The past week has been nothing but tiring. Our family returned from a 2-week holiday but baby V caught a bug. Fatigue mama fell susceptible to that stubborn bug too, leaving me lethargic and out of sorts. When a child is unwell, it takes a toll on caregivers. The same goes for adults, except that we are better able to address our needs. Seeing the little one on medication hurts, and the guilt eats me for her having to suffer. But this little bunny is nothing short of tough – she continues being an active tot, smiley and ever cheeky, in between moments of stoning and taking longer naps over the weekdays.
So when the weekend arrived, I told myself I had to do something for her. Together, we shall fight the bug to boost her immunity!
According to Dr. Sears, one of the ways to boost a child’s immunity is by offering more fruits and vegetables. Their vitamin C and antioxidants are natural nutrients to help “repair” the body.
“Good immune-boosting fruits include strawberries, papaya, cantaloupe, guava, pink grapefruit and blueberries. Good veggies are tomatoes, broccoli, and sweet potatoes, as well as soy products. Yellow vegetables, which contain carotenoids—a natural substance that increases the production of infection-fighting white blood cells (or “natural killer cells”). Yellow-orange fruits and dark green vegetables, such as apricots, carrots, pumpkin, kale, spinach, squash and mango, are also particularly healthful.”
It also seems that early exposure to viruses and germs can boost a child’s immunity – well, let’s hope this is the case.
As the weekend drew nearer, I jolted my brain to come up with an immunity boosting meal for the little girl. Choices are aplenty and I didn’t want her to repeat the same dishes she’s been having that week. Her diet had consist of salmon, veggies, chicken, pork, grapes, papaya, plums, so it was time to get creative in my own way.
That morning, we headed to the supermarket to stock up on fresh ingredients for her week ahead, and set some aside for the day’s lunch. The following week’s basket consists of blue pumpkin, red cabbage, blueberries, cod fish and salmon, along with other fruits. So, what’s up for the day’s lunch?
My quirky imagination led me to “play” with just 4 ingredients, but these are jam-packed and supercharged to fire up her immune system.
Steam Sweet Potato with Red Spinach, Onions and Garlic
~ makes 1 serving
1 Sweet potato – steam in whole
A handful of red spinach – loosely chopped
1 portion big onion – diced
Garlic – mashed or chopped
1) Steam sweet potato (leave skin on) for 20-30 minutes under medium-high flame. Test with fork for desired doneness. Ideally, it should be “soft enough to mash” guide so that it is easy to scoop. Remove skin before using ice cream scoop.
2) While sweet potato is being steamed, prepare remaining ingredients as above. When sweet potato is soft, turn off flame and let it sit in wok. Stir fry the remaining ingredients with olive oil (we use Naturel brand) in a separate pan. Add a small dose of water to let spinach simmer and sautee for a few minutes.
3) While waiting for spinach to cook, peel skin of sweet potato and scoop out desired amount onto serving plate/bowl. By now, the spinach should be done. Turn off the flame of pan and serve spinach on the same plate/bowl or as desired. Prepare to serve!
So, how would that turn out?
– Onions and garlics are favoured for their natural antibiotic, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory properties. These compounds help your body to recover and stand guard against invaders. Find out more here.
– Sweet potato is starch-rich, so if your bub is taking a substantial amount of it, skip other carbs like rice and noodles. It also contains no saturated fats and cholesterol, which is great for adults too! Go easy on it though, if you’re dieting :P
– Feel free to swop spinach (high in Iron and Vitamins A, C, E and K!) with other vegs like kale or other greens (or yellow, or orange, or purple, or red!) ones.
If your little bubs are unwell too, make sure they drink plenty of fluids as well! Keeping hydrated is a positive way to speeding recovery. Fluids can come in the form of soups, water, juices, breastmilk/formula and milk.