Fighting the Sniffles

We’ve seen all the fun reasons for fall – interesting new produce, apple picking, the leaves turning gold and rust colored. But along with the good comes the… sniffles! It’s inevitable – this is the time for colds and flus and the kiddos are going to bring home some germs. Maybe we haven’t found the cure for the common cold, but these recipes, chock full of veggies and good for ya stuff, will definitely help boost the immune system and keep the whole family healthy. Make sure to keep your meals stocked with these guys for added immunity:


Crushing or cutting garlic cloves generates a sulfur compound known as allicin, which has antiviral, antibacterial and anti-fungal properties and is the thing that gives garlic it’s “all-healing” rep.


Shiitake mushrooms rev up the immune system to defend against a number of viruses. Try Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna here:


Ginger is Mother Nature’s germ shield! It contains chemicals that specifically fight rhinoviruses, the leading cause of the common cold.

Ginger Tea


Guys, this tea is spicy! If it tastes too strong, dilute it with more hot water and honey.


  • 12 thin slices fresh ginger, pounded with mortar or rolling pin (the bottom of a glass will work, too – this is a fun kid job, but watch those little fingers!)
  • 1 Tablespoon honey (optional)


Put ginger and 3 cups water in small saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes. (if you’re short on time, you can also pour water from an electric kettle)

Strain out ginger slices and discard or reserve for another use. Stir in honey, and serve hot.

Simple Chicken Noodle Soup


Moms, you get a free “I told you so” here. Chicken soup really is the best cold food! Hot fluids help keep nasal passages moist, prevent dehydration, help the move of mucus and make a sore throat feel better. And of course all of the veggies you put in there (and you can go wild here) will add essential vitamins to help fight off those pesky germs.

Of course, it also helps when Mom or Dad makes a special meal from scratch, just for the little one!


  • 4 ½ cups broth, veggie or chicken
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • ½ pound of mushrooms (use shiitakes if you can, otherwise choose your favorite mushroom)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cups dried egg noodles (you can also do soba, any kind of GF pasta, or substitute a GF grain like quinoa or farro)
  • 2 cups cooked chicken, chopped


Combine broth, onion, carrot and celery, dried basil and oregano, black pepper and bay leaf; bring to boil. Cover and simmer 5-10 minutes.

Add noodles or grains. Cover and simmer 8-10 minutes; discard bay leaf. Add cooked chicken breast.

Serve hot and enjoy!

*feel free to experiment with any yummy veggies you like – just toss ‘em in and feel the healthiness!


Photo credit: 123rf, Shutterstock.
Gourmet Dad
  • Lemon Meringue

    We like to fight cold and flu with spicey food. I guess it works a bit the same as chicken soup: gets everything heated up inside and you sweat all the nasty things out. A creamy curry on a pile of buttery basmati (sorry for the alliteration, not intended) also counts as comfort food, which you cannot have enough when you are feeling a bit under the weather. And totally agree on the ginger: when I have a sore throat, gingersyrup made from scratch is my best friend! You might even want to look forward to a cold!

  • Dean McDermott

    You are so right – spicy food is great for clearing out the sinuses! (and the alliteration is awesome, haha)

  • teenababe1

    Are you on Food Network, if not, you should be and will you ever open a restaurant? Tina