25 Super Foods to Tackle Cold and Cough in Babies and Toddlers


My baby has a cold, what are the foods to tackle cold and cough?

Are there any super foods to tackle cold and cough in babies and kids?

Can I give her ‘xyz’ food when she is sick?

What are the foods to be given for babies during cold and cough?

Can I continue to give a regular diet to my baby during cold and cough?

Every mother at least once in her life has asked these queries.

To answer some those questions, today I would like to share with you 25 foods that can be given to babies above 6 months during cold and cough.

foods to tackle cold and cough in babies

What food to give a baby who has contracted a cold?

Whether you are mom of a newborn with a cold or you have an older kid who is suffering from a bad bout of cough, you can really get bogged down.

Cold and cough in babies, disturb their daily activities a lot. Sometimes a simple cold and cough can lead to a sore throat or even fever.

Babies may also develop a loss of appetite. Mothers continue to be worried about feeding their babies, as it is important for their growth and immunity development. So when offering food to a sick baby the mommy’s should take care to give them immunity boosting food items as well as foods that help to alleviate the illness.

25 Simple foods to tackle cold and cough in babies and toddlers:

Note that the food items mentioned here that contain honey must be avoided for babies below one year. You can refer to the article on why honey is not advised for babies below 1 year.

#1. Sweet pearl millet flour porridge/ Bajra raab


Bajra raab is what comes to my mind first, if anyone asks what to give babies who have cold and cough.

Raab, which is generally served hot, gives relief from cold and cough. It gives instant energy to babies. It also soothes sore throat in babies.

This can be prepared quite easily, by frying bajra flour or atta in ghee and adding jaggery melted in water to it. You may even add dry ginger powder and carom seeds to this, for instant relief.

This is even considered as the best winter drink and it boosts immunity. This recipe is best suited for babies of 8 months and above.

#2. Sweet whole wheat flour porridge


Sweet whole wheat flour porridge is the next preferred porridge given to babies when their chest is congested.

Traditionally pearl millet porridge is prepared during winters or while suffering from a cold. But what do you do in case of unavailability of bajra? Then you may use wheat flour instead of bajra.

Sweet whole wheat flour porridge help the ailing babies just as well as the pearl millet version of it.

If you have already introduced wheat to your baby, then this recipe is ideal for him or her.

Suggested reading:

#3. Ginger tea


If you ask your elders, ginger would be a preferred choice in treating cold and cough.

This spice contains anti-oxidants, essential oils that help in eradicating cough and congestion. The aromatic component called phenyl alkyl ketones is responsible for its medicinal property.

Along with ginger tea (combination of ginger, lemon and honey), one can also boil ginger in water and give its steam to babies for treating cough and cold.

Ginger tea is ideal for toddlers of 1 year and above. You may also give a piece of ginger to chew in case of toddlers above 2 years.

#4. Tulsi tea


Tulsi or holy basil is one of the most important components of cough syrups in Ayurveda.

A decoction of tulsi, honey and ginger is an effective remedy to treat cold and cough. It helps in offering relief from cough due to bronchitis and gives relief from sore throat too.

Tulsi tea is ideal for toddlers of 1 year and above.

#5. Tomato soup


A bowl of warm tomato soup is ideal for treating congestion.

Tomatoes are rich in anti-oxidants and help boost immunity. Other ingredients like black pepper, which is rich in vitamin C, helps in treating cough.

Garlic that’s added in soup has anti-microbial and anti-bacterial properties that help to keep the infections at bay and helps in speedy recovery.

Tomatoes are acidic in nature and this soup is best for babies of 8 months and above.

Suggested reading:

#6. Tulsi – lemon tea


Lemon, when added to tulsi tea gives wonderful results. Being a citrus fruit, lemon is a very rich source of vitamin C.

Lemon also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps the baby in getting relief from chest congestion and puts the little one on the path of recovery.

Tulsi lemon tea is ideal for babies of 11 months and above.

