Immunity boosting health drinks for kids for this winter season

Posted by Nt. Divya Gandhi   |   Date 09 Feb 2023

We do everything to protect our children from the cold weather. Thick warm and fuzzy blankets, heaters, hot water bottles, and the list goes on. But more often times than not, children fall sick and complain of cough, cold, fever, etc. during this season. Generally, our first reaction is; you must be playing out in the cold, you probably took off your sweater or were not properly covered. We barely focus on their immunity or lack of proper nutrition. Mostly, this is a repercussion of weak immunity and incomplete nutrition. No matter how warm we try to keep our children on the outside, if their immunity is compromised they are bound to fall sick. Especially in this season, parents need to feed their children with immunity-boosting nutrients to protect them from falling ill frequently. Apart from nutrient-dense food, another way to boost your child's immunity is through healthy hot drinks for winter. Hot immunity-boosting drinks prove to be the best health drinks for kids in biting cold weather.

Let's take a look at some obvious benefits of immunity-boosting hot drinks for winter:

- Healthy hot drinks improve and strengthen the immune system.
- Immunity-boosting drinks contain antioxidants and help the body fight free radicals that could cause diseases.
- They aid in removing toxins and purifying blood.
- These hot drinks for winter also help maintain/control body weight.
- They also help fight infections and inflammation.

7 Immunity-boosting Winter Drinks In India

Children love holding a warm cup of hot chocolate or flavored milk or herbal tea in their hands while studying or watching their favorite show, in winter. There are several ways to add essential immunity-strengthening nutrients to your child's hot drink, to beat the cold.

1. Turmeric-infused Milk
Haldi or turmeric is known to be the immune system's best friend for ages. There are numerous reasons for turmeric-infused milk to be the best winter drink in India. The antibacterial, antiviral, and antifungal properties of turmeric are strong weapons against most infections and diseases. Haldi also contains a substance called curcumin, which helps prevent inflammation and enhances immunity.

Let's make the concoction:
• Pour a glass of milk into a saucepan.
• Put a small chunk of peeled raw turmeric root in the milk and bring it to a boil.
• Take the turmeric milk off the flame and strain it.
• Add a dash of honey (Optional).
• Serve hot.

2. Jaggery-Enriched Milk
Jaggery, famously known as a 'gur' in India, has perfect compatibility with milk. This is quite a well know winter drink in India. Since jaggery and milk both are good for health and there are various nutritional benefits of the combined hot drink for winter.

It is undoubtedly one of the best health drinks for kids as Jaggery milk contains high amounts of iron and enhances the hemoglobin count of children. While the sucrose present in jaggery helps children fight fatigue and weakness in the body by giving them an energy boost. Jaggery with milk also helps boost immunity and purifies blood, improves digestion, relieves menstrual problems in teenage girls, strengthens bones and teeth, enhances muscular health, and is also good for the skin.

It's super easy to make this hot drink for winter:
• Pour a glass of milk into a saucepan.
• Add some chunks of jaggery or gur to the milk.
• Stir in some fennel seeds (saunf) or cardamom for enhanced flavor (Optional)
• Bring the mixture to a boil.
• Take the pan off the heat and strain the mixture.
• Serve hot.

3. Kadha (Decoction)

Kadha became a popular winter drink in India during the covid times due to it's nutritional impact and immunity-boosting qualities. Besides boosting immunity in children, this hot drink for winter is also known for improving digestion and respiratory growth, fighting flu naturally, relieving cough and cold, reducing inflammation, and consisting of antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal properties that prevent infections.

We need 7-8 ingredients to make kadhi:
• Cinnamon (2 inches)
• Cloves (3-4)
• Ginger (1 inch, peeled)
• Cardamom (2)
• Fennel seeds (1 tbsp)
• Black peppercorns (5-6)
• Tusli (3-4 leaves)
• Water (1 cup)
• Green tea teabag (optional)

Method to make Kadha:
• Take a cup of water in a saucepan and start heating it on a medium flame.
• In the meanwhile, crushed black peppercorns, cardamom, cloves, cinnamon, fennel seeds, and ginger in a mortar & pestle.
• Add the crushed ingredients and tulsi leaves to the water.
• Cook the mixture on medium heat for about 10-15 minutes.
• Take the mixture off the flame and strain it.
• Add the green tea teabag to the hot cup of the kadhai and let it brew for a few seconds and then remove it. (Optional)
• Serve Hot

4. Spiced Hot Chocolate
No other ingredient excites children more than chocolate, and mixing it in their hot drinks for winter works like magic. Surprisingly, the Cocoa powder is quite nutritious. It consists of polyphenols, which are naturally occurring antioxidants found in fruits, vegetables, tea, and chocolate. They help reduce inflammation, improve blood flow to your child's brain, and improve brain function. The antibacterial and immune-stimulating properties tend to benefit your child's teeth and skin.

