As much as we would like them to be, Indian summers aren't all sunshine and picnics. At its peak, the summer heat can be draining and exhausting. If not monitored carefully, people and especially children can suffer from heat strokes.
Heat strokes can be deadly, but equally bothersome is something we're calling 'Summer Tummies'. Adults and children alike find their appetites go down, constantly find their stomachs feeling hot and indigestion runs rampant. There are several things you can do to avoid getting an overheated summer tummy. All of these suggestions are simple and only involve a quick trip to the vegetable and fruit vendor or to your local grocery store.
Infusing your water with 'sabja' or sweet basil seeds helps in reducing the amount of heat trapped in the stomach and body. Sweet basil seeds, commonly confused with chia seeds, are high in antioxidants and have cooling properties. They are best used after soaking in water. As they turn gelatinous after soaking, they're easiest to incorporate into your diet by putting them into your drinking water bottle. For each litre of water, use only a pinch of sweet basil seeds, and allow them to infuse for half an hour to an hour before drinking. It may take you a while to grow accustomed to the gelatinous nature of the seeds, however, they do the trick to cool down your body.
Treat yourself and your child to cooling fruits and vegetables, high in water content. These fruits and vegetables are easy to digest and don't put unnecessary strain on your body. Load up on cucumbers, tomatoes, watermelon, muskmelon, honeydew melon and gourds which have high water content. Wash everything down with lots of fresh coconut water and homemade lemonade. As always, skip the aerated drinks and bottled juices.
Fresh herbs are a must in this weather, with mint being the star of the season. Add freshly chopped mint and coriander to all of your salads. A squeeze of fresh lemon will also make salads more appetizing to your child. Mint can also be added to brighten up your homemade lemonade and coriander tastes delicious when added to a freshly blended buttermilk. Take advantage of the plethora of fruits available in the summer to get your child into a more fruit and vegetable-centric diet. Non-vegetarian food should be kept to a minimum as it takes longer to digest and heats up the stomach.