When you think of nutrition and kids I bet there are not many superfoods your kids will eat that come to mind? Superfoods are nutrient-rich whole foods that provides kids with important fats, protein, vitamins and minerals to help them grow. Many common foods you already incorporate into weekly meals are superfoods; it might surprise you how many superfoods your kids will eat.
There is no scientific definition of superfoods, but many agree they are nutrient dense foods that promote health and well-being. Curious how many foods you already have in your fridge that are considered superfoods?
Keep it simple when making family meals and include these healthy superfoods your kids will eat to give them energy and a healthy start to building strong bones and muscles.
Superfoods Your Kids Will Eat
Fruits and Vegetables
A few Superfood superstars stand out in this group, such as blueberries for their antioxidants, raspberries for fibre, calcium in oranges, the phytochemicals in sweet potatoes, lycopene in tomatoes, and the unsaturated fats of an avocado. Fruits and vegetables offer an amazing amount of nutrients that your child needs to grow and be healthy. Keep a supply of frozen fruits and veggies on hand such as raspberries, blueberries, corn and peas for easy desserts and meals.
The bacteria and probiotics get yogurt on every superfood list as it boosts immunity, aids in digestion and provides a great source of protein and bone building calcium kids need. But it’s buyer beware, yogurt can easily work against you nutrition wise if you are not reading your labels. Look for low sugar, high protein yogurts like plain or honey flavoured greek yogurt and stay away from the low fat, chocolate dessert type yogurts. Spoon into popsicle molds for frozen yogurt pops or add to berry smoothies for extra protein and calcium.
Oats are a super versatile superfood. Kids who eat oatmeal for breakfast stay full longer, are better able to concentrate and pay attention in school. Fiber-rich whole grains, like steel-cut or rolled oats, contain high amounts of protein and digest slowly, providing kids with a steady stream of energy. If kids are not oatmeal fans try making these Oatmeal Pancakes or Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies.
Fish rich in Omega 3s such as salmon, mackerel, and trout are the superfoods in this group. Important for brain development, heart health and so much more. Start serving fish to kids at a young age so they have a chance to develop a taste for it and serve once a week for continued health benefits. Kids will usually like meaty white fish such as halibut and thinner fish such as sole which are great for protein content with very little fishy taste.
For any bread, pasta or cereal always go for whole grain. Instead of offering options, only buy whole grains. My kids were 6 before they knew white bread was at thing when they discovered it at a friends house. Move beyond the bread to fiber rich oats, brown rice and quinoa to get the benefits of more fiber and added protein for longer lasting energy.
Eggs are considered a superfood for their protein, vitamin, mineral and nutrient content in such a small