The food we eat during the cold season should be “warm” – not only because it is hot, cooked food, but “hot” also in terms of the energy it provides.
According to Chinese medicine, foods can be divided into those with “cold” and “hot” energies and both have a direct effect on the body. Hot foods are beneficial during the winter months, while cold foods can weaken the immune system. During the winter, when the body is most vulnerable to colds and other diseases, it is crucial to provide it with the right nutrition.
Here are tips and recommendations that can strengthen your child's immune system and help prevent colds, ear infections and other winter illnesses.
Among the foods and ingredients that are considered to be nutritionally beneficial during the winter are quinoa, fish (especially tuna and salmon), oats (start the day with hot oat porridge), whole rice, pulses, ginger and various kinds of nuts.
Stews and thick soups made with pulses and root vegetables are ideal for the winter. Combine pulses like chickpeas, white beans, and peas with the other ingredients in your dishes, and add oats, wholewheat and whole rice to your soups and stews.
Use orange root vegetables - carrot, sweet potato, pumpkin - for lovely winter soups.
Garlic and ginger are strong “food warming” additives. Add garlic to pasta and ginger to Chinese stir-fry dishes.
Uncooked foods such as sandwiches and fresh salads are actually less recommended by Chinese nutritionists because they are “cold” foods that only weaken the body as it has to work harder to digest them. During the winter months, it is better to eat steamed vegetables, soups and grilled fish, for example, and if you do prepare a sandwich, fill it with something “body warming” such as an omelet.
Hot drinks are highly recommended at all times. Various types of herbal teas are great for your children and you can sweeten them if necessary with honey or brown sugar. Hot chocolate should be avoided because of the high content of chocolate and cow’s milk.
The following foods in particular are not recommended for children: high quantities of dairy products, peanuts (including “bamba”), white flour (cakes, white bread, etc), bananas, oranges, fried food and white sugar.