4 Foods Children Should Eat When They Have the Flu
“Mommy, I don’t feel good.” This may be one of the most dreaded phrases in all of parenthood. It often comes in the middle of the night, leaving you wondering which flu remedies are safe and how to get your sick child to eat something healthy.
When your little ones are sick with the flu, you’ll do just about anything to get them back to feeling healthy as quickly as possible. These immune-boosting foods are some of the best things to eat when sick, and they will help your child feel better faster.
I’m a Little Teapot
You may know that ginger ale calms the stomach, soothing indigestion and fighting nausea, but did you know that ginger is also full of virus-fighters? Ginger reduces oxidative stress and inflammation, boosting the immune system. It contains gingerol, which is a natural cough suppressant, as well as shagelol, which has antimicrobial properties.
A warm ginger tea may be what’s best for your toddler’s upset stomach, sweetened with honey to taste.
- Place one teaspoon of finely chopped or grated ginger root in a mug with boiling water. Let steep for 5–10 minutes and strain to remove the ginger. Add honey to taste.
Chicken Soup for the Soul
… and the flu. Nothing beats this classic cold and flu remedy to loosen mucus in your chest, soothe your sore throat, and unclog your nose. Chicken soup is one of the best foods to eat for the flu, as it is loaded with zinc and nutrients. Also, it is scientifically proven to reduce the movement of neutrophils—immune cells that stimulate the release of mucus.
A wide array of vegetables were in the “Grandma’s Soup” used in the research. A good recipe might include not only chicken, but parsnips, onions, turnips, sweet potatoes, carrots, celery, and parsley. Both homemade and canned soup offer the same benefits. As your child’s appetite returns, you can add noodles to the soup for more carbohydrate energy.
Put Them on Pizza and They’ll Never Notice
Mushrooms are also great flu-fighters, and they are rich with selenium, which helps white blood cells produce cytokines to fight any infection. They also contain beta-glucan, which activates “superhero” cells that find and fight the flu virus.
Most kids aren’t in love with mushrooms, but put them on top of a pizza and kids will eat them! You can also chop them up and add them to an omelet as an immune-boosting breakfast for a sick child.
Did Someone Say Milkshake?
Greek yogurt is known for containing probiotic cultures, which boost the immune system by fighting off bad bacteria. Probiotics also fight illnesses by increasing the number of virus-fighting cells, making yogurt a great food to eat when you have the flu. Plus, yogurt is high in protein and soothes an inflamed sore throat.
To get the most immune system benefit, look for yogurt that has live and active cultures. If your child is not crazy about eating yogurt by itself, you can try one of these options:
- Mix yogurt with fresh berries and bananas and a dash of almond milk to make a shake.
- Add a few spices and seasonings to make a veggie dip.
- Add frozen blueberries to a cup of Greek yogurt to make frozen yogurt.
What if Your Child Won’t Eat When Sick?
Just like you when you feel miserable, your sick toddler might not feel up to eating anything for a few days. Young children can become dehydrated quickly, so make sure they are getting sufficient fluids. For a sore throat, either warm or very cold liquids will be soothing. Hot chocolate, ice pops, warm broth, Jell-O, and diluted juice are all good choices.
Nutritious drinks will carry them over until their appetite returns. Once they are ready to eat, to get better faster make sure they get extra nutrients like the ones in these foods.
Feeding a Healthy Immune System
In an ideal world, you would raise your kids in an environment where they could be happy and healthy all of the time. Sadly, the flu virus is easily spread in school, at daycare, and even on the playground.
As a parent, you know that supporting a healthy immune system can help prevent the flu and shorten the time your child is sick. Along with eating right, adding one tablet of Cold-Fix daily to your child’s routine can help keep that cold or flu virus from taking hold. Cold-Fix works with your child’s own immune system and does not have any added sugar or caffeine like some of the leading cold and flu brands.
Our child-safe formula is a great alternative to over-the-counter flu medications that may be too strong for your child. Help keep your kids healthy this flu season and have plenty of Cold-Fix for Children on hand—and don’t forget Cold-Fix for Adults to keep yourself healthy while you care for your family!