KOCHI: Monsoon has arrived, and children are more than excited to go out and frolic in the rain. But as parents, we must make sure children are equipped with a good immune system to fight any sort of ailments during rainy season. Recent studies show that Vitamin D deficiency weakens the immune system and causes increased susceptibility to infections. Here are a few Vitamin D-rich recipes for kids to boost their immune system and help them fight infections during monsoon season.
1. Pumpkin Milk Soup – This warm and filling soup is a perfect pre-dinner meal for children during monsoon. Heat 2 tbsp of butter in a deep pan, add ¼ cup chopped onions and sauté for a few minutes. Add 1 cup of diced pumpkin and sauté for a few more minutes. Add 3 cups of water, salt and pepper and cook till the pumpkin is tender. Cool for 10 minutes. Blend in a mixer for a smooth purée. Add ½ cup of fortified fresh milk and bring to boil. Serve hot garnished with spring onion greens.
2. Egg Frankie – Egg frankie is a complete meal and an excellent option for lunchboxes. Knead 1 cup of whole wheat flour into a smooth dough. In a separate bowl, whisk 2 eggs along with 1 finely chopped onions and coriander leaves.
For the filling, combine 1 thinly sliced onion, capsicum, carrots and keep aside. Make parathas out of the kneaded dough. While the paratha is cooking, pour a ladle of the egg mixture and cook the egg paratha on both sides until the egg is cooked. Place a portion of the filling in the centre and roll the paratha. Drizzle some homemade mint chutney over it for extra tanginess.
3. Golden Milk Smoothie – This smoothie will serve as one of the healthiest breakfast beverages for your kid. It consists of milk, which is rich in calcium and Vitamin D, turmeric which is anti-inflammatory and is filled with antioxidants, and bananas, which have a good amount of potassium. Combine 1 frozen banana, ½ - 1 tsp of turmeric, ½ tsp of raw honey, 1/8 tsp of cinnamon, and ½ cup of fortified fresh milk in a mixer jar and blend until smooth and creamy. Serve immediately.The author is a nutritionist who is also a part of the Thirumala Nutrition Foundation. She is based in Bengaluru.