children health immunity pandemic parenting

Looking After Our Children In The Year Of Pandemic

The real challenge begins now as lockdown ends

Photo by Ben White on Unsplash

On March 11, WHO officially declared the COVID-19 outbreak a Pandemic due to its global spread and severity. As an effort to safeguard the lives of people what ensued was a nationwide lockdown.

While me and my partner were still grappling with the enormity of Pandemic, for my kids the news of lock-down simply meant school closure, shutting down of all recreational centers, zero play dates and no playtime in evenings. They were just going to be locked down at home.

What had begun as a lock-down soon turned into a stay-cation for kids — uninterrupted TV time binging on chips, popcorns and ice cream, baking cakes day after day, heading to the fridge or the kitchen cabinets every now and then for a snack.

Amidst all this, the only comforting factor was kids were home and Safe.

With easing up the lockdown restrictions, came a bigger challenge to keep kids safe as they look forward to step out to play with their friends and therefore putting themselves at risk of being inflicted by COVID-19. At this point, we can follow 2 approaches for their safety:

  1. Keep kids indoor and not allow them to play with others
  2. Allow kids to enjoy playtime by following safety measures

The 1st approach did not stand a chance given the patience levels of kids were now plummeting from being indoors for over a month. Which left us with no choice but to let kids have fun outdoor with friends while following the hygiene protocol for safety of self and others. Plus, build their immunity by making prudent switches in their eating habits and routine.

Hygiene Protocol

Kids have an uncanny sense of taking to things when they are completely apprised of the situation. Once they know the Why, they take ownership of their actions and act responsibly. That’s step 1- Making kids aware of how contagious the Pandemic is, its severity and measures to follow for self care. Providing the background makes the job easy for parents and kids too to follow instructions to a T.

Sticking with hand wash routine

One of the basic measures to protect oneself from the infection, as per CDC guidelines, is washing hands with soap and water after being in public area. From day 1 (since the news of the Pandemic), kids have taken the 20 second hand washing ritual quite diligently, making sure to wash hands as soon as they are back home from play or upon interaction with anyone other than family.

Initially, it did require repeated reminders to wash hands but has now become a routine habit.

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash

Don a mask

Given that COVID-19 is a respiratory infection and transmitted through droplets from either nose or mouth, mask has become an essential weapon to stay guarded from the Pandemic.

For my kids, the idea of wearing a mask is an exciting one and have taken to wearing them quite sportingly. Market is flooded with bright and colorful masks for kids in cartoon prints making it fascinating for kids to wear one.

However, the problem is not solved if only one child wears mask. It requires all those playing together to be equally responsible and don masks. It will require every parent to work cohesively with other parents to ensure safety for everyone.

Build Immunity

The Pandemic has made it clear that tomorrow is not going to be better than today unless you take care of yourself this moment. For the mother in me, it has meant taking health of my kids a notch higher.

Junk Away

Our modern lifestyle has made us look for comfortable choices and picking up processed, readily eatable junk food off the shelves from super market is just an extension of our comfortable lifestyle.

Junk food has found its way rather easily in modern day kitchen. Bright and fascinating packaging, attractive TV commercials, long shelf life and readiness in consumption has influenced not just kids but adult food choices too. Ready cup noodles, chips, popcorns, cereals, flavored yogurts, or any other packaged food has become a favorite with the kids.

Junk food earned its name as Junk because it offers absolutely nil nutritional value. Due to inadequate consumption of required vitamins and minerals, kids feel in-satiated, leading to over eating of zero nutritional food. Plus, junk foods robs the body of its innate energy thereby compromising body’s natural immunity which now works at a sub-optimal level.

To prepare kids and therefore their immune system for a long battle, junk food doesn’t stand even a decimal percent chance of being secured in my kitchen cabinets. I duly scanned the kitchen cabinets and fridge and replaced junk with healthy replacements to support kids snacking habits.

The usual snack preferences like chips, Maggi, popcorn now got replaced with whole fruits, cucumber or carrot sticks, foxtail nuts, and other nuts & seeds. I now keep nuts like almonds, walnuts, raisins and cashew nuts in easy reach of kids for them to nibble on in between meals. Roasted foxtail nuts are rather a hit with the kids.

Cheesy Pasta, another of kids favorite, otherwise low on nutrition, is now being served with veggies therefore increasing nutritional intake and reducing the amount of plain pasta consumed. Plain cheese Pizza also has been remodeled and now topped with cottage cheese and veggies.

Don’t be so Sugar coated

Kids enjoy chocolates, candies, sugary cereals, cookies, packaged juices, sodas, flavored Yogurt which all unfortunately are loaded with sugar. Refined sugar is one of the principal causes for inflammation and adversely impacts the effectiveness with which immune system works.

