Sunday, June 28

Winter and eating for immunity year round

I'm a food-nut. I'll admit it but I only kicked into top-gear food-nutty-ism when we had our children. I was determined to feed my children (well Eloise at the time) only the best foods and make her as healthy as I could. I was lucky that she was such a robust baby anyway and loved her food which encouraged me to experiment.

I bought a few baby cookbooks - Annabel Karmel, Robin Barker and the one that taught me the most 'Immunity Foods for Healthy Kids' (ISBN 1-84483-120-5). It's the only one of the lot I still have and refer to.

I have found the key is when feeding my babies and then kids is variety. Experiment. Get your kids used to trying different foods so it becomes 'normal' to try something they haven't had before. We really pumped it up that we were having something 'new'. Like just this week - the kids had fennel for the first time - loved it. In the very rare occasion they might not warm to something I prepare it differently the next time, or just try it again a couple of months' later. I honestly can't think of anything my kids won't eat. I might be very lucky, but I think my approach could very well have contributed.

Friends seem surprised that my kids will request such things as anchovies, mushrooms and brussel sprouts. Yes, they're freaks!

So back to this wonderful book. If you can get hold of it I recommend it...

Some immunity superfoods for babies and kids:
Sweet Potato - most kids love this - and this was the first vegetable I ever served to all my kids. It's full of antioxidants and anticarcengenics - the deeper the colour the better - they are also very unlikely to have any allergic reactions.

I used to puree this, then when the kids moved on to lumpy food, add lentils and splash of OJ for iron, and a little coriander for taste. Never knocked back.

Blackcurrants and Cranberries - now I know cranberries have a bit of a tart taste to them but mix 50/50 with pure apple/blackcurrant juice and you've got a wonderful antioxidant cocktail with a burst of vitamin C to make jelly for babies and up (1 cup of juice to 1 cup of water and 3 tsp of gelatine - boil water, dissolve gelatine in water, mix with juice and pour into snack cups) or iceblocks (same without gelatine) for the toddlers and up.

Garlic - good for everyone! Roast or boil some with your vege purees - put it in your bolognaises/pasta - garlic is a great immunity booster. I know I'd rather put up with a few whiffy nappies than a sick baby.

Pulses - Lentils, beans
Beans are so easy these days - you can buy them canned - chickpeas, soya beans, kidney beans, cannellini beans. Full of iron and calcium... all good stuff - also assists digestion so getting rid of any nasties.

I used to make a mild chickpea curry and puree (let me know if anyone wants these recipes happy to share) - cannelini beans and lentils are great to puree or leave whole for lumpy food and my kids love Mummy's home-made baked beans for lunch on a cold day - yes I will put that up next week promise!

Now - food to help when you are sick?

Eat: Rice, Barley, broccoli, carrot, chicken, garlic , lemon, lime, onion, sweet potato, apricot, blackcurrant, capsicum, squash, mango, millet, lettuce, turkey, watercress.

So basically I'd be inclined to make chicken fried rice, ratatouille, garlicky chicken noodle soup with bok choy would be good too!

apricot, broccoli, brown rice, cabbage, carrot, cinnamon, zucchini, fennel, garlic, ginger, honey, horseradish, leek, lemon, lettuce, lime, mango, onion, orange, parsley, pumpkin, sweet potato and thyme.

Ear Infections
Eat: beetroot, blueberry, rockmelon, carrot, celery, chicken, chilli, garlic, ginger, grapefruit, guava, horseradish, kiwi fruit, lemon, lime, mango, onion, orange, parsley, pumpkin, shitake mushroom, sweet potato, tofu.

Eat: almond, apple cider vinegar, aprico, avocado, butternut pumpkin, rockmelon, carrot, evening primrose oil, fresh tune, green leafy vegetables, linseed oil, mackerel, mango, nutes, oats, pumpkin and pumpkin seed, salmon, deeds and their oils, sunflower seed, sweet potato.

There's a lot more in there about what these foods do - more illnesses like cancer, measles, glandular fever etc.

I know Chantelle was after this info - but I find myself talking to people about this regularly so figured I'd just let everyone know!
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2 lovely comments:

Chantelle on June 28, 2009 at 12:30 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Thanks Liss. That's brilliant! Lacey is pretty good and tries everything. I can't think of many foods that she doesn't like... and I keep offering the ones she's not fond of to her, and eventually she ends up liking it.

I don't think we have enough pulses though. I mix them into soups sometimes... and she likes that.

Thanks for all this information. It's really interesting. Thank you. x

mum space on June 29, 2009 at 12:31 PM said... [Reply to this amazing comment]

Thanks for some great info Liss x


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