Miranda Malisani – Nutrition Expert


Cold and flu season is here… when you hear these, only thoughts of dread follow! With young kids in school I know that it’s just a matter of time before they pass the cold like a game of hot potato but it’s a stuffy nose, burning eyes, congested chest potato and sooner or later one of the boys bring the potato home. It’s inevitable.

Getting sick is miserable, but there is some value in challenging our children’s immune systems as this builds strength in the body so that when they are older they can fight off the bugs easier. So it’s my job as a mom to make it more comfortable for my boys and help to speed up the process when they are unwell just like my mother did for me and her mother did for her. My Great Grandmother’s chicken soup has been the go-to remedy when someone in our family isn’t well. The very smell of it brings a feeling of nurture and warmth.

But it’s not just the warm and fuzzy feeling that the chicken soup induces to help fight an illness. The broth from chicken soup can be more effective than over-the-counter cough syrups at reducing a cough and treating cold symptoms. One study revealed that chicken soup broth inhibited the movement of neutrophils (most common type of white blood cells) that defends against infection. The theory is that by preventing the spread of these cells, chicken soup broth can help to reduce upper respiratory cold symptoms.

The challenge I’ve had over the years is running out to the store when the kids are sick and picking up the ingredients and then spending time in the kitchen preparing when they need me to cuddle and hold them.

So, after years of this I’ve finally gotten a bit smarter and now I make a big batch of chicken soup before cold and flu season and freeze it in individual portions. I can then take it out at the first sign of a sniffle.

It’s hard to completely avoid getting sick when you care for young children. That direct sneeze in your eyes when you are hugging them is a sure sign it’s about 4-7 days away from hitting me too. So, the soup comes in handy when I don’t feel like cooking either.

img_1434Homemade Organic Chicken Soup

1 organic whole chicken
2 medium sized organic sweet potatoes peeled and chopped
1 medium butternut squash, chopped
4-5 organic carrots (can be left unpeeled if organic), chopped
2 organic parsnips, peeled and chopped (you can also use 1-2 cups red baby potatoes if you prefer)
2-1 litre organic low sodium preservative-free vegetable stock
Cold water (to completely cover chicken)
2 cloves of Ontario garlic, minced (let sit for at 
least 5 minutes before adding to heat)
1 bunch of organic dill


1. Add low sodium stock to a big pot and add 
2. Add cold water to fully cover the chicken
3. Bring to a boil and cook at a high heat for the 
first 45 minutes
4. Skim any fat that rises to the surface
5. Reduce to medium and cover pot with a lid and 
simmer until chicken is cooked. Depending on the size of the chicken this could take 1 to 1.5 hours. When the chicken comes off the bone easily you know it is done.
6. In the meantime, peel and chop the veggies and mince garlic. To save on time, pick up freshly chopped veggies from a local market. For the most nutrient bang for your buck, make sure they are chopped that day.
7. Remove the chicken from the pot carefully, trying to keep it in tact and place on a cutting board. I do this as I have little ones and I want to ensure that no little bones are mixed in with the goods.
8. Debone the chicken and place cooked meat back into the pot
9. Add all of your roots, garlic and dill (I cut the stems off and place it in whole) and simmer for another 30 mins. or until all vegetables are soft
10. Let the soup cool down for 30 mins. and then transfer to glass or ceramic containers and place in the fridge
11. Once it is cold the fat will harden at the top. I usually skim this the next day before heating up to serve.
12. Divide up the portions to stick in the freezer. Store in freezer safe containers for easy defrosting.

Warning! A piping hot bowl of soup will clear congestion in your sinuses so be ready with your ROYALE® 3-Ply Facial Tissue. I have also gotten smarter with how many boxes of ROYALE® I stock during cold and flu season. I choose ROYALE products because they are soft, but strong enough to handle our colds. It’s so awful when the boys get a red nose from over-wiping. I always find that they get less skin irritation with ROYALE® as it’s the softest and most comforting on their sensitive skin. When you’re feeling under the weather, you can rely on the strength of kitten soft ROYALE® 3-Ply Facial Tissues to add comfort to every situation.
I now place a box of ROYALE® 3-Ply Facial Tissue in each room of my house and stick tissues in their pockets, their book bags and my purse or the kids are bound to use something else to wipe their nose. Most often a sleeve…I’ll spare you the details of other places I’ve found traces of their cold. If you’re a parent I am sure you have your own list.
Wishing you a quick and easy cold and flu season!

Although this post has been generously sponsored by Royale, the opinions and language are my own.

Miranda <3

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