The Pediatric Dietitian’s Recommendations on the Healthy Foods for your Sick Child

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Suddenly, just when you think the crazy Christmas season is over and your child is back in school, boom!Time to get sick arrives. Sickness seems to last forever, whether it’s from stuffy noses and sniffles, depressing little coughs, upset stomachs, or sore throats (or all of the above). Fortunately, nutrition can help boost immunity, encourage proper hydration, and drive away bothersome insects.

Toddlers’ feeding patterns are likely to alter when it comes to providing for them while they are unwell. You shouldn’t anticipate them to eat as enthusiastically or as diversely as they used to when they were well. They might start eating fewer meals, grow a little grumpy during them, or become pickier about what they eat (give them a break if broccoli spills on the floor!). Make sure every mouthful of food you give them is nutrient-dense and full of calories while they’re feeling down. Above all, make sure your child drinks enough water during the day. If your young child has been experiencing vomiting episodes, drinking helps restore lost fluids.

Here’s a list of healthy meals to feed your sick child; they won’t make them feel better, but they will provide them the nutrients they need to fight off sickness and will taste good even when they’re not feeling well. Of course, these foods aren’t miracle workers.
The top 5 meals to give your sick child

  1. Dragon fruit
    Dragon fruit is a great source of vitamin C. Although it’s a myth that vitamin C may treat colds, its antioxidant qualities actually help to strengthen immunity. You may probably find frozen dragon fruit, or pitaya, cooling in the freezer department of your local grocery store if you simply head there instead of searching through specialty food stores for fresh dragon fruit. We adore adding dragon fruit to smoothies since its cooling effect is very effective for sore throats. Dragon fruit is popular not only for its strikingly colorful color (which toddlers adore!), but also for its high water content, which makes it extremely hydrating.
  2. Oatmeal We love warm, comforting oatmeal since it’s not only incredibly soft and mushy, but it also has a high protein content. Blend it with whole milk to create a calorie- and fat-dense dish. Select quick oat variants for kids with upset stomachs, as they are easier to digest due to their lower fiber content. To increase the amount of calories, add some sliced bananas or nut butter. If your toddler’s stomach is getting bigger, add some ground flaxseed, hemp seeds, or chia seeds for extra Omega-3s that can help lower inflammation.

Third, Greek yogurt

A traditional toddler favorite, yogurt is packed with probiotics that boost the immune system. Go for Greek yogurt, which has more protein, and stick to plain, unsweetened kinds to avoid needless added sugars. If your child is requesting a bit more sweetness, drizzle in some honey (for children over 1); it not only enhances flavor but also has antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antioxidant qualities. Honey also works wonders for relieving painful throats.

4. Tubers

Have a peek at that—beige food that wins! When children are ill, they instinctively turn to their comfort food favorites, which are typically simple carbohydrates. The ideal example of a simple, bland carb that is easy to digest and easy on the stomach is a potato. You can’t go wrong with potatoes, whether they are mashed or twice-baked. A simple tip: avoid fried potatoes and French fries as they are high in fat and tend to sit in the stomach longer, aggravating an already uncomfortable stomach.

5. Cakes

Pancakes are not only a delicious breakfast food—my kids shriek with delight every time I offer them!—but they also function as a complete meal. Pancakes are a healthy source of fat from cooking, carbohydrates from flour, and protein from eggs (baking is a good option if your child has sensitive stomach). Add more antioxidants by flavoring them with blueberries or raspberries, or incorporate ground flaxseeds for anti-inflammatory Omega-3 fatty acids into the batter. Bonus information: Pancakes are a tasty way to feed eggs and extra protein, which are vital for the healing process, to your child even if they avoid them when sick.