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9 Indian Food For Toddlers During Cold And Cough

by Sushree Venkat

Updated on :  
9 Indian Food For Toddlers During Cold And Cough

Whether you have a newborn baby or a toddler, feeding a baby who is suffering from cold and cough could be challenging for parents. Often in such situations, most parents want to avoid medications. Mother are often on the lookout for go for Indian foods for toddlers during cold and cough that can expedite healing and recovery. Thanks to the diversity of Indian culture, there are any such foods that could help the child feel better during those dull days and also ensure the child stays strong from within.

Right from tomato soup to turmeric milk there are plenty of Indian foods for toddlers during cold and cough. However, it could be challenging for parents to make the little ones eat, especially when they are sick. For babies who are sick, it is better to give them food that is nutritious and is easy to digest.

Read on more to know more about Indian foods to eat during cough and cold that will help the baby to recover fast. But first, we need to be aware of the foods that can cause discomfort in babies and delay the recover process, such as-

Foods That Cause Phlegm In Babies

Eating is the last thing kids want to do when they are down with the flu. When kids are affected with a respiratory condition, like a cold, cough, asthma, or bronchitis, chances are there can be more accumulation of phlegm/mucus that can cause the baby’s nose to get congested.

All parents know the common unhealthy foods for babies. When the kids are suffering from cold & cough, parents only think about what Indian foods should their child eat. But they miss over on the foods that should be avoided by the baby during this phase.

Listed below are a few foods that we recommend you better avoid giving to your baby as they could lead to more congestion.

1. Refined sugar and sweets

Sure, you already know sugary foods and cavities in children are co-related. We all know too much sugar and sweets are not good for the little one. Consuming huge amounts of sweets and sugar could make the baby’s cough aggravate. Foods such as sodas, chemical beverages, candies, chocolate, cold drinks, are better avoided. These foods are not nutritionally dense and can compromise the baby’s immune system.

2. Dairy products

Though the probiotics in yogurt are considered the best for the baby’s GI issues, many parents are hesitant to offer dairy products such as milk and curd to their children while they are down with a cold. You can also limit dairy products such as paneer, cheese and cream during winters to avoid the production of mucus.

Related Reading: Cow Milk For Babies – Benefits, Risks, and Precautions

3. Foods that are hard to chew

Crunchy wafers and foods with hard texture could be hard for the baby to chew — increasing the chances of coughing.

4. Avoid fiber

Flu can cause the baby’s stomach to get upset, hence many parents offer foods such as bread toast, or oats to control the bowel movement. Since these foods are rich in fiber, it becomes harder for the baby to digest the food. Therefore, refrain from offering foods that are hard for the baby’s GI system. Also, one can use homemade apple juice to relieve constipation in babies.

9 Indian Food For Toddlers During Cold And Cough

Indian Food For Toddlers During Cold And Cough

Babies generally become fussy when they are down with a cold and cough and hence it might be difficult to feed them. However, feeding your baby with a small quantity at regular intervals could help meet the baby’s stomach requirement.

In case your baby is less than six months old, we suggest you breastfeed the baby as it is the only recommended source of nutrition. Breast milk is rich in antibodies and hence helps to strengthen the baby’s immune system.

For babies more than six months, many Indian foods work wonders to relieve congestion and treat cold and cold in toddlers.

1. Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding is recommended if your baby is less than six months or if you are still breastfeeding your baby. Since breast milk is a high source of antioxidants, it helps in reducing illness. If your baby has a runny nose or is congested, it is advised to hold the baby in an upright position and feed, which could make the baby comfortable. If this is your first child, then we have some breastfeeding tips for you.

2. Rice gruel -traditional Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough

One Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough followed even till date is offering the baby rice gruel/rice water or watery rice soup. It is commonly used to treat cold and fever as it helps boost the immune system. It is also considered a natural booster drink for children fighting infections. This is recommended for babies above six months.

