10 Awesome Germ Fighting Foods and Recipes

choa healthy eating flu

One of the best ways to stay healthy begins in the kitchen. Here are 10 Germ Fighting Foods to Stay Healthy, a list assembled by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.

CHOA also provided some great recipes for easy, healthy comfort food.


Kiwis – Packed with more immune-enhancing vitamin C than oranges, kiwis are in season all winter


·         Store kiwis in the fridge for up to three weeks or ripen in a paper bag in just two days.

·         Peel and slice or leave the peel on and scoop out the green goodness with a spoon.

·         Enjoy kiwis alone or as part of a fantastic fruit salad.


Cinnamon – With its antibacterial and antiviral properties, this ancient spice has been used to boost immune systems for thousands of years.


·         Sprinkle cinnamon in oatmeal, yogurt, or on apple slices.

·         Add to warm milk for a toasty treat.


Carrots – These vibrant veggies were originally grown as medicine for a variety of illnesses? Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and the antioxidant, beta-carotene. They’re also in season all winter.


·         Keep carrots on hand as finger food; pair with hummus or a nut butter.

·         Add carrots to winter soups, stews and casseroles.


Pears – Pears are available all winter and make a tasty stand-in for apples. Better yet, they’re a great source of fiber, which promotes both immune and digestive system health.


·         Pears make the perfect portable snack and pair deliciously with cheese.

·         Make a sweet treat of warmed sliced pears, paired with yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon.


Leafy Greens – Pick up some leafy greens like kale, cabbage, collards and spinach. They’re available all winter, fresh or frozen. Plus, they’re packed with immune boosters like vitamin A, vitamin C and folate.


·         Add spinach to foods you already love, like pizza, spaghetti sauce, even mac-n-cheese.

·         Kale, cabbage and collards work great in winter favorites like chili, soups and casseroles.


Vital Veggies – Vegetables like cabbage are power packed with an important antioxidant called glutathione. Cabbage is inexpensive, easy to make and available all winter.


·         Add it to soups and stews for a warm dose of comfort food.


Nuts – Almonds contain vitamin E and plant based proteins that help our bodies stay strong and fight germs. But go easy: Just ¼ cup (a handful) is a single serving.


·         Try adding almonds or your other favorite nuts to yogurt, fruit, oatmeal, salads or stir frys.


Yogurt – Low-fat yogurt with “live and active culture” helps replace healthy bacteria in our digestive track. And that’s important because the digestive track plays a big role in keeping the whole body healthy.


·         Choose low-fat or fat-free yogurt (Greek is highest in protein!) as part of breakfast or for a snack.

·         Or use plain yogurt (low-fat or fat-free) in place of sour cream on a baked potato.


Spinach – Spinach contains folate that helps repair cells and keep our immune systems running strong.


·         Add spinach to salads, sandwiches, even eggs for a nutrient boost.

·         Asparagus and broccoli are also great picks!


Sweet Potatoes – Sweet potatoes contain vitamin A and beta-carotene, both powerful immune boosters. Instead of serving traditional french fries, bake sweet potato wedges rubbed in olive oil with a dash of cinnamon.


·         Look for other orange-colored foods, too, like carrots, pumpkin, squash and cantaloupe—they’re all loaded with vitamin A and beta-carotene.



Simple Winter Recipes


Vegetable Beef Soup



·         1 pound beef cubes (round steak)

·         14-ounce can diced tomatoes—unsalted

·         1 cup baby carrots

·         One medium onion—chopped

·         One medium potato—peeled and cubed

·         10-ounce package frozen vegetables

·         ¼ teaspoon pink peppercorns

·         2 cups water

·         2 cups low-sodium beef broth



1.       Combine all ingredients in crock pot. Mix well and cover.

2.       Cook on low for 12 to 14 hours or on high for four to six hours.


3 Bean Crockpot Chili



·         1 onion , diced

·         1 green pepper, diced (or your favorite colored bell pepper)

·         2 cloves of garlic, minced

·         1 can (15 ounces) black beans, rinsed

·         1 can (15 ounces) kidney beans, rinsed

·         1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo/pinto beans, rinsed

·         1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce

·         1 can (14 ounces) diced tomatoes

·         1 tablespoon chili powder




1.       Combine all ingredients in 4-5 quart crockpot

2.       Cover crockpot and place on low heat for 5-6 hours

3.       Serve with low-fat cheese, whole grain corn tortilla chips, low fat sour cream


Vegetable Enchilada Casserole



·         Cooking spray—olive oil flavored

·         2 cups diced zucchini

·         1 cup onion—chopped

·         ½ teaspoon crushed red chili pepper flakes

·         2 cups packed shredded spinach—chopped fresh

·         1 cup frozen corn

·         1 cup tomatoes—chopped

·         17.5-ounce jar low-sodium spaghetti sauce

·         Four 6-inch corn tortillas

·         2 cups reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese—shredded fresh cilantro—chopped for garnish



1.       Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 10-inch skillet with cooking spray and place over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, onion and red pepper flakes. Cook 5 minutes or until golden brown and tender. Add spinach and corn. Cook and stir until spinach wilts. Add chopped tomatoes.

2.       In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, spread 1⁄2 cup spaghetti sauce. Place two tortillas overlapping as needed, to cover bottom of dish. Spread with half of remaining spaghetti sauce. Top with vegetable mixture and half the cheese. Top with remaining tortillas (two) and spaghetti sauce.

3.       Bake 20 minutes. Top with remaining cheese and bake an additional five minutes, or until cheese the melts. Cut into six squares and garnish with cilantro.


Options (will vary nutritional content of recipe)

Frozen spinach can be substituted for fresh spinach— 2 cups raw spinach equals

1 cup frozen spinach.


Mexican Delight Casserole



·         1 pound lean ground turkey—7 percent fat

·         ½ pack low-sodium taco mix

·         12-ounce can reduced-sodium corn

·         ¼ cup green bell peppers—finely chopped

·         1 cup tomatoes—chopped

·         12-ounce can reduced-sodium tomato sauce

·         1 cup white corn meal mix




1.       Preheat oven to 325°F.

2.       Brown ground turkey in a large skillet and add dry taco mix.

3.       Mix corn, peppers and chopped tomatoes.

4.       Using a 9-by-13-inch casserole dish layer the ingredients starting with half ground turkey then a layer of corn mixture, cheese and finishing with tomato sauce.

5.       Repeat layers until dish is 3⁄4 of the way full.

6.       Top with corn meal.

7.       Place in oven and cook for at least 20 to 30 minutes—until the casserole is bubbly.



Options (will vary nutritional content of recipe)

Sour cream, Salsa,Tortilla chips (for dipping)




Easy Crockpot Chicken and Vegetables



3 skinless chicken breasts

Garlic powder, to taste

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 onion, diced

1 cup raw baby carrots

2 stalks of celery, chopped

4 sweet potatoes, each skinned and cut in half




1.       Combine all ingredients in 4-5 quart crockpot

2.       Cover crockpot and place on low heat for 5-6 hours


Melt in Your Mouth Meatloaf



·         1 cup tomato sauce

·         ¾ cup uncooked oats

·         ½ cup of spinach, chopped

·         1 egg, beaten

·         1 teaspoon garlic powder

·         1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce

·         1.5 pounds lean ground beef/turkey




1.       Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

2.       Combine all ingredients except meat

3.       Once ingredients are mixed well then combine and mix with meat

4.       Press entire mixture into 8×4 pan

5.       Bake for 1 hour

6.       Take out of oven and let sit for 5 minutes



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