Despite our best efforts at natural immunity, sometimes our children get sick. Whether they go to school or not, just being around other children seems to make them vulnerable sometimes! Written in collaboration with Supersavvyme, this guest post has great ideas for foods that help fight colds and inflammation, and recipe suggestions for incorporating them into foods for poorly little people.
When children head off to school, they’re especially susceptible to catching coughs and colds from their friends and class mates. If a sick day under the duvet covers beckons, here are five tasty and nutritional recipes that will boost the immunity of your child when they’re feeling under the weather:
Easy Salmon Fishcakes – Serves 5
Salmon is rich in Omega-3, which reduces inflammation and prevents respiratory illnesses.
In a bowl, mix 1 (418g) tin of salmon, 2 beaten eggs, 4 tbsp dried breadcrumbs, 4 tbsp instant mashed potato flakes, 1 diced onion, 1 crushed clove of garlic, 1/4 tsp dried dill, 1/4 tsp celery salt, salt and pepper. Form the mixture into 5cm balls, and flatten into patties about 1cm thick.
Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. In batches, cook patties about 5 minutes on each side, until lightly browned, and serve.
Garlicky Spaghetti – Serves 4
Garlic contains allicin, which helps fights infection and bacteria.
This is a great store cupboard meal that can be rustled up easily, and with just a few ingredients. Cook 400g spaghetti according to the packet instructions, drain and reserve 2 tbsp of the cooking liquid.
Over a low heat, crush and sauté 8 garlic cloves in 100ml olive oil until golden but not browned. If your child likes hot food, add 4 chopped and de-seeded red chillies, and the reserved liquid. Add spaghetti and season with 2 tsp chopped flat leaf parsley, salt and pepper. Toss until the spaghetti is coated in the mixture and everything is well combined. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.
Easy Chicken Soup – Serves 6
When chicken cooks, cysteine is released- this amino acid has a chemical resemblance to a widely prescribed bronchitis drug, and has similar congestion relieving results. The soup’s salty stock also keeps mucus thin the same way cough medicines do.
Melt 55g butter in a saucepan over a medium heat and soften 2 sliced onions, 2 sticks of celery finely chopped, and 2 diced carrots. Stir in 25g plain flour and cook for 2 minutes. Add 2 pints of chicken stock and bring the mixture to the boil, whilst stirring. Season with salt and pepper, then simmer for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender.
Add 450g cooked chicken and heat through. Season again, and add 1 tbsp parsley to serve.
Yoghurt contains probiotics, which keep the gut free from intestinal bacteria that can cause unwanted diseases.
Avoid artificially sweetened or “fat-free”: go for natural yoghurts to best support your child’s health. If they don’t like yoghurt, try freezing home-flavoured yoghurt in lollipop moulds. Or serve yoghurt sweetened with honey, or even try this yoghurt cake.
Sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, a form of vitamin A, which is vital for healthy skin, which of course is designed to protect you from bacteria and viruses.
These are a great alternative to the classic jacket potato, and can be served with any topping your child fancies. They are also good steamed or roasted, or as an alternative to pasta – or if you fancy cooking a new recipe, you could try this Sweet Potato and Spinach Bake.
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