Even though it’s not winter yet, it seems like a lot of people around me have been getting sick, so I’ve been researching ways my family and I can prevent colds through diet. I wasn’t too surprised to find that when it comes to eating for cold prevention, there is a big emphasis on antioxidant-rich foods like brightly coloured fruits and vegetables that provide Vitamins A, C, E and Selenium.
Sources of Vitamin A include broccoli, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, peppers, apricots, cantalope and mangos.
Vitamin C is found in a lot of fruits and vegetables, especially kid-friendly ones like berries, tomatoes, pineapple, red peppers, asparagus and citrus fruits and juices.
Oils like olive, soybean, and safflower are high in Vitamin E, and it’s also in nuts and nut butters, whole grains, brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potatoes, legumes and leafy green vegetables. And finally, selenium-rich foods include chicken, eggs, dairy products, garlic and fish.
After doing this research, I was a little discouraged because my kids can be picky eaters and there are a lot of foods on the list that I have a hard time getting them to eat. But after browsing some cookbooks and websites, here are a few of my ideas:
- Smoothies with orange juice, berries and yogurt OR bananas, cantalope, milk and peanut butter
- Tuna melts on whole grain bread with sliced tomatoes
- Pureed soups. My kids love simple pureed carrot and sweet potato soups with grilled cheese on the side. Cream of broccoli is another good one.
- Chicken fajitas with grilled peppers and brown rice on the side
- Soft-boiled eggs (my kids love these) with whole grain toast and blanched asparagus spears for dipping
- Oatmeal cookies with dried apricots and chocolate chips
I’ll also be giving my kids Vitamin C supplements along with their multivitamins to help them get through cold season.
What some of your favourite cold-preventing recipes or tips?