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What are your Paleo tips for surviving the stomach flu with kids?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 29, 2011 at 4:19 AM

My family is just recovering from an especially nasty stomach/intestinal/upper-respiratory virus that knocked us flat for over a week. This was my first experience with the flu after going Paleo, and I was really caught unprepared. We had severe stomach/intestinal distress for two days, followed by 4-5 days of tender tummies, followed by hacking coughs and runny noses (still in progress after two weeks!). I???m giving myself a big pat on the back for surviving this ordeal while taking care of sick twin three-year-olds. Still, I made some big Paleo blunders and would like some suggestions for next time.

What we did well: I had some bone broth in the fridge and that helped during the acute phase, until the bone broth ran out???no way did I have the strength or stomach to cook more broth! We also had some jarred applesauce, a few bananas and a can of pureed sweet potatoes on hand which all worked for the tummy settling. I also had a lot of eggs on hand and that was something we were able to eat on a tender tummy.

The Problem: Unfortunately, I ran out of healthy convenience foods. I lost my appetite for meat and the ability to cook it for over a week (turned my stomach something fierce). And I just couldn???t find the energy to cook more than an egg or two, let alone pack up two sick pre-schoolers to go to the grocery store.

My confession: On day three, I raided my Christmas food bank donation box which contained the last of my boys??? pre-Paleo hold-outs and we went crazy. I let my boys eat all the oatmeal they wanted, plus I made the boys baked mac n cheese with the last box of pasta left in my house because it was just too dang easy. And I ate it, too, and it was delicious and just what my tummy wanted.

So I???m wondering . . . What easy to cook/prepare foods do you find work best when you have stomach/intestinal flu or a tender tummy? What convenience foods or frozen foods would you keep on hand for this type of situation? What starchy comfort foods would have been a better easy choice for kids besides the mac n cheese?

Thanks in advance. I would like to be better prepared the next time! (and yes, unfortunately with germ-sharing pre-schoolers there will be a next time, no matter how much a Paleo diet supports the immune system!)

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 30, 2011
at 03:25 AM

Thanks, Nance. I'm still working on getting the kids to eat sauerkraut, but we have been eating a lot of yogurt these past few days. I've read about your bone broth method on a couple of other posts and I plan to start keeping a batch going most of the time. I just dusted off an old crock pot from my grandparents' basement and it is now the official bone broth crockpot. Somehow having a bone broth crockpot makes me feel really Paleo now! :->

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 30, 2011
at 03:19 AM

Never had them checked. What is the connection? We do spend A LOT of time outdoors and only use sunscreen when it's really needed to prevent burns (like on canoe trips). I've always assumed that if I had the kids outside a couple hours a day that their Vitamin D levels would be fine.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on December 29, 2011
at 10:38 AM

Have you had your Vitamin D level(s) checked recently?

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1 Answers

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96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 29, 2011
at 04:39 AM

Hey, you made it through and you did the best you could in a tough spot--that's definitely "paleo!" Since we're all doing our best to avoid packaged stuff it can be a problem when you're all down sick. So give yourself a round of applause for a job well done.

I learned to keep stuff in my cupboard/fridge that didn't require a lot of prep because I had severe migraine attacks and wasn't up to cooking for days at a time.

First, if space permits I'd definitely freeze some portions of bone broth. You can then throw some in the fridge when you don't feel well enough to cook. I usually have a full slow-cooker in the fridge because when it gets less than half full I transfer the remaining stew to a glass container and start up a new batch of bone broth/stew. Every few days the stews get re-heated to make sure they stay safely edible. That way, if I get caught sick I eat out of the glass container (and the slow cooker if ready to eat) for up to a week.

When you've been sick, everyone's attracted to/repelled by different foods depending on what you experienced. I keep canned meat, pork rinds, cheese and other "finger foods" but they may sound great or awful based on the situation. Don't worry about it, just get through it and then you can get back on track.

My advice is for the future--as part of your recovery, you and the others should help your gut flora by eating fermented foods. The kids may not feel like eating (live culture) yogurt, but if you mash a banana into it with a little cinnamon it'll taste like banana pudding. If they like sauerkraut that'd be great too. You'll all feel better as gut function resumes.

B6114a1980b1481fb18206064f3f4a4f

(3924)

on December 30, 2011
at 03:25 AM

Thanks, Nance. I'm still working on getting the kids to eat sauerkraut, but we have been eating a lot of yogurt these past few days. I've read about your bone broth method on a couple of other posts and I plan to start keeping a batch going most of the time. I just dusted off an old crock pot from my grandparents' basement and it is now the official bone broth crockpot. Somehow having a bone broth crockpot makes me feel really Paleo now! :->

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