Curd, milk, ragi and banana during cold and cough – Does these foods worsen a cough and cold?
Does bananas cause mucus formation? Is it ok to give curd and milk if the baby is having a cold and cough?
Can ragi be a culprit in aggravating the cough babies?
Is no curd, no milk, no ragi and banana during cold and cough a myth?
Let us see.
Babies tend to get cold and cough because of their still developing immune system. Cold and cough in babies is also a sign that they are building immunity.
But when your baby is having cold and cough it can be difficult for you as well as your baby. However, there are ways through which you can make your baby comfortable during cough and cold. One of the ways is that you can avoid giving foods which can worsen your baby’s congestion and increase those foods which will help relieve congestion.
Many a times, a question arises as to whether curd,milk, ragi and banana can be given during cold and cough to babies and kids. Specially, first time parents are more confused as to which foods to avoid during cold and cough in babies.
As a new parent, even I was confused whether to give curd, milk, ragi and banana to my baby or not. All the four are healthy foods for babies but as a new parent it is important to know whether these foods can be safely given as we do not want to aggravate the cold symptoms in babies.
Let’s look into each food one by one.
Yoghurt or curd during cold and cough
Curd is usually introduced to babies around 7-8 months of age. Curd is rich in probiotics which helps boost immunity. It is full of calcium and is very good for your baby’s bones. It also contains vitamins and minerals essential for your baby’s growth.
Homemade curd made of cow’s milk is the best for your baby. You can give your baby plain yoghurt, yoghurt mixed with fruits and vegetables or try making a yoghurt smoothie which your baby will surely love. You can also give mashed banana with yoghurt or mashed mango with yoghurt.
There are many health benefits of eating curd for babies apart from boosting immunity like it is easy to digest, prevents urinary tract infections and is really good for stomach. Including curd, in the daily diet of your baby will help prevent from getting viral and bacterial infections.
Should I give curd to my baby during cold and cough?
There are mixed views as to whether to give curd to baby during cold and cough or not. Most of the paediatricians say that as long as the curd is kept at room temperature and is fresh, curd helps boost the immune system and also fights dehydration caused by cold and cough. It is easily digested and hence is a healthy food for baby.
However, many believe that curd is also one of the mucus forming foods. Even if the curd is at room temperature, it provides coolness to the body and hence may aggravate cold and cough in babies. So if you want you can avoid giving curd for a week or till the time your baby has cold and cough.
Because of mixed views, it is totally up to you if you want to give curd to your baby or not. Take care of the following points if you are giving curd to your baby during cold and cough.
- Before serving curd to baby, always leave the curd in a bowl for 15-20 minutes and bring it to room temperature.
- Also, it is advisable to avoid giving curd to your baby at night.
- Curd turns sour faster during summers, so avoid giving sour curd to your baby.
- Freshly set homemade curd can be given within 8 hours of preparation
- One safe way to give curd during cold and cough is by tempering it with jeera, ginger, turmeric powder and curry leaves.
- South indian side dish, Aviyal, made with boiled vegetables, coarsly grinded coconut and curd is a good option to include curd in the diet when you are sick.
- Kadhi and mooru curry made with curd can also be given
Milk during cold and cough
After one year, cow’s milk can be introduced to your baby. There are many health benefits of giving milk to your baby.
- Firstly, milk is an important source of calcium
- Milk fortified with Vitamin D is good for the bones and teeth of your baby
- It is also a good source of protein and vitamins especially Vitamin A and B
- Milk contains fats necessary for energy and growth in babies
Read: How to introduce cow’s milk to babies?
Should I give milk to my baby during cold and cough?
There is a common belief that milk increases mucus production and so should be avoided during cold and cough. But the fact is that milk can be safely given to kids during cold and cough as it does not increase mucus production.
Give warm milk to your toddler during cough and cold.
You can add a pinch of turmeric to the milk and this combo or ‘Haldi Doodh’ is an excellect home remedy too for cough and cold. You can add a little honey too to turmeric milk for older kids.
You can also add ginger powder or ajwain to milk to lessen your cough and cold symptoms.
Two or three strands of saffron added to boiled milk can also be given to older kids as saffron milk or kesar milk is good during cold and cough in toddlers.
Note: if your baby is allergic to milk, please avoid milk altogether
- 7 Ways To Use Ajwain for Cold and Cough in Babies and Kid
- 10 Ways to Use Ginger for Colds and Cough in Babies and Kids
Ragi or Nachni during cough and cold
Ragi or nachni (finger millet) is a healthy and nutritious food and helps in baby’s overall development. It contains good amount of calcium, proteins and iron.
Ragi porridge is extremely healthy and thus is considered as first food for babies. After introducing basic solids like fruit and vegetables, ragi can be safely introduced to your baby’s diet.
