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Food intake fluctuates during every season. In winter, the daily energy intake tends to increase for all males, females and children to cope with the cold and enhance immunity against cold and flu, which are prevalent during the time. 
Experts suggest that dietary habits probably change during winter as the body requires more foods that can keep them warm for longer, fights infections, are low in calories to prevent weight gain and nutritious to help in their growth and development.
Also, there are certain foods which are excluded from the winter diet. Take a look at foods to include and avoid in the winter diet for children.
Nuts are nutrient-dense foods with many bioactive compounds. They contain phenolic compounds, high-quality proteins, phytosterols and fibre that helps reduce incidences of inflammation, high cholesterol, cancer and many other diseases. As hunger pangs are more during winter, nuts help keep them away for longer to prevent weight gain and also provide warmth to the body.  Be cautious of nut allergy in some children. Some examples of nuts include:
- Brazil nuts
2. Vitamin C
According to a study, vitamin C is significantly high in winter fruits and vegetables. This essential vitamin has a great role in preventing respiratory diseases like asthma and wheezing in children, which are more prevalent during winter.  Some examples of vitamin C fruits and veggies include:
3. Vegetable proteins
Protein-rich winter veggies help boost immunity during the season. They are rich in antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties that help protect us from cold and flu, providing us warmth at the same time. Some examples of vegetable proteins include:
- Green peas
- Lentils (boiled)
4. Omega-3 fatty acids
During winter, the skin gets dry quickly and you may experience hair loss to some extent in your children. Omega-3 fatty acids improve skin hydration and minimise breakouts, along with softening the skin and reducing irritation. It also helps reduce hair loss due to its anti-inflammatory properties. Many studies also point out the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids in preventing cold, cough and asthma incidences during the winter. Examples of foods rich in omega-3 include:
- Cold-water fish such as mackerel, salmon tuna.
- Plant oils such as canola oil.
- Seeds such as chia seeds and flaxseeds.
- Brussel sprouts
5. Dietary fibre
Fibre during winter helps balance extra calories intake without compromising with out taste and flavour. Adding them to your winter diet helps improve immunity, prevent cold and flu, promote skin hydration and battle with digestive problems. Some examples of dietary fibre-rich foods include:
- Root vegetables like turnips and sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
Foods You Must Avoid
There are certain foods which parents must avoid giving their children as they may trigger cold or flu symptoms or thicken mucus and make the condition worse. Such foods include:
1. Sugary treats
Sugar-loaded foods may be tempting for children but they may low the immunity to a great extent and increase the risk of certain diseases like diabetes, obesity and high cholesterol. Such examples of sugary foods include:
- Ice creams
- Cold drinks
- Chocolate milk
2. Dairy products
Dairy products are known to trigger the secretion of phlegm during the winter or cause thickening of the phlegm, if present already. These factors can irritate the throat of your child and make them uncomfortable. Some examples of dairy products include:
3. Histamine foods
Histamines are body chemicals related to inflammatory and allergic reactions. They are naturally found in certain foods and its high consumption can trigger inflammatory reactions and cause symptoms like sneezing, cough and itching. Some examples of histamine foods include:
- Smoked meats
- Fermented dairy products
4. Fried foods
Fried foods are high in fats, cholesterol and calories which are known to lower the body's immunity. Consuming fried foods can also increase inflammation which in turn, can increase the risk of diseases like high cholesterol and obesity in children. Some examples of fried foods include:
- French fries
- Chicken strips
- Fried cheese of any kind
- Fish fries
- Potato chips