This "sick" season is a tough one. I'm seeing so many kids who are home from school with fevers, coughs and a variety of illnesses. Although it is never fun to be home with a sick child, especially as we enter the holiday season, parents and children can both try to make “lemonade out of lemons”.
When a child is sick they often just don’t feel like eating (we are the same way right?), but they may like some “comfort” foods. I remember being a little girl and being sick and my mother always made us stewed chicken and noodles. We also got to eat tapioca pudding and jello. But half of the fun was making the pudding and jello.
So, while I was talking to a mother with 3 year old twins who were both sick, and I suggested jello and popsicles to help her feverish children. I asked her if she had ever made jello with the twins, and she loved the idea of going to buy a box of jello and then having the twins get to watch the liquid turn into a gel. Jello is still somewhat of an early science experiment. The pre-made jello cups are convenient, but cooking with a child is a great way to spend some “sick” time. I am sure jello still has the jiggler recipe as well, and it is always fun for your preschool or early elementary school aged child to make cut out jello shapes.
Popsicles are also soothing for a child’s sore and scratchy throat, and what about making homemade popsicles. They sell the molds everywhere and you can make all sorts of crazy flavors as well. Again, a bit of fun before a much needed nap and then popsicles are ready for “sick dinner”. No rules for meals when you are sick!
Last activity for those at home children, slice and bake cookies. Even a sick child can often be tempted to eat a warm sugar cookie or gooey chocolate chip cookie right out of the oven. Decorating cookies is another fun activity and doesn’t take much preparation either. Sprinkles go a long way to distract and entertain a child who is feeling under the weather.
I wish I could twitch my nose and put an end to the sick season before it even started, but I must say, besides all of the illness it is my favorite time of year. Cold nights, warm fires, changing leaves, sweaters and coats are all delightful. The only problem is that viruses love this weather too.