Including ragi in your baby’s diet also enhances your baby’s immunity and growth. Due to its iron content, it prevents iron deficiency diseases in babies. As it contains complex carbohydrates, it keeps your baby’s tummy full for a longer time. Due to its calcium content, it aids in bone development of your baby. It also has good fiber content.
The different forms in which Ragi can be included in your babies diet are malted ragi porridge, sweet Ragi porridge, and savory Ragi porridge.
Should I give my baby Ragi during cold and cough?
Many mothers believe Ragi as a cold inducing food, and often replace it by giving sooji (broken Wheat). During cold, it is advisable to give light foods to babies and ragi is often considered heavy to digest.
However, there is no evidence that ragi aggravates cold and cough in babies. In fact, according to Ayurveda Ragi is considered as a warm light food and is ok to eat during cough and cold.
When feeding your baby Ragi during cold and cough, you can give it in small quantities. Also, make sure that the ragi porridge should be lukewarm and not cold while serving. It is advisable to serve ragi porridge during daytime and not past evening when the baby has cold and cough.
Banana during cold and cough
Banana is introduced to a baby after completion of six months and therefore is one of the first foods for babies. Most of the babies love bananas because of its natural sweetness.
Eating bananas has great health benefits-
- Bananas are very nutritious as it contains a significant amount of vitamins and minerals and are easy to digest.
- It controls diarrhea and treats constipation.
- Bananas provide lots of energy to babies necessary for growth and development
- Bananas are also good for the bones and teeth.
Make sure that the bananas are ripe as under ripe bananas can cause constipation in babies. While feeding bananas to your baby, mash with a fork. You can also add a little formula or breast milk to make a suitable consistency for your baby. Or you can mix it into your infant cereal.
Can I give banana to my baby during cold and cough?
Although, eating bananas on a daily basis improves the immune system and help prevent cold and cough, it is also one of the mucus forming foods. Most of the mothers believe that eating bananas during cold will worsen the babies’ condition.
The fact is that though bananas do increase mucus and phelgum and can aggrevate a common cold and cough, it also has vitamin B6 that can help relax bronchial smooth muscle tissue.
I have heard that long golden bananas aggravate cold and cough while the smaller elaichi bananas are safe. It is again controversial as some parents vouch for it, while some say a complete NO to it.
So is banana bad for cough? I would say yes. But if your child wants to eat bananas give it in moderate amounts.
Kerala banana, a variety of banana found in South India, can be safely given during cold and cough.
It is advisable to consume fruits that are rich in Vitamin C during cold and cough. Bananas have very less percentage of Vitamin C (only 16% of what oranges have) and so eating fruits like kiwi, oranges etc. are preferred.
Bananas are available all throughout the year but try to avoid giving bananas to your baby during winters. The best season for feeding bananas to babies is during summer.
What other ways can I help lessen the cold and cough symptoms of my baby?
Below are some tips for you so that you can comfort your child during cold and cough
- Keep your baby hydrated
During cold and cough, you need to keep your baby hydrated. If your baby is under 6 months, give only breast milk or formula.
If your baby is more than six months old, you can give warm water, soups, and juices.
Don’t overdo juices and soups as it can cause loose motion. Plain water is always the best to keep the body hydrated for older kids and breastmilk is the best for breastfeeding kids. Juices should be in limited amounts.
- Warm soups for comfort
Soups are ideal for treating congestion in babies. Chicken soup or warm tomato soup can be given to babies 8 months and above.
- Elevate your baby’s head
You can also make your baby comfortable by raising your baby’s head while sleeping by keeping few towels under the pillow. This will ease your baby’s nose and can breathe easily during congestion. Sleeping on side also helps in breathing.
- Home remedies
A word of caution- you should not use any home remedy to cure cough and cold for babies less than six months. For older babies, try using home remedies like applying saffron paste on baby’s forehead to relieve him from cold, applying warm mustard oil with few garlic cloves on baby’s chest, hands, back, and feet helps cure cold and cough.
- Cuddle your baby
When your baby has cough and cold, he needs a lot of attention and cuddles. Make your baby comfortable by holding him close and make him feel loved.
Offer your child food that can help reduce the cold and cough.
Hope this article has cleared the air on whether and how to give milk, curd, ragi and banana during cough and cold to kids.
Please note that if your child’s pediatrician has advised you to totally avoid any of the foods mentioned here or has given a green signal to have these foods during cough and cold, do follow your pediatrician’s advice.
Do you avoid milk, curd, ragi and banana during cold and cough? From your experience how do you see consumption of these foods during cold and cough? What are the worst and best foods to fight cold as per your experience?
Please share your experience in this regard.