Is there anything that tugs on your heart strings more than when your little ones fall ill? As their little immune systems are still developing, our kids are prime targets for all sorts of bugs, colds, viruses, and of course, the flu.
And as any parent will know, when the flu gets brought home, the dietary preferences and appetite of our little ones can change drastically, forcing us to say goodbye to our relied-on feeding routines.
While each of our little sprout’s symptoms will vary, there are certain things we can do to make their lives easier.
Below are our tips for keeping everything on track when your little one gets sick, including how to make sure they still get the nutrients they need when they’re feeling under the weather.
Gorging on spaghetti bolognese one day, barely able to handle dry toast the next. Times of illness for our little ones can be not so different to ourselves.
While this may be worrying, reduced appetites are a common symptom of passing illnesses and aren’t usually something to worry about in the short term.
To keep their little tummies as comfortable as possible, steer clear of rich, fried, and greasy foods, opting for more simple starches that are easy on the stomach. These may include rice, boiled potato or noodles. The goal should be to keep them as nourished as possible, so experiment with their preferred vegetables. If they don't go for it, you may have to opt for sweeter alternatives such as bananas, applesauce, or our tried and tested favourite banana slices with maple syrup on toast. If your sprout isn't going for solid foods, focus instead on helping them get in their fluids to reduce the risk of dehydration.
An easy way to pack some nutrition into their diet when your little one isn’t wanting to eat solid foods is a wholesome smoothie. We recommend our Sprout Junior Protein, which is packed with veggies and fruit for a great vitamin and mineral hit. You can also chuck in some extra blueberries and blend up in a smoothie for an additional antioxidant hit.
While regular water remains the ideal option for a child’s hydration, sometimes another glass of water just isn’t very appealing. Instead, you can offer hydrating fruits such as watermelons, strawberries, and rockmelons that help keep their fluids up AND provide important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and fibre!
For more ideas, you can read our blog entry on Foods to keep your little ones hydrated here.
To help with their water intake, you can also try diluting some fruit juice into their cup to give it a hint of sweetness. And if you’ve got some icy pole moulds handy, they may find that some sweet, fruit juice icy poles are a bit more palatable and soothing than just plain water.
Be wary of signs of dehydration such as dry lips, dry mouth, low energy, and fewer wet diapers or toilet trips. If signs of dehydration are unusually persistent, we recommend contacting your doctor.
Sore throats can make things especially dubious when trying to help our little ones get their necessary nutrition. For this, foods such as popsicles, smoothies and coconut yoghurt help soothe a bit of that inflammation while also providing some nutrients.
As well as making popsicles from fresh ingredients, you can also freeze leftover smoothies! Slightly thawed fruits such as blueberries and strawberries can also be quite soothing on sore little throats and we find this a better option than purchasing frozen fruit bars as they typically contain excess sugar.
Let’s face it, few households are immune to the flu. With our little Sprout’s immune systems so vulnerable to infection and no scientifically definitive cure in sight, our focus should remain on healthy and wholesome nutrition that helps them to get everything their body needs to fight illness.
Keeping their diet high in foods that are rich in micronutrients such as vitamins and minerals like vitamins C, D, and Bs and ensuring their daily protein requirements are met will do marvels for their ability to recover from illness and get them back to their usual bouncing, bubbly selves. Our Junior Plant Protein Shake is an excellent source of all of these nutrients and is packed with a whole lot more goodness as well!
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