Alright, listen. I am not (obviously) a doctor. I’m not even one of those moms who’s like a homeopathic doctor (Aunt Rebecca :). But I am good at researching. And I am creative. So this past week, when Sam and Ty both got colds and I was reminded how stinkin’ annoying they are, I thought, “Now what did I read about foods that keep colds away…? How can I sneak them in their lunches…?”
So here is my lame attempt to a) prevent one less round of colds in our house, and b) sneakily get my kids to eat immunity-boosting foods. Again, I am no expert. I just googled “immunity-boosting foods” and thought of ways to get my kids to eat them 🙂
- Eat Berry Oatmeal with wheat germ. Both blueberries and oats boost immunity. Wheat germ is packed with anti-oxidants. Follow my blog’s “recipe” for breakfast a few days a week!
- Add four cloves of garlic to every night of dinner. Yup, I’m serious. Perhaps excepting breakfast for dinner, it is totally doable. Garlic is on like every list of immunity-boosting foods. This would be a big step to prevent colds. Also, ps, buy some mouthwash.
- Serve sweet potatoes four times a week for your side dish. If you bake them twice, mash them once, make them into fries later, and then serve them for leftovers at lunch a time or two, there you go! Sweet potatoes are REALLY good immunity-boosting.
- Grate up carrots into everything you can think of. On sandwiches. In red sauce. Added to buttered noodles. Rolled up inside a tortilla turkey wrap. All that beta carotine boosts the immune system.
- Also add sauteed mushrooms to anything you can think of. You can add to burgers, pasta sauce, fajitas, fried rice…almost any genre of food 🙂 Mushrooms for some reason are thought of as great for the immune system. I read, “Animal studies have also shown mushrooms to have antiviral, antibacterial, and anti-tumor effects” (webmd.com).
- Make a soup with any colored cabbage once a week. Cabbage provides immune-boosting “glutathione,” I hear. Now, I recommend slivering it up pretty good in your little one’s dish to pass the visual inspection.
- Serve oranges every day at lunch. That vitamin C is all-important.
- Mix a bunch of wheat germ into everything you bake (if allergies permit). Or mix into smoothies, pancake mix, cereal, or oatmeal. Wheat germ has many antioxidants.
- Sneak spinach into a meal EVERY DAY. A sliver on a sandwich. Sauteed in sauce. A few leaves in bribed down in exchange for dessert. Spinach is one of those “super-foods.” (webmd.com)
- Reduce sugar intake in cold and flu season and instead eat real foods. So this is really a “don’t” more than a “do.” But I think it is important. The more we all eat whole foods (fruits, vegetables, unprocessed meats) over processed snacks, the better our immune system functions. A few ways I will try to do this: Reduce purchases of cookies, fruit snacks, etc. Instead, get in the habit of offering applesauce, raisins, soy yogurt, bananas, dried apricots, and berries as snacks.
Good luck! 🙂