No matter how healthy we live in our own enclosed environment, the world around us is a freakin’ petri dish. So our kids are always going to be exposed to colds and flu and yucky stuff. However, we can bolster their little immune systems to keep the boogers at a minimum, according to this piece we found at http://www.sheknows.com/parenting/articles/813327/10-kid-friendly-foods-to-prevent-colds-and-flu-1. Registered Dietitian Jennifer Haas of the Nova Medical & Urgent Care Center Inc. in Ashburn, VA, reinforces our longheld belief that food is medicine. She says, in the article, that food provides fuel and energy for the body, first and foremost, and nutrients from food can also boost body functions — like the immune system.”
We also looked at http://www.todaysparent.com/family/family-health/5-foods-that-fight-colds-and-flu/ and its recommendation for the five foods that fight colds and flu, starting with mushrooms. Doesn’t matter which variety, as they are all rich in “a type of polysaccharide called beta glucan, which has the ability to ‘activate’ the immune system and help prevent infections. It regulates white blood cells and keeps them in a highly prepared state so they are ready to attack any invaders. Mushrooms are also rich in vitamins, polyphenols, sterols and zinc, which all keep our immune systems healthy and strong.”
The other food items listed are kiwi, yogurt, pumpkin seeds and garlic – all of which we feed our kids with regularity.
Now this is not especially good news, but webmd.com tells us that as of Jan. 23, flu-related hospitalizations were on the rise. At that time, we were in week nine of flu season, which generally runs about 13 weeks. Compounding this year’s season is the fact that the vaccine that was released is said to be ineffective against the strain of flu that’s hitting. Read more at http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/news/20150123/flu-widespread-us and then stock up on those five food items, right?
Our spot-on researcher, Molly John, has outdone herself on finding the Veggie of the Month, and it’s one we all love love love – cauliflower. The link is http://www.freshforkids.com.au/veg_pages/cauliflower/cauliflower.html, and some of the really good info includes a head of cauliflower telling us “… we’re part of the brassica or cabbage family – which means we date back to ancient times. We have roundish heads which are creamy-white to pale cream in color and look like a fluffy white cloud. When cut in half we look like a dense rounded tree with the main white branch dividing into many small branches which end in a mass of white to creamy-white flower buds or ‘curds.’”
Molly found another all-things-cauliflower site that tells us our fave veggie is low in calories, which is good news all the way around. But it is a storehouse of antioxidants, vitamins and fiber with “2 g of dietary fiber per 100 g; providing about 5% of recommended value; cauliflower contains several anti-cancer phyto-chemicals like sulforaphane and plant sterols such as indole-3-carbinol, which appears to function as an anti-estrogen agent. Together, these compounds have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon, ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer-cell growth inhibition, cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.” We knew we loved it for good reason. Read more at http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/cauliflower.html
She also this recipe, which she served to her family, and “… it was literally gone in five minutes – GONE” Yummy! Link first, followed by recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/just-like-loaded-baked-potatoes-casserole-95068
Just Like Loaded Baked Potatoes Casserole
2 ½ c cooked cauliflower (I use frozen, cooked until tender, in the microwave)
1 c sour cream (low fat works here, too)
¾ c shredded cheddar cheese (full-fat works best)
3 green onions, finely chopped
3 -6 slices (like there’s a question here?) crumpled cooked bacon
or 3 -6 slices turkey bacon
salt and pepper
Pre-heat oven to 350
Chop cooked cauliflower into very small pieces.
Mix sour cream, half of the green onions, half of the cheese, half of the bacon, and salt and pepper to taste in medium bowl.
Stir in the cauliflower.
Place in medium baking dish and sprinkle remaining cheese and bacon on top.
Bake for 20 minutes.