1. Feed a cold; starve a fever.
Fiction, mostly. You never want to “starve” anyone; sick children need nutrition and sustenance to get better. But when kids are ill and feverish, they’re typically not interested in food. That’s okay, Graf says. “Kids’ appetites are naturally suppressed when their bodies are busy fighting infection. If you force them to eat, that energy is diverted to digestion.” Keeping hydrated is most important. Try broths, juice, popsicles, electrolyte drinks for children, and, of course, water.
2. Dairy products increase mucus.
Fiction, unless your child is allergic. An allergic reaction to cow’s milk will stimulate more mucus production, but if your kid drinks it without a problem when he’s well, there’s no reason he shouldn’t have it when he’s under the weather. In fact, the more fluids he ingests — including milk — the better. Staying hydrated is key to kicking these germs’ butts.
3. An apple a day keeps the doctor away.
Fact. Okay, we’re not saying your kid will never get sick, but eating fruit every day can reduce the chances, says Graf. Apples are a particularly good choice for children. First, kids are likely to eat and enjoy them. They also contain fiber, which feeds the probiotics in your child’s belly, which in turn fight infectious bugs. In fact, just one medium apple (with the skin) contains about 20 percent of his daily fiber needs. And finally, apples are also a good source of vitamin C.