Feel-Better Foods: 5 Things My Daughter Will Eat When She Has a Cold

And, I bet your little ones will too.



Vitamin C to fight a cold

Photo by: Zoonar RF

Zoonar RF

As a mom, there’s nothing worse than seeing your sweet kiddo suffer with a stuffy nose, constant cough and a big, old case of the grumpies. Whether it’s a stomach bug or a common cold, eating good foods and staying hydrated are essential to getting healthy – but all of that congestion and discomfort can make it hard for little ones to do either.

Add to that our children’s strong and unpredictable food preferences (how is it that my daughter loves scallops but despises peanut butter and jelly sandwiches?) and it’s sometimes difficult to figure out what they might like to eat when they’re feeling under the weather.

Luckily, there are a few tried-and-true foods that can withstand pesky chest colds, tummy troubles, and the pickiest of eaters – and help little ones start to feel like themselves again.

Food Network Kitchen’s Kiwi-Ginger Zinger Protein Smoothie for Healthy Dishes Every Grown Up Needs to Know, as seen on Food Network.

Photo by: Tara Donne

Tara Donne

This tasty smoothie is a triple threat: it has ginger to quell nausea, fresh kiwi to deliver an extra dose of immune-boosting vitamins C and lots of water (in the form of ice) to help hydrate.

Oatmeal is a great choice when you’re sick because it gives the body some much needed energy without being too difficult to digest. This oven-baked version transforms bland boiled oats by adding sliced almonds and sweet, mixed berries.

FNK SLOW COOKER CHICKEN NOODLE SOUP (comfort food) Food Network Kitchen Food Network Carrots, Celery, Onion, Parsley, Thyme, Bay Leaf, Chicken Thighs, Egg Noodles, Lemons

Photo by: Matt Armendariz ©2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Matt Armendariz, 2014, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

There’s only one way to eat veggies when you’re fighting a cold – in a warm, comforting bowl of homemade chicken noodle soup. When my daughter isn’t feeling well, I put a batch in my slow cooker before I go to sleep. When I wake up in the morning, the soup is ready for a few finishing touches. If your little one woke up sick (and you don’t have eight hours to make a batch) you can use your Instant Pot instead.



Food stylist: Jamie Kimm Prop Stylist: Marina Malchin

Garlic can help fight bacteria in the body. If your little one likes it, now is the time to have them eat a little extra. This rice pilaf uses two cloves for flavor, is easy to make – and will settle well in most troubled tummies.

Waffles (fresh from the iron) beat plain toast any day, so I always whip up a batch when I’m home caring for a sick family member. Plus, these golden, griddle treats are great with sweet or savory toppings like nut butter, fresh fruit or roasted turkey. That means that (whenever your little one is feeling up to it) you can top them with whatever you have on hand – for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

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