The Show Must Go On – Soothing Organic Recipes for Children Under the Weather

From Lisa Barnes

Since winter started it seems every time I take my children to school there’s a new rash of sickness. Even with a healthy diet, lots of laughter and exercise, there’s no escaping the preschool germs. My kids (as well as the rest of our family) were ill over the holidays. This was a real bummer – at least for the adults. It’s too bad our kids count down and look forward to such dates. When they were smaller I could just “postpone” a holiday or occasion if need be.

On Christmas Eve, my husband and I took turns trying to stay awake with our five year old (who wanted to wait up for Santa) and then putting together and strategically placing the Santa gifts. This was all while running to the bathroom every 20 minutes. When I was looking for some empathy from my parents on Christmas day, they told me of stories when they did the same for me during my childhood. I guess “the show must go on”, and always has and always will. So while I felt bad that my kids would have a negative memory of the holiday, they were happy that Santa came and that they had popsicles for dinner. (The Christmas dinner I had planned, we enjoyed a few nights later when we were all back to solids).

I am often asked what to give a baby or child when not feeling well. I’ve always made camomile tea, broth and popsicles when my kids were under the weather. It gives them liquid as well as a dose of some needed vitamins and nutrients. It’s easy to have broth (in cubes frozen in the freezer) and a tray of popsicles ready for the first sneeze or temperature. For those wanting to provide some homemade broths and popsicles to comfort a little (or big) one here are some recipes to help. Stay well!

Very Veggie Broth
This is a favorite recipe from The Petit Appetit Cookbook as it is a basic broth recipe for a baby’s bottle or sippy cup. It delivers a punch of calcium and vitamin C for a child (or any age) needing a liquid diet or vitamin pick-me-up. Serve warm or cool in a cup or bottle for baby. Also this broth freezes well in ice cube trays for later use.

Makes about 3 cups; 6 servings

1 quart cold water
1 cup organic cauliflower flowerets, (about 3 to 4 ounces)
1 cup organic broccoli florets (about 2 to 3 ounces)
1 cup organic collard or dandelion greens, rinsed and roughly chopped
1 cup rounds organic carrots, (about 3 to 4 ounces)

Place water in a medium pot with a lid. Add vegetables and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to simmer and cover pot. Cook for 1 hour.

Strain broth and reserve vegetables. These can be pureed or mashed for baby.

Not Just Baby Broth. This is a great broth for many ages and uses. It can be a liquid meal for someone under the weather, a calcium rich soup for baby, or a flavorful liquid for poaching meats and fish. Always having broth cubes in the freezer means lots of cooking options for you and your family.

Dried Fruit Broth
If constipation is a problem and your pediatrician suggests juice, here’s a way to make your own broth that’s not as sweet as store juice and not as strong for young taste buds and system as well. This is much easier to swallow than full force commercially packaged prune juice, but will still have some of the laxative benefits.

Makes 1 cup broth

½ cup dried organic prunes, peaches, or apricots
2 cups water

Put dried fruit and water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 40 minutes. Broth will be reduced, darker in color, and have sweet fruit flavor. Strain through a strainer into a bowl.

Want more laxative? Puree the remaining cooked fruit in a food processor or blender and mix with plain yogurt or spread on toast. The fruit can even be enjoyed alone as it will be soft, but lighter in flavor.

Any Juice Pops
Look beyond the boxed pops in the freezer section of the grocery store. There’s no telling how many combinations and variations you and your children can make by having an ice pop mold on hand. These are nice and icy on a hot day and can be made with any juice you have on hand. Adding water dilutes the juice and sugar a bit and also lends a more “icy” texture.

Makes 8 (¼-cup) pops

1½ cups fresh organic fruit juice such as unfiltered apple juice
½ cup water

Shake juice container to mix contents before measuring and pour into pitcher. Add water to juice and stir.

Pour liquid into ice pop molds. Put the tops on and transfer to the freezer on a flat shelf to freeze until solid, about 1 hour.

To remove the pops from the mold, stand the mold in a bowl of cold water (or run water under one, to release only one pop) for 1 to 2 minutes until the pops lift out.

Kids Korner
Mix It Up! There’s no need to stop at one juice for these pops. Ask your child for flavor combinations. Combine orange and apple or pear and pomegranate. Once you get the hang of it you’ll be making lots of colors and flavors of frozen treats.
See also Lisa’s Safely Feeding Babies – 10 Important Tips (plus one you already know)
Lisa Barnes is author of The Petit Appetit Cookbook: Easy, Organic Recipes to Nurture Your Baby and Toddler, Williams-Sonoma: Cooking For Baby, and lives in Sausalito, California.
Image Credit: © Rmarmion | |

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