If your family has been hit by colds and flu, here are some simple immune boosting food ideas to put on the menu.

Everyone knows chicken soup is the cure-all for colds and flu, so it will be no surprise that it features in many of these recipes. Other ingredients that support immune function include garlic (warming and antibacterial), lemon (antibacterial, good source of vitamin C) and turmeric (anti-inflammatory). Possibly not for the little ones, but chilli clears the sinuses and awakens dull tastebuds. Chinese Medicine will tell you to keep your body warm – so plenty of soup and tea are just the trick. If these ideas don’t help, get yourself to the doctor, stat!

1. Lemon Coconut Turmeric Chicken Soup

At the first sign of a sniffle or a sore throat, I immediately make Quirky Cooking lemon coconut turmeric chicken soup. I load mine up with my favourite greens – broccoli, spinach, snow peas – and serve with brown rice. This is a Thermomix recipe, but can easily be adapted to a stovetop method. Coconut is a great source of electrolytes, which assist with dehydration – common during colds and flu due to raised body temperature and mouth breathing. This is just delicious regardless of whether you’re sick, so make some now and freeze the leftovers in portions for when you are sick and don’t have the energy to cook! Most of my boys will happily devour this – just keep any chilli ‘on the side’.

2. Vietnamese chicken meatball soup

Hot steaming chicken broth with garlic and ginger flavours, cooked with plump, tender little chicken meatballs. Delicious and so comforting. I use plenty of coriander in this recipe, but if you aren’t a fan, switch it for continental parsley. It will take on a more Italian vibe, but it still works really well!

3. Roasted garlic

This one is a bit anti-social, but I do love a tray of mixed roasted vegetables with whole garlic cloves, roasted in olive oil until the garlic is soft and creamy. I suck it straight out of the husk and avoid people for 24 hours. #sorrynotsorry

4.Tahini & honey toast

When you have a sore throat and don’t want to get out of bed, some sourdough toasted and spread with tahini and drizzled with your favourite honey will really sweeten the deal. Add a cup of lemongrass & ginger tea and you’re already 50% better than you were 10 minutes ago.

5. Gummies

Well nourished lemon gummies. Image credit: Well Nourished

The importance of gut health in our overall health is becoming more and more apparent. Grass fed beef gelatin (sold in powder form) is a popular and delicious way to incorporate gelatin in smoothies, gummies or panna cotta. It helps heal or maintain a healthy gut, improving your nutritional absorption.

I’ve just made this recipe for lemon turmeric gummies from Well Nourished. If you’re interested in the hows and whys of gelatin, Sarah Wilson has a trove of information available here.

What are your cold and flu go-to recipes?