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