When kids fall sick, no one in the family has any fun. What can make it worse is that mad scramble to find something your kids will want to eat. And if your kid is a picky eater, you have nothing less than a Herculean task on your hands. If you are looking for something that is both healthy and delicious for your under-the-weather child, this list is for you.
Keep in mind that every child will differ in what he or she likes to eat. And in fact, it is not uncommon for kids to lose their appetite entirely when they have the flu or a fever. So do not force them to eat something just to make yourself feel better. Don’t panic. Encourage them to eat a little, but if they fail to dig in, don’t push it. You can try again with something else in a little while.
With that said, here are some vitamin-rich foods that you can serve up on days when your kids are not feeling their best.
1. Fruit on a stick
Sometimes simple is the way to go. Snag some of your kid’s favorite fruit, and most kids will have at least one favorite fruit. Slice it up and serve. For children 2 to 3 years old, 1 cup of fruit is the daily recommended amount, and add another half a cup for kids 4 to 14. Skewer the fruit with toothpicks, or kid friendly fruit skewers.
Fruit contains potassium, Vitamin C, fiber, and folic acid, which are often under-consumed by children (adults, too). Vitamin C aids growth and repairs body tissue. for example, it helps to heal scrapes and cuts and goes far to keep teeth and gums in shape. Remember scurvy? A lack of Vitamin C caused that.
2. Chicken soup
Long touted as an essential aid to quicken recovery from fever or flu, chicken soup’s many benefits are now being proven at last. First, when your child is sick, they often refuse to drink water. But are more amenable to soup, which will keep them hydrated. Recent studies have also shown that consuming chicken soup can limit the production of cells that cause mucus.
Use a healthy chicken base from scratch and then add celery, carrots, and any other vegetable you can slip in to get the most nutrients into the soup.
The best part of smoothies for kids is that, if done right, it can almost seem like dessert. And since the fruit is blended with the vegetable, your child won’t know you slipped in some spinach, too. Make sure Little Junior is out of the kitchen when you whip this up.
A word of caution when making this for the first time for you kids… Err on the sweeter side. Else your child might refuse to ever try it again. Bananas, strawberries, and most any fruit will help to sweeten it, and yoghurt or milk will help fluff it up and give it a nice texture. Some tried and proven combinations are as follows:
- Papaya and pineapple
- Strawberries and spinach
- Berries, banana and yoghurt
- Grapes and spinach
- blueberries and yoghurt
- Avocado, yoghurt, and honey
- Beetroot and blueberry
- Oranges and carrots
You can also toss in some flax seeds or pumpkin seeds, but just be sure that they really blend down first before adding other ingredients.
4. Oatmeal with vitamin-fortified milk.
Oatmeal is an excellent source of minerals, antioxidant compounds, and vitamins. It contains magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, iron, zinc, and Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, and folic acid. In fact, oats are one of the most nutrient-dense plants out there. Pair this with vitamin-fortified milk, and you are giving your kid a power-packed meal that will replenish and rejuvenate. To make it a little more appealing, add chopped fruit, raisins, figs, or bananas as a topping.