In and amongst the lovingly crafted artworks and dirt-smeared clothes that accompany my children home from day care every winter, so too comes one virus or another. Week after week, one child will get better as another gets sick; bug going from child to child, parent to parent, until we are all miserable and counting the days until September.
A week or so into the season, giving even the prescribed amount of medicine to young children, several times a day, seemed too much for their little bodies. It was apparent that warm baths and thick layers of clothing were not enough to combat the chill – more had to be done. This winter, I decided to take it back to basics. In a bid to boost their immunity, and protect my family from further day care-produced ills, I was going to be vigilant about all food that passed their lips.
I didn’t last long. No one can say I didn’t try though.
"I was going to be vigilant about all food that passed their lips." Image: iStock.
A quick search on the internet for ‘foods to boost immunity’, produces the following results - leafy greens and lean meats, followed by orange slices for vitamin retention. Grains, but not white bread, less I want to laden them with preservatives. Garlic, sweet potatoes, and mushrooms. Skeptical of the willingness of my children to stray from their limited toddler-approved diet of chicken fingers, yogurt, and Nutella sandwiches, I nevertheless committed to giving this Dr. Google immunity-boosting menu a go.
That first night, my children were served salad and beef for dinner. No oranges in the house, their meal was accompanied with orange juice. It would have to do.
A change in their toddler-approved diet did not go down well. Image: Giphy.com.
My daughter, the one-and-a-half-year-old, picked up a lettuce leaf, inspecting it inches from her face. Her mother, a salad-shunner herself, had never before served her this food. Just as I thought she might bring the lettuce to the tip of her tongue – she changed her mind and dropped the leaf off the side of her high chair. The rest of the meal was of little success; meat not minced as they preferred, was picked at and mostly discarded. I tried to take solace in the fact that at least they drank their orange juice.