Chicken Noodle Soup
Treats: Congestion; sore throat; lethargy
Does it really work? Chicken soup is the ultimate folk remedy for the common cold. With several research studies published on the effectiveness of the soup to relieve congestion and other cold symptoms, giving a bowl of chicken soup to your child also gets a thumbs-up from the medical community. "Yes, I recommend keeping children with colds well hydrated. Lots of liquids, even chicken soup, are good for them," says Dr. Bernstein.
Homemade or from a can? Whether it's the steam and soothing aroma of the warm soup, the added fluids, or the nutritious combination of chicken, veggies, and broth, why chicken soup works so well to relieve congestion and "perk up" a sick child is still a mystery. Medical researchers, however, are certain about one thing: Cold symptoms respond to both homemade soup and prepared chicken soup. This is great news if, in the middle of caring for a sick child, you don't feel like spending lots of time in the kitchen cooking—canned soup works just as well.
Keep in mind: Only give chicken soup to babies and toddlers who already eat solid foods. If your baby eats mainly pureed food, puree the soup before serving. Heat the soup until it is very warm, but not hot, to avoid the risk of burning Baby's tongue or throat. If your toddler is a very picky eater and refuses chicken soup, Dr. Bernstein recommends offering warm tea (try chamomile or peppermint) as a soothing alternative.