Method of preparation:

  • Take 2 tbsp of rice and wash it well and add 2.5 cups of water. Cook the rice until it gets completely cooked and soft
  • Once the rice is completely cooked, cool down for some time.  Mesh strainer to get a thin watery rice soup. Offer it to your child

Related Reading: When And How To Give Dalia To Babies?

3. Turmeric milk with pepper and palm candy

Turmeric and pepper are the best Indian spices to treat babies’ colds, coughs, and chest congestion. These are rich in antibiotics and hence it is recommended to avoid this in case you are giving your child any antibiotics as prescribed by the doctor. This is recommended for babies above 1 year.

Method of preparation:

  • Heat milk in a pan and add turmeric powder, palm sugar, and pepper powder to it. Mix well
  • Heat the milk until the froth comes. Serve warm

4. Tomato soup/Rasam– best Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough

Tomato soup is a great Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough as it is loaded with vitamin C. You can offer this food like soup to your little one or mix it with rice and offer it to your baby. This can be offered to babies above 8 months.

Method of preparation:

  • Wash and boil the tomatoes in a saucepan for 5 minutes with water. Peel the skin once cool and keep it aside.
  • Dry roast the pepper, cumin seeds, and garlic and grind them along with the peeled tomatoes into a smooth paste.
  • Heat a saucepan with a tablespoon of ghee and add the puree with a pinch of turmeric powder. Boil in medium flame for five minutes.
  • Add 1 cup of water now and boil it again until frothy.

5. Sweet potatoes

Sweet potatoes

Sweet potato is one healthy Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough as it helps the baby to develop a good immune system. You can boil/steam this vegetable and offer it to your baby after peeling the skin. You can give this in a form of puree or mashed consistency.

Related Reading: All About Broccoli For Babies- Nutrition, Age, Benefits And Risk

6. Citrus fruits – booster Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough

Citrus fruits help to boost the immune system and help to relieve congestion and keep mucus thin. Prepare fresh juice with lemon or orange and mix it with lukewarm water. You can add honey for babies who are older than a year.

7. Vitamins C rich fruits and vegetables

Foods that are rich with vitamin C help to increase the production of antibodies and aid in fighting against infections. It not only helps to reduce cold and cough but also helps in preventing the baby from falling sick again.

  • In the case of fruits, you can offer them as pieces or make a juice and mix it with lukewarm water
  • In the case of vegetables, offer them as mashed or as puree

Fruits that are rich in vitamin C:

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Guava
  • Papaya
  • Amla

Vegetables that are rich in vitamin C:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Bell peppers
  • Green peas

8. Sabudhana – safe Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough

Sabudhana or Sago or Javarisi is full of starch and hence is a quick boost of energy. This is one safe Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough as it is easy to digest.

You could serve this as Sabudhana Khichdi by adding a few vegetables to it.  In case you do not want to offer milk to your child during cold and cough, you can make Sabudhana Kheer without milk and nuts, by boiling the sago pearls in water and serving the strained water.

9. Idli or steamed Dosa – easily digestible Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough

Idli or Dosa is an easily digestible soft food that can be offered to the baby anytime during the day. This one best south Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough can be served with curd/Ghee or plain Dal. It is safe to offer this to babies above 8 months. 

Related Reading: Ghee For Babies- When, How, And Health Benefits



As parents, dealing with sick kids could be too traumatizing. Especially with infants and toddlers, this could be more bothersome as they can’t express what they want and how they feel. The biggest challenge for parents during this phase is to make them eat something nutritious so they don’t become even weaker.

With so many challenges in feeding sick kids, as parents, you must be extra smart and choose foods that the baby would not deny during a cough or a cold. Keep in mind to offer foods from the above-mentioned Indian food for toddlers during cold and cough as they are both safe to offer as well as easily digestible. If you are a parent of a baby less than six months, don’t forget to breastmilk your child.

The content on parenting.miniklub.in is only for informational purposes and is NOT to be used as medical advice. Your DOCTOR is always the best person to guide you through your medical issues.

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