The infamous 'hot chocolate' can become a healthier winter drink in India by adding some immunity-boosting spices to it.

Get prepared to make some 'spiced hot chocolate with these ingredients:
• Milk (1 cup)
• Cocoa powder (1 tbsp)
• Cinnamon (2 inches)
• Ginger (1 inch)
• Honey (2 tsp)
• 1 tsp vanilla essence (Optional)

• Grind the cinnamon and ginger in a mortar and pestle.
• Pour milk into a saucepan and add all the ingredients.
• Bring to a simmer and whisk occasionally until cocoa and spices are thoroughly mixed and are warm enough.
• Serve hot.

5. Warm Ginger Lemonade
Lemonade is another most-liked drink among kids, and lemons are a powerhouse of vitamin C that contain antioxidants that can fight against cell damage, and enhance the immunity of children to fight infections and diseases.

We are going to make this lemonade with a slight twist to make it a healthy hot drink for kids in winter:

• In a saucepan, heat 1 cup of water.
• Grate ½ inch of ginger in it, before it comes to a boil.
• Just as it begins to boil, add the juice of half a lemon and 1 tsp honey to the water.
• Set aside and strain the mixture.
• Serve Lukewarm.

6. Pumpkin Spice Milk
Pumpkin spice might ring a bell for you, as pumpkin spice drinks are most prevalent in the Halloween season. You may have noticed the 'pumpkin spice latte' option on the Starbucks menu. But apart from the festive importance, pumpkin spice drinks are also good immunity boosters for kids and help promote brain health and cognitive function too.

The best health drinks for kids are homemade drinks that assist in boosting immunity. All you need for this healthy hot drink for kids is:

• Pumpkin puree (2 tbsp)
• Milk (1 cup)
• Cinnamon (2 inches)
• Cloves (4-5)
• Nutmeg (1)
• Maple syrup or honey (1 tsp)

• Heat milk in a saucepan (you can use oat, almond, or cashew milk also).
• Grind cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg together.
• Add pumpkin puree, ground spices, and honey/maple syrup to the milk.
• Cook on medium heat for 2-4 minutes and whisk occasionally until the pumpkin puree and spices blend well.
• Serve hot.

7. Carrot & Orange Juice with Black Salt
Carrots are rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene, vitamins A, C, and E, and minerals like iron, zinc, and copper. This winter superfood increases the production of white blood cells that fight infections. The vitamins and minerals in oranges protect your cells from damage and help make collagen; a protein that heals wounds and provides smoother skin. Oranges are also a rich source of vitamin C, which boosts immunity.

Use 200gm carrots and 5-6 oranges to make this immunity-boosting health drink for kids. Peel the carrots, trim their edges, and cut them up roughly. Cut and deseed the oranges, remove their rind. Add the carrot chunks and orange segments with 2 cups water to the juicer. Blend it all together. Strain the juice, sprinkle a pinch of black salt, and stir.

5 Amazing Spices For Best Health Drinks For Kids
As Indians simply love to add spice to things, be it food or gossip!
Winter drinks in India are bound to have some too.

All of these spices have antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties. They can be added to most of the hot drinks for winter. So here are 5 immunity-boosting spices for your kid's healthy hot drinks.

1. Turmeric
2. Cinnamon
3. Cloves
4. Cardamom
5. Black Peppercorns

Ginger and tulsi are another two powerful immunity-boosting agents that can be used in healthy hot drinks for winter.

Bringing more diversity to kids' health drinks breaks the monotony, and children can avail a variety of health benefits from different immunity-boosting ingredients. Serve the best health drinks for kids in creative ways to keep them warm, protected, and healthy this winter season.

Nt. Divya Gandhi posted this article on

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