As a parent, we hear so much advice, home remedies,  tips for prevention and treatment of fever, cough and cold that bewilders a new parent and ultimately we end up doing nothing due to fear of harming our little one.

Myths surrounding foods and ailments are always not true except for a few genuine home remedies.

Myths associated with Cough and Cold in Children

  1. Don't allow the kid outside the house if he has a cold.
  2. Do not give fruits like Banana, pomegranate, watermelon, orange and grapes.
  3. Do not give dairy products like Milk and Curd.
  4. Don't bath the child during a cold.
  5. Do not give Ragi in winter or during cold.
  6. Do not give ghee during a cold.

Here are the answers to all these myths

1. Can I allow my child to play outside if he has a cough and cold ?

This is a very tricky question since it largely depends on the weather and the intensity of the cold and cough of the child. If you think the child has a mild cold and the weather is amicable you can send your little one to play outside for an hour or so. Please also be aware that if he has an infectious type of cold or a cough he might infect his playmates as well (this is the most common reason for contracting cold in children)

2. Can I give Bananas, grapes, watermelon, oranges during cold and cough to my child?

It has been programmed into our brain that "No fruits during cold and cough in Children" and many of us follow blindlyThis is a myth that has been proved wrong now.

It has been proved scientifically that increase in fruits rich in vitamin C are in fact protective against cold and cough in children. This doesn't mean that you stuff your children with fruits when they have, consumption of fruits in moderation is the ideal way to combat cough and cold.

The fruits can be given in the first half of the day.

Research articles emphasizing the protective & beneficial effects of fruits in cough and cold

1. Consumption of fresh fruits rich in Vitamin C and Wheezing symptoms.

2. Effect of fresh fruit consumption on lung function and wheeze in children.

3. Nutrition and children's respiratory health.

According to our Homeopathic Expert Dr Bhavi Mody, fruits can be safely given during cough and cold, especially fruits rich in Vitamin C.

3. Can I give Milk, Curd during cold and cough for my child?

In my childhood days, if I had a cold, then my mom would ban milk till I recover completely which may be weeks :-(

Now this is also has been proved wrong, milk and curds can be safely given to babies and children during cold and cough.

Milk consumption does not lead to mucus production or occurrence of asthma.

The Milk Mucus Belief

How to feed milk and curd to children during cough and cold - Dhvani Shah

4. Can I give Bath to my child during cold and cough, Fever?

Usually, elders advice not to give baths to babies during fever, cough and cold, it may hold good if you are planning to bath with cold water. But most of us bathe our children in either hot or lukewarm water. It is absolutely fine to bath the child with lukewarm water. Not giving a bath to the child for a long duration may exacerbate infections due to poor hygiene so try to bath at least once in 2 days during cold and cough.

5. Can I give my baby Ragi during cold and cough?

Ragi and Bajra are good winter foods and Ragi can be given to babies and children during cough and cold.

6. Can I give my Ghee during cough and cold?

According to Nutritionist Dhvani Shah

" Ghee is one of the most nutritious Indian foods. It is therapeutic in Nature, helps line the lungs, prevent infection, prevent a dry cough and throw out mucous from the body".

Hope that helps dispel some of the most popular myths surrounding Cough and cold in children

This article first appeared on, India's leading parenting website.