In my continuous efforts to provide kids with healthy options and appetizing their sweet tooth too, flavored yogurt got replaced with home made yogurt, whole fruits, raisins; packaged juices got replaced with freshly squeezed fruit juices, fresh lime water. Baking at home ensured the quality of ingredients and the quantity of sugar going in the cake.

Though its difficult to cut back completely on sugar, its about consuming it in moderation. Eating more of the goodness and less of the sugar.

Get some Sun

This has been one the simplest yet most effective addition in kids routine. Now I’ve rather been particular about them spending 5 minutes in the morning sun which in pre-Covid times kids would miss due to morning rush to school. Sun is the most natural and abundantly available source of energy that works at cellular level nourishing and nurturing each body cell and therefore heightening body’s immunity.

Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

Laugh a Lot

Laughter is an antidote to any kind of stress and sends happy hormones to the brain. At this time we may or may not be able to understand the kind of stress kids might be going through, but we can definitely provide a dose of laughter that would naturally de-stress them and go a step further in building their immunity.

Our Netflix subscription got most utilized this time as we binge watched some really humorous movies with the kids. Kids have had the most rollicking time watching funny shows and movies, bursting in laughter.

It may not be so easy to change habits all at a time. It’s about taking small steps each day and finishing big. To sum it all up, while we cannot control the Pandemic trajectory, but can definitely influence the everyday choices that kids make. These habits will go a long way giving them a strong foundation for a healthy future.

Thank you for reading. I am a mother of 3 girls aged 11 and 7, the younger ones twins, committed towards the well-being of my children.

Looking After Our Children In The Year Of Pandemic was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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Since the advent of January, everyone is mentally indebted to coronavirus, getting anxious about it due to the detrimental outcomes on the health which may lead to casualty. As there is no vaccine for it yet nor any drug to treat it therefor everyone is striving to foremost boost up their immunity as a strong immune system is the only remedy for the virus. After an immense fraction of investigation, I have collected data of some of the foods which will boost up your immunity, which are as follows.


PHOTO CREDIT= Miranda Fritz on Unsplash

Citrus fruits have always played a vital role in boosting up the immune system. These varieties of fruits comprise an abundance of Vitamin C which is assumed to have a productive effect on immunity.

They play a significant part in the generation of natural killer cells and white blood cells which are one of the fundamental components of immunity that fights against all types of diseases and exotic substances.

  • Source

Some of the major sources of Vitamin C fruits include

  1. Orange
  2. Limes
  3. Grapes
  4. Lemons
  5. Tangerine



Oily meat fish are composed of special types of fatty acids which are inferred for their anti-inflammatory properties. High intake of this meat lowers down the incidence of chronic diseases including tumors, heart attack, and cancer. Thus it is strongly advised to take a considerable portion of fish meat in the day-to-day diet during these hard days to enhance your immunity.



Garlic is one of the basic food which will enrich your immunity. it possesses anti-inflammatory properties that play a meaningful role in curing flu, cold, and other viral infections. It intensifies the production of cytokinin cells in the spleen which plays a vital function in immunity. Garlic is also well-known for fighting against cancer therefore it is quoted: “ There are many miracles in the world to be celebrated and for me, garlic is the most deserving.”



Broccoli is similarly one of the important ingredients to boost up your immune system. It is full of Vitamins and antioxidants, such as sulforaphane. Those who crave to build up their immune system they must top list broccoli in their diet.



Ginger is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidative food in nature. It carries a vital role in diminishing inflammation and curing many respiratory diseases including sore throat. It can also be utilized to deal with all types of infections in the body due to its anti-inflammatory and immune-boosting properties.



Almond is one of the most crucial dry fruit for boosting up the immune system. It is enriched with Vitamin E which is a fat-soluble vitamin and possesses a vital role in suppressing plenty of diseases including cold and flu. Almonds possess health-promoting properties due to the high levels of plant antioxidants named phenols and flavonoids.



You may be imagining how chocolates bolster immunity but it is authentic that it does. Dark chocolates include a great quantity of theobromine which is an antioxidant and can fight against numerous types of respiratory diseases. It also plays a vital role in exterminating free radicals from the body which are pollutants discharged as an outcome of metabolism.



Green tea is not only utilized for losing calories but furthermore to strengthen up your immunity. It contains a bunch of flavonoids and L-theanine which are one of the most influential antioxidant chemicals. These chemicals carry a vital function in fighting off cold and enhance the production of t-cells which are one of the crucial components of the immune system.



Don’t forget to include eggs in your nutriment to boost up immunity. They are often prescribed by doctors for building up health. Eggs contain a tremendous amount of Vitamin D and a considerable proportion of Vitamin D means a lower risk of autoimmune diseases.



Sweet potato is likewise integral for boosting up your immune system. They are full of Vitamin A which speeds up the production of white blood cells in the body to combat all types of pathogens infiltrating the body.

FOOD THAT ARE QUITE EFFECTIVE IN COVID-19 PANDEMIC! was originally published in ILLUMINATION on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

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