Come winter, and we all love the chilly, cold waves of this season. But along with the pleasantness of the weather, there are certain health drawbacks of the winter and fall seasons, such as a higher chance of getting a fever, cold, and cough. These winter ailments particularly raise the biggest challenges for every mother who faces back-to-back colds and coughs as well as winter-related immunity issues for her child. They often worry about how to boost their kids’ immunity so that they may keep their children healthy and heart in the change of season.

To help our super, moms, today our expert is here with some effective tips to safeguard your child’s health through the winter season. Read on...

6 Tips to Keep Your Kids Healthy This Winter

Follow these six effective tips this winter season to make sure your kid stays healthy and steer clear of any sickness:

1) Practice good hand hygiene

Help your child develop handwashing habits at home, school, and play. Handwashing is one of the best strategies to stop the transmission of germs. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends five steps to handwashing:

  • Wet your hands and then apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing the soap between them.
  • Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. 
  • Rinse hands thoroughly under running, clean water.
  • Dry your hands with a fresh towel.

Hence, the easiest way to eliminate germs from your hands is to wash them with soap and water. However, if soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol.

2) Get enough sleep 

A healthy sleeping schedule is important not only for your child’s development but also to keep the immune system healthy and reduce the risk of getting sick. Make sure your child sleeps for at least eight hours a night during the winter. Additionally, establish a daily wake-up ritual for your child and encourage them to stick to it on school days and vacations.

Tips for good sleep quantity and quality for kids:

  • Ensure that while children sleep, their bedroom is peaceful and relaxing with lights turned off, and at the ideal temperature.
  • Avoid screen time for at least one hour before sleep.
  • Set a consistent sleep schedule for your kids and a fixed time to go to bed and wake up.
  • Make your child steer clear of heavy meals at least 2 hours before sleep time.
  • Encourage 30 minutes of quiet time before putting the kid to sleep. You can read stories to them or enjoy light music.

3) A balanced meal 

Your child's immune system is greatly impacted by the foods they eat. This time of year, a nutritious, balanced diet is crucial for your child's enhanced health. Consequently, increasing the quantity of immunity-boosting foods in their diet such as fruits and vegetables high in antioxidants, spices, poultry, etc. will shield them from illness.

4) Hydration is the key

Children often forget to drink water when playing outside in the dry, chilly air. But the risk of dehydration still persists even if they don't perspire. Kids should be encouraged to hydrate well before, during, and after playing. In colder climates, children are also more susceptible to dehydration than adults. Encourage a child to drink plenty of warm liquids, such as warm milk with turmeric, warm water, soups, and hot lemonade. 

5) Limit sugary foods

Children love sweets, especially when the holiday season is around the corner. Too much of refined and processed sugar in ice creams, cookies, canned juices, soda, and candy is not only bad for children’s teeth but also increases the risk of obesity in kids. We should limit sugar intake in children as excess sugar also drives systemic inflammation in their bodies. Children who eat a lot of sugar are more likely to get sick with the flu, the common cold, and other ailments. Hence, try limiting children's sugar intake to one small treat per day to help improve their immune systems.

6) Get enough of Vitamin D

For optimal bone health and the immune system, vitamin D is essential. It is made in the skin after exposure to sunlight. You can also get it from food and supplements. 

Tips to attain adequate Vitamin D levels:

  • Sun is the free source:  Ensure your kids play out enough to get adequate exposure to the sun to produce vitamin D. 
  • Vitamin D-rich food: This includes fish, dairy, egg yolk, mushrooms, and fortified meals.

Simple Food Options To Include in Your Kid’s Diet, This Winter

Try including the below foods in your kids' daily diet especially in winter:

1. Jaggery:  It is not only healthier than sugar but it also keeps you warm during the chilly winter season. In addition to giving any sweet meal an exotic flavor, jaggery is a fantastic remedy for cough and cold.

2. Eggs: Eating eggs during the winter fulfills protein requirements in children and also helps them to stay warm. A number of recipes, including fried vegetable eggs, scrambled eggs, poached eggs, and vegetable bread omelets, have gained popularity among mothers.

3. Soups: Nothing warms up the body faster than a bowl of soup. It is one of the best foods for keeping your children's digestive systems healthy and keeping them warm during the winter. You can add several vegetables, lentils, or non-vegetarian items to your soup.

4. Sweet potato: Being rich in antioxidants, beta-carotene, and vitamin C, sweet potatoes strengthen the immune system and help develop resistance to infections. You can steam, boil, or roast it with a pinch of black salt.

5. Millet pancake: While pancakes are children’s favorite, millet pancake is a healthy twist. Millets are high in protein, minerals, and fiber that boost immunity.
In the changing winter season, when there is fading sunlight and a drop in temperatures, lessen the chances of your kids getting sick. In order to fight off numerous illnesses including the flu, colds, and sore throat; the immune system needs to be highly vigilant. By following a few effective tips like washing and disinfecting hands, getting plenty of sleep, eating a well-balanced diet, spending more time outdoors in the sun, and consuming less sugar, we can make our children less susceptible to cold and flu.

If you have any questions related to your child’s health or require dietary assistance for them, you can check with our Pediatrician at Ask a doctor, 24x7.

Recently Answered Questions Related to Winter Ailments

Disclaimer: Information provided on this page is not intended to substitute for proper medical advice provided by your healthcare professional. This is only for informational purposes.

About the Author

Dr. Shweta Khanna

Shweta Khanna is a dental surgeon who has experience in dentistry for more than 13 years. She has been writing innovative medical and healthcare content for the past eight years. She has authored various medical blogs/articles related to dentistry, orthopedics, dermatology, women's health, consumer health articles, and research articles (basic and clinical).

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