#7. Honey in warm water


Honey has a lot of medicinal properties.

It helps to clear mucus, soothes the irritation arising from cough and sore throat. It also reduces the chest pain due to congestion.

Just add a spoonful of honey in warm water. Give this to your toddler if and when he/she is suffering from the cold and cough.

You may also give a teaspoon of honey with a pinch of turmeric powder.

Honey contains cough suppressive component named dextromethorphan. Hence giving two teaspoons of honey to your toddler during bed time is believed to reduce night time coughing and makes it a great cough medicine for babies of 1 year and above.

NOTE: Honey must be avoided for babies below one year.

#8. Carom seed milk, omam water or ajwain paani


Although milk is avoided during cold and cough, when boiled with carom seeds, it is an effective remedy.

Carom seeds help in expelling mucus from the body thereby curing cough and blocked nose. One can also give carom seeds’ vapor to the babies.

Omam water is ideal for babies of 7 months and above, whereas carom seed milk is suited for toddlers of 1 year and above only.

#9. Turmeric milk


This is an age-old therapy to relieve cold and cough.

Turmeric contains a medicinal component called curcumin which has anti- bacterial, anti-viral properties which prevent infection.

It also has anti- inflammatory properties, which provides relief from chest congestion. This wonder milk is ideal for toddlers of 1 year and above.

#10. Mint tea


Prepare this mint tea by boiling fresh mint (pudina) and ginger in water. Decant this. Use it to get relief from cold, cough and throat infections.

Even you may give mint vapor treatment to your baby, which is also effective in combating cold and congested chest.

#11. Fenugreek seeds powder or fenugreek tea


Used as an herb or spice, fenugreek is rich in anti-oxidants. It acts as a mucus solvent and gives speedy recovery from cough and cold.

It also has anti-inflammatory properties which relieves the babies from congestion and sore throat.

Fenugreek can be given to toddlers in powdered form, added to curries. It may be also given as fenugreek tea prepared by boiling it in water and adding honey to the decanted water.

Fenugreek tea is ideal for toddlers of 1 year and above.

#12. Lemon-honey decoction


As mentioned earlier, lemon is rich in anti-oxidants and vitamin C which helps in fighting cold and cough. Honey is also very effective in giving comfort to toddlers suffering from a blocked nose.

Lemon honey decoction should be given to toddlers of 1 year and above only.

#13. Black pepper


Black pepper is rich in flavonoids and vitamin C.

It also has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties which make it a wonderful spice to be used for cold and cough remedy.

This spice when combined with honey and tulsi helps in treating cough and congestion in babies of  1 year and above.

#14. Cardamom powder


Cardamom helps in treating dry cough and congestion.  It can be given to babies in powdered form mixed with dry ginger powder, black pepper powder, jaggery and water.

This cardamom powder mix can be given to babies of 11 months and above.

In case of toddlers above two years, chewing a pod of cardamom also helps in treating sore throat.

#15. Clove water


Cloves are also believed to be great during cold and cough due to the presence of anti-oxidants in it.

You can boil 4-5 cloves in water and strain it. Give the strained liquid to babies of 10 months and above.

#16. Cinnamon powder and cinnamon water


Mixture of cinnamon powder and honey can be given to toddlers to get rid of cold and cough.

Cinnamon can also be given by boiling it in water mixed with honey. It also boosts immunity. Cinammon powder mix and water is ideal for toddlers of 1 year and above.

#17. Carrot soup and puree


Carrots are loaded with vitamin C and anti-oxidants. Due to these properties, carrots, when mixed with other components like ginger, garlic and black pepper act as a wonderful remedy for cold and congestion.

It clears the nasal passage and makes the breathing easier. It can be given to babies in form of carrot soups or in pureed form.

#18. Vegetable khichdi


Serve your baby a dish of warm vegetable khichdi and see the immediate effect.

The ingredients like carrots, tomatoes, onions act as wonderful immunity boosters. It acts even better when served with hot kadhi.

Vegetable khichdi is ideal for babies of 7 months and above.

#19. Kadhi


A famous Gujarati/ Rajasthani dish, kadhi, also known as buttermilk soup, is very much effective in dissolving mucus. It clears the nasal passage, giving relief from cough and making breathing easier.

Flavors of tempered ghee and cumin seeds work their magic and aids in recovery from chest congestion. Kadhi is ideal for babies of 8 months and above.

#20. Chicken soup


Chicken soup helps in clearing a blocked nose efficiently and in reducing cough.The addition of other spices makes it even more effective for anti-cold and cough therapy.

#21. Beetroot soup


Beetroots are an excellent source of anti-oxidants and thus, help in keeping infections at bay. It assists in giving comfort from cough and congestion.

For a speedy recovery, beetroot may be given in form of soup added with ginger, garlic and black pepper.

#22. Broccoli soup


Since broccoli is an excellent source of vitamin C which is anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory in nature, it serves as one of the most wonderful home remedies for cough in babies.

#23. Onions


Onions contain anti-microbial compounds called allion and allicin which help in fighting cold, cough symptoms.

If your baby is above two years old, you may offer raw onions or else you may add in your baby’s dish as onion soup, in curries, dal etc.

#24. Spinach soup


Spinach is good source of vitamin C, A and folic acid. Its nutrient content helps in fighting cold and cough symptoms.

Spinach in the form of spinach soup works best for cold as it is aided by the presence of different spices and herbs.

#25. Ginger garlic khichdi


This is another version of the plain khichdi that you generally serve to your babies. It contains additional contents like ginger, garlic and green chilli/ black pepper.

This will comfort babies from cold, cough and chest congestion due to presence of garlic and ginger. The ginger garlic khichdi acts best when served with kadhi. Giner garlic khichdi can be served to babies of 7 months and above.

Hope you liked this post on foods to tackle cold and cough in babies.

Further reading:

How do you deal with your baby while he/she is suffering from cold and cough? What do you offer to your babies during cold and cough? Do you use any other food as home remedy?

Share with me in comments please.


About Author

A mom to eleven month old, Riddhi is interested in cooking, crafting and writing. She also volunteers for a newspaper.


  1. Sheila Vasquez on

    Thank you for sharing ? I’m going to try making my son a carrot ginger chicken soup for his cough. Much love from San Antonio, Texas. 🙂

    • I think massage with ajwain oil and medication will help. There is also an article on baby massage to help in cold and cough by me, you can refer that too.

  2. Hi Riddhi,

    Thanks for your post .. I am going to try Raab … my son is 20 months .. and he had wheezing issues ..
    Kadhi is made with yogurt .. still it is fine ? Right now I have kept him away from sour food items.
    Please do let me know

  3. My baby
    7 months old is suffering with lots of cold what do you suggest to cure it and Pl tell me some nutritious food which can be provided to him daily and how many times should I give him daily and what should I give in which times pl give me the details as soon as possible

    • Hi Rashmi,

      If your baby is suffering from severe cold, I would suggest to give him bajra raab or atta raab once in a day at evening times daily (in addition to the medicines if any prescribed by his paediatrician). Even if your baby gets cured, continue giving any one raab recipe to him once in a day during winters. This will keep your baby warm in winters and help him to fight cold and cough too. In addition to this, massaging with slightly warm mustard/ coconut oil heated with a garlic clove and ajwain is very effective in cold.

      Hope this helps.

  4. Hi sangeetha. .. my 6yr old daughter frequently affected by cold… Nd looks like allergy. .continues sneezing, rub her nose vigorously too… please help me to cure this… how to increase her immunity also..

    • Hi Ramya,
      For allergy you need to follow the same diet for four days ..find out after which food or other factors like dust, flowers etc. she gets allergic reactions. Try to avoid those conditions. TO boost immunity and also remedify cold you may use the above mentioned food especially raab and kadhi.
      Hope this helps.

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