I often get asked what the best foods are for toddlers and young children when they have flu or a nasty cold. Here are some general suggestions to help ensure you give the right food – food that will allow their bodies to fight the infection quickly.
- You might be tempted to give them all their favourite meals and treats, to help make them feel better… But sugary treats, dairy and baked goods are the worst foods you can give a child with flu.
- It’s important to avoid dairy, sugar and wheat, as they all increase mucous production and interfere with the immune system`s ability to fight the infection.
- Do give them lots of rooibos/herbal tea. (It’s important that it’s unsweetened, and with NO milk).
- If they can bring themselves to drink barley grass or wheat grass – give it often with some probiotics and vitamin C added to it.
- If they don't feel like eating, don't force them to. Try a watery salty soup (Miso soup or even a “bouillon” /stock) to keep the electrolytes up, and add rice noodles if you like.
- If they are hungry, only give light meals – for instance cooked vegetables with some good oils, herbal salt and possibly some brown rice/quinoa.
- Homemade chicken or vegetable soup is great, especially with lots of leeks, onions, garlic, celery and add sage – all great cold/flu fighters.