one way or the other to meet all the nutritional needs, help in growth and development and of course boost immunity.

Eggs: Boiled, poached, scrambled - eggs are very versatile superfoods. 'Eggs are the source of first class proteins. Even the yolk is a storehouse of vital vitamins and minerals and essential for your child's consumption. You get a lot of antioxidants from the yolk too,' informs consultant dietitian Niti Desai, Cumbala hills hospital, Mumbai. Know more about benefits of having eggs.

Salmon: More reasons to have fish on the plate. Salmon is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which help in brain development, vision and also have a host of other health benefits. Read to know about the health benefits of omega 3 fatty acids.

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Nuts: Include all variants - pistachios, walnuts, raisins, dates, dried figs etc. 'Offer your child a handful. If your child refuses to munch on them, give them a dried fruit or nuts chicki as a snack,' advises Niti. Read why nuts are great for health.

Berries: Size doesn't matter. These small and cute little colourful berries are actually high on nutritional content. 'Pick them up and add them to your child's fruit salad platter. Strawberries, blueberries, mulberries - the more the merrier,' says Niti. Berries also have other hidden benefits, know more about them.

Oysters: Zinc is essential in helping boost immunity, building protein, cell functioning and also DNA repair. Oysters offer you zinc in abundance. Sea food lovers, rejoice.

Coloured fruits: Don't just restrict your child's fruit menu to apples, bananas and oranges. 'Remember deeper and darker the colour of the fruit the better,' says Niti. So go ahead and choose from a variety of berries, melons, pomegranate, peaches and more.

Green veggies: Spinach and fenugreek are rich sources of folic acid and zinc and also provide traces of vitamins. Explore the other greens too. Greens are like immunity boasting foods that helps in DNA repair also. Know more reasons why you should include greens in your diet.

Cruciferous veggies: Don't forget the cabbage family which includes cauliflower, broccoli, red cabbage. 'Apart from having anti-cancer properties, they are also known for strengthening the immune system,' informs Niti.

Colourful veggies: It's important for your child to have the greens and eat them too. But don't just restrict to greens when it comes to veggies. Be more creative. 'Add carrots, beetroots, red and yellow pepper, tomatoes, sweet potatoes to your child's plate. They are rich sources of antioxidants,' says Niti. Know more about foods rich in antioxidants.

Whole grains: 'Instead of offering your child rotis just made of wheat or jowar flour, try a multi-grain preparation,' says Niti. This ensures better fiber and nutrition intake.

Yoghurt: If plain curd doesn't interest your child try the flavoured one. 'Yoghurt is full of probiotics. The good bacteria fights and stops colonization of bad bacteria in the stomach and helps keep your child off stomach infections and in good health,' says Niti. This lip smacking snack can do you a lot of good too.

Garlic & onions: Even though they create a little havoc adding to the bad breath in the oral cavity, but garlic and onions can help fight H.pylori bacteria in the stomach. 'In India an H.pylori infection in the stomach is very common so encourage your child to take them,' says Niti. Ask your baby to rinse the mouth or brush afterwards. This way you also instill good oral habits. Also read to know about the other health benefits of garlic.

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