Ready to snuff out the sniffles? If you’re looking for a way to fight off those nasty colds and flus, the food you eat is a good place to start. These kid-friendly recipes pack a punch with superfood ingredients that help prevent illness before it happens. So go kale crazy and give three cheers for chia seeds— these are the recipes that will stick with you through cold season and beyond.
photo: A Healthy Life for Me
Oatmeal Superfood Breakfast Bars
Here are the superfood stats on these breakfast bars from A Healthy Life for Me: The oats contain an immune and cholesterol-boosting fiber called beta-glucan. The pumpkin seeds are packed with protein, magnesium, potassium and zinc. And the bananas and blueberries offer a few vitamin bonuses. Plus, they’re pretty to look at and easy to whip up. Get the recipe here.
photo: My Fussy Eater
Carrot Orange Juice
Orange juice is a classic cold fighter because it contains a whole lot of vitamin C, which studies have shown can cut a cold’s duration by about a day if it’s taken at the first sign of illness. This O.J drink from My Fussy Eater also features carrots, which provide immune-boosting antioxidants and vitamins. For an extra antioxidant kick, you can also add ginger— a natural antihistamine and decongestant. Get the recipe here.
photo: Life Made Sweeter
Slow Cooker Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
Oh, good gourd! This soup from Life Made Sweeter scores major points both for its use of the slow cooker (easy dinner for the win!) and the star ingredients: butternut squash and sweet potato. These superfoods are packed with things like potassium, fiber, and omega 3s. Their orange hue also means that they’re rich in carotenoids that boost bone health and fight asthma. Get the recipe here.
photo: Beauty & the Beard
Roasted Edamame 3 Ways
Edamame (a.k.a soybeans) isn’t just a Japanese restaurant staple. It’s also a fiber and protein powerhouse and its nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants do wonders for the immune system. That’s why we love these soy-tastic edamame snacks from Beauty & the Beard. They’re simple to make and have a big flavor and health payoff. Get the recipe here.
photo: Julia’s Album
Parmesan Zucchini and Garlic Pasta
Sure, pasta is a well-known kid-pleaser. But this dish from Julia’s Album has even more going for it thanks to its hefty dose of garlic. In addition to being a good source of vitamin B6 and vitamin C, garlic contains allicin, an amino acid that produces antioxidants when it’s broken down. That means that this easy 4-ingredient dish is also superfood-rich. Get the recipe here.
photo: Out of the Box Food
Kid-Approved Kale and Walnut Pesto
Pesto with a superfood, kid-approved twist? Yes, please! Out of the Box Food sets up kale as the main green ingredient of the sauce you know and love. This leafy veggie provides lots of vitamins and minerals (like folate, vitamin C, and calcium) that give little immune systems a super boost. You only need minimal time and ingredients to make this pesto, so the only question is: what will you put it on? Get the recipe here.
photo: Averie Cooks
Kiwi Agua Fresca
Psst! Did you know that kiwis are antioxidant all-stars? They actually offer more vitamin C than an equivalent amount of orange, more potassium than the same amount of bananas, and are low in sugar. All of that, plus additional nutrients found in kiwis, adds up to serious perks for the immune system. Averie Cooks has a great idea for a refreshing kiwi drink that’s naturally sweet and easy to make. Get the recipe here.
photo: A Dash of Butter
Frozen Blueberry Yogurt Bark
Here’s the deal with Greek yogurt: it contains probiotics that help the body replenish good bacteria and lower the risk of upper respiratory tract infections. It’s also yummy, especially when paired with anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich blueberries. For an easy teamup of the two, Dash of Butter has you covered with this pretty-as-a-picture snack. Get the recipe here.
photo: Crème de la Crumb
Red Pepper Hummus
Good news for hummus lovers! Crème de la Crumb takes your favorite dip and gives it a big health benefit boost in the form of red peppers. These veggies contain high levels of the cold-fighting vitamin C, which means you can supplement a morning glass of O.J with an after-school hummus snack. For bonus points, dunk bell pepper strips instead of chips. Get the recipe here.
photo: Minimalist Baker
Overnight Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding
It looks like a decadent dessert and it tastes as good as one, too, but this pudding has secret agent superfood powers. Both chia seeds and cacao powder are loaded with immune-boosting antioxidants that can help fight the common cold and flu. Minimalist Baker combines both to create a dreamy creamy treat. Get the recipe here.
photo: Averie Cooks
Easy Salmon and Potato Foil Packets
The immune info on salmon is that it’s a great source of vitamin D and omega-3s, nutrients that help immune cells function and boost overall immune system strength. And you don’t have to get fancy to add more salmon to your dinner table. Averie Cooks has a great idea for easy-peasy salmon foil packets that also include citrus-y vitamin C. Get the recipe here.
photo: My Fussy Eater
Secret Veggie Green Rice
Go green! This rice is a true triple threat, with spinach, avocado, and cauliflower as its main ingredients. Together, these superfoods provide glutathione (a powerful antioxidant that helps fight off infection), along with vitamins A, C and E. The credit for this colorful and healthy concoction goes to My Fussy Eater, who guarantees that its super easy to make, too. Get the recipe here.
What’s your favorite cold-fighting superfood recipe? Share with us in the Comments!
— Abigail Matsumoto