Comfort Food for when You’re Sick

When a person is sick, the doctor’s orders usually limit the comfort food to the traditional bland hospital diet. However, there’s one tried and true comfort food that is always at the top of anyone’s list of the best and most effective in healing what ails you.

Of course, the traditional comfort food since doctors wore funny masks and danced around the fire, is chicken soup. It was your dear grandma’s magic cure for anything from a mild headache to impacted tooth to major heart surgery.

If you ever had the temerity to try to tell your sweet old lady that chicken soup could be of no actual medical help, she’d be insulted. Her answer, accompanied by a loving smile and a heaping second helping, would always be: So, it couldn’t hurt.

Another traditional comfort food is gelatin, served plain or with pieces of fruit in a cup. For those who’ve been confined to hospitals lately, it may be the only food served there that is actually edible. Gelatin isn’t quite a solid, nor is it quite a liquid, but it is comforting and tasty when a sick person can manage to slurp it down.

Another comfort food for when you’re sick was probably originated by another ethnic grandma. A steaming dish of mashed potatoes, beaten with fresh cream or butter was also a cure-all in some parts of  Ireland and Scotland.

It’s easy to digest, is nutritious and it doesn’t take much to make the stomach feel filled and satisfied. Whether it has any medical value is also questionable, but don’t even think of asking that of the other ethnic grandma. Actually, ethnic grandmas from all over the world each has her own secret recipe for comfort food for the sick family member or anyone else within hearing distance.

When the patient has a sore throat and can’t eat solid food, ice cream and sherbet are both comforting and nutritious. If there’s a problem of lactose intolerance or if digestion problem, non-dairy sorbet can serve the same purpose.

When the patient can begin to eat solid food, a scrambled egg or two can serve as a healthy comfort food. Make it with butter, but go easy on the salt, especially if the patient is very old and/or overweight.

The best foods to eat when you’re sick are are light, easy to digest and  give you some comfort while they’re doing their job of helping you get well. Just ask any grandma.