What to Give Your Child on Sick Days

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When your child is sick, the challenge of feeding your little one kicks up a notch and you are left feeling like nothing can sooth their sore throats, sensitive stomachs and diminished appetites.


Magnus has been sick for the past two weeks – first with a stomach flu that made him unable to keep down solids, then with a throat infection, followed finally by a coughing cold that has kept him, and me, up most nights these days. Needless to say, my blogging and shooting photos came to a halt, but I did keep on cooking to make sure he had super brainfoods to keep him going.


What are the foods that we can give to our children during their sickest days? I turn to comfort foods that my mother made for me as a child, when I was down with a fever or a bad cold. I used to love the trays that she would bring to my bed when I was too sick to get up – trays filled with warm porridge or soups, some cold pickled cucumbers or radish and fresh fruit. I always felt like I would get better after her warm sick-day foods, even though I was happy to get special treatment in bed with the special tray.


So these past weeks, I have been making the simple porridge with sea salt or soy with pieces of dried fish, stewed chicken with rice, soft noodles or pasta with a mild mushroom stock.


This porridge is a very basic recipe, and you can serve it plain with sea salt – sometimes it is nice to have a very simple flavor when you are sick – or you can add different protein and vegetables. This one is with shaved dried bonito flakes and a bit of soy and shiso leaves. All great for DHA Omega 3, Vitamin B12, iron, calcium and other vitamins and minerals.


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Porridge with Bonito, Soy and Shiso



1 cup cooked rice

2 cups water

1 tablespoon dried bonito flakes (or other kinds of dried fish, like salmon, whitefish, etc)

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1 teaspoon dry or fresh shiso leaves



  1. In a pot, add the rice and water and bring to a boil
  2. Cover the pot and simmer for 20 minutes, or until the rice is soupy and broken down.
  3. Divide into two bowls and sprinkle the soy, shiso and fish on top and serve warm.



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