What do I feed my child?
The flu comes on strong and having “feel better food”
already on your shelves is one step to being prepared when the flu hits your
family suddenly. But of course the best
defense against the flu bug is a year-round offense of eating a well balanced
diet, lots of physical activity, plenty of rest and limiting stress. Focusing on foods that are dark green, deep
yellow/orange, blue/purple, red, white (not brown) such as garlic, will provide plenty of vitamins and minerals, pump up your
immune system and help to balance your daily meal plans . Those probiotics in yogurt may also aid your
immune system as well as “whole” grains and omega-3 fatty acids (seafood,
flaxseed, chia seeds and walnuts).
If you or your family member is unfortunate enough to get
the flu it would be wise to be prepared by stocking up on a few items that help
you “feel better”. Often with the
flu individuals feel nausea and diarrhea.
If this is the case, your appetite may be decreased and your “feel
better foods” may be more limited. Also,
it is vital to remember to consume fluids. Fluids should be in “clear” forms. Drink beverages that contain
electrolytes such as Gatorade or Pedialyte (these also come in popsicle
form). There are also “clear” versions
of nutrition supplements such as PediaSure “Clear” or Ensure “Clear”. These will allow you to
continue to get your nutrients without stimulating the gastrointestinal
tract to the extreme. Juices that
contain vitamin C and hot tea that contains green tea or chamomile may
also aid. Other “feel better
foods” could include pudding and Jell-O cups, which are always good choices to
have in stock, as well as crackers, bananas, chicken noodle soup and
And lastly, keep plenty of antibacterial wipes to frequently
clean room surfaces and soap to wash hands even more often.
Andrea D. Shotton MS RD LD
Pediatric Dietitian and Nutritionist
TherapyWorks, Tulsa, OK