Feeding A Baby With A Cold
Feeding a baby with a cold can be very difficult. Quite often, babies will refuse their food altogether and a loss of appetite is sometimes the first sign that a cold is on its way.
Your priority at this time is to make sure that your little one has plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
But there is a great way you can get some extra vitamins and minerals into him, too, which will boost his immune system and get him on the road to recovery far sooner.
Please note: The information given here does not, in any way, replace professional medical advice. You should always consult a doctor if your child is unwell and before you introduce any new foods.
Feeding a baby with a cold – the soothing power of chicken broth
Previously dismissed as just an old wives’ tale, claims about the amazingly curative effects of chicken broth may actually be borne out by medical fact!
A good chicken broth (or chicken stock) contains many minerals and vitamins – and these nutrients are in a form that is absorbed very easily by your baby’s body.
In addition, chicken broth contains gelatin – a highly nutritious mixture of proteins that is very easy for your baby to digest. Gelatin comes from collagen, which is found in the skin, bones, connective tissue and cartilage of animals. It can actually aid digestion by attracting digestive fluids to foods in the gut.
According to a very interesting article published by the Weston Price Foundation and written by Certified Clinical Nutritionist Kaayla T. Daniel, PhD, research carried out in the 1930s and 40s noted that babies digest their milk far more easily when gelatin was added to it!
Feeding a baby with a cold – how to prepare a nutritious chicken broth
Making a chicken broth for your baby is very simple – but it does take a long time to cook! Don’t try to hurry things, though – the extended cooking time is necessary to extract all the gelatin from the bones, so that your baby gets the maximum possible benefit from your broth.
- Place pieces of chicken (including skin, bones and all), or a whole chicken carcass, into a large cooking pot.
- Cover the chicken with water and add your choice of vegetables, peeled and chopped roughly. We recommend carrots, onions, leeks, turnips, celery and a couple of peeled garlic cloves.
- You can add a tablespoon of vinegar to the pot, too – this helps extract calcium from the bones and makes the broth super nutritious for your baby!
- Bring the contents of the pot to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.
- As the mixture cooks, you will see fat and “scum” rise to the surface. Skim these off with a spoon from time to time.
- When the chicken is falling off the bones, the broth can be considered “done” – however, we recommend simmering the mixture for at least 8 hours.
- Around 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time, throw in a good handful of fresh parsley.
- Strain the broth thoroughly and throw the vegetables away – they have little nutritive value at this point, so you should not use them to prepare any further meals for your baby.
If the stock is to be stored for future use, you may wish to simmer it for a few hours longer. This reduces it, making it more concentrated and easier to store.
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Feeding a baby with a cold – how to serve the chicken broth to your baby
You can, of course, feed your baby this broth on a teaspoon. But if your little one is feeling particularly miserable, he may refuse the spoon altogether.
And this is where broth can be such a useful food for a baby with a cold, because you can give it to him straight from his cup or bottle, which should really help comfort him.
For more ideas for feeding a baby with a cold, you may like to browse our range of tasty and soothing soup recipes.