6 superfoods to winter-proof your family

With four kids of my own, I’m going to show you the healthy  touches I add to our meals to help protect our family from coughs, colds and bugs.

Can you beat a cold with a superfood?

While you can’t stop the germs invading your home, you can certainly winter-proof your family by feeding them foods that pack a nutritious punch. I like to cook winter foods as an insurance policy against my kids coming down with a lurgy.

We had a shocking winter last year, in and out of the doctor’s surgery with one cold after another. The poor receptionist at the doctor laughed when three of the four sneezed at the same time – complete with snot bubbles. I didn’t find it quite so funny.

My healthy cooking tricks

For me this means feeding them a high quality diet that is not only dense in vitamins and minerals but also phytonutrients. Phytonutrients help prevent disease and keep your body functioning properly. Some phytonutrients including carotenoids, lycopene and phytoestrogens are found in plant-based foods such as wholegrains, tea and colourful fruit and veggies (think carrots, kale, capsicum and berries).

If you can get your family eating more of these six superfoods and their 5 + 2 (that is, 5 serves of vegetables and 2 serves of fruit a day) you’re on your way to winter-proofing your family from colds and sick days.

6 superfoods to winter-proof your family.

baked cinnamon porridge


Wholegrain means you get the full nutritional force of the entire kernal – nothing’s been stripped away by processing. The combination of energy-inducing iron, vitamins B and E and a good whack of immune boosting antioxidants make a bowl of porridge oats a perfect way to start the day.


Eating a rainbow diet full of colourful fruit and veggies means you’re getting plenty of vitamins and minerals. Strawberries are packed with vitamin C which cuts the time a cold lasts, while blueberries have vitamin K which keeps blood healthy. And if your bloody’s in tip top condition, you’ll be better able to fight off coughs and sneezes. Oh, and they taste good too. Top your bircher museli off with some and shine that health halo!


Kale is an over-achiever on the nutrition front. Vitamins A, C and B6, calcium, iron, protein and 45 – count ’em – flavonoids that help ward off colds and infections. If it was a person kale would be annoyingly talented but as it is, it’s a veggie that keeps us healthy so we love it! These spectacularly moreish kale chips are satisfyingly savoury and a tasty alternative to potato chips.


A virtual twin to kale in the health stakes, this ancient grain is the super model of the superfood world. It’s full of protein containing all nine essential amino acids that will keep you feeling full for longer, and has almost double the amount of fibre as most other grains. And there’s the iron, vitamin B2, antioxidants and magnesium it boasts too. Want to know how to cook it? Here’s all you need to know….


You can’t beat salmon. It’s the original brain food, full of Omega 3 fatty acids that keep your body rocking. Slightly sweet and not too fishy for little palates, salmon is an easy way to make sure your family is getting their weekly quota of good oils. Combine it with pasta for a quick dinner that ticks all the right boxes.


Good yoghurt is bursting with bifidus acidophilus which is good fo your digestion. Think of it as the oil to your body’s car engine that keeps you running smoothly. Great for a healthy gut and bowel and a good boost if you’ve been ill and had to take antibiotics. What’s more homemade yoghurt is easy peasy and gives you the satisfaction of knowing it’s all natural too.
This article was written for Kidspot New Zealand.

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  1. Kjgee 30/05/2018 at 9:08 am

    I eat a lot of oats and yogurt to help keep my milk supply up, and by default the kids eat lots of oats and yoghurt too. I also really like to put kale and spinach (I’m a little surprised that spinach isn’t on the list?!) into dinner meals, most of the time you wouldn’t even know it’s in there – things like spag bol or nachoes- it’s easy to put in without altering the flavour of the meal but knowing we are getting the goodness from the superfoods.

  2. Alezandra 16/05/2018 at 8:40 pm

    We’ve just started having oats as our dinner with just added protein here and there. I think it really helps with hunger pangs too as not to dive into chips when you feel hungry at night. Salmon is just my favourite and I make Salmon Head Soup, which is perfect for winter. Yoghurt is a definite favourite of the little kid.

  3. SarahBlair 11/05/2018 at 10:20 pm

    I love the idea of improving my health through my diet, there are some really good ideas here and most of the foods my family and I love so that’s a great start!!

  4. Mands1980 29/04/2018 at 3:15 pm

    We love oats, yoghurt, salmon but the other things we don’t have. Berries in summer as they are cheaper at the supermarket but over winter we tend to avoid them as they are too expensive

  5. MuddledUpMolly 24/04/2018 at 3:16 pm

    I have no problem getting oats and yoghurt into my children but the others may prove a little trickier 🙂 I definitely find the appeal of nutrition to be better than simply taking supplements for the sake of it.

  6. kymmage 11/04/2018 at 12:40 pm

    Getting yoghurt into the kids is easy enough. Oats have a funny texture so that can be a struggle. Raspberries were my children’s big discovery this summer. They are the only berries they will consistently eat though.

  7. Shorrty4life1 11/04/2018 at 12:01 pm

    This is very interesting read. My daughter is very good eater so no problems there getting her veg and fruit into her but her brother is very fussy. He won’t eat veg and only fruit he eats is banana. Dunno what to do for winter with him to get everything he needs. Maybe multi vitamins might be the way to go

  8. Bevik1971 11/04/2018 at 10:19 am

    Yum love all of the above foods – pity my 5 year old won’t eat any except the yoghurt haha. We eat a lot of broccoli too which is a superfood, I have never really liked it but I eat it as it’s good for you and our daughter likes it. With winter well and truly on the way (it is today in Dunedin!) oats are fantastic for breakfasts 🙂

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