Jul 8, 2018

Dealing with Flu, Norovirus, or Adenovirus? Get a Kakigori Machine

My daughter managed to bring home every illness that has popped up at her local school lately, which has knocked our household out of commission off and on for the last month. The worst was when we had some sort of viral stomach issue (the docs didn’t diagnose it, but I’m pretty sure it was something like norovirus), which left us all nauseous and feverish.

As many of you readers out there know, just about the worst thing you can do if you’ve been vomiting is to try to chug water to replenish your fluids. Instead, the recommendation is to chew on ice chips.

Two issues for us in that department: (1) we don’t have a decent space for making ice chips (we certainly don’t have an automatic crushed ice dispenser); and (2) how are you gonna get a toddler to chew on crushed ice?

It was after I had finished taking my daughter to the hospital that I discovered the best solution to those two issues:

Dealing with Flu, Norovirus, or Adenovirus? Get a Kakigori Machine photo

That’s right, Kakigori shaved ice machines. After all, kids love shaved ice. They can even help shave it themselves to get into it, and when they start consuming it, it’s not “chewing ice chips to rehydrate,” it’s “having a fun dessert.”

Of course I don’t recommend putting any syrup or other toppings on the shaved ice, but a little fruit juice works well to give a little bit of flavoring without upsetting little tummies.

And while we purchased the machine to ensure the kids were staying hydrated, my wife and I both enjoyed the Kakigori when we were fighting the same stomach bug. Although the virus was awful, I am convinced that our ability to stay hydrated thanks to that kakigori machine helped speed our recovery.

It really was a lucky find to help us all get through that rough period of illness, but now we get to enjoy the added benefit of having our own Kakigori machine so we can enjoy shaved ice during the hot summer!

If you’re thinking of getting a Kakigori machine, our 1300 yen penguin machine works like a charm, so don’t feel like you have to go all out. I do recommend purchasing special ice containers for loading the machine, since the larger ice blocks are easier to shave and produce a better bowl of shaved ice than your standard ice cubes.



Hitting the books once again as a Ph.D. student in Niigata Prefecture. Although I've lived in Japan many years, life as a student in this country is a first.

Blessed Dad. Lucky Husband. Happy Gaijin (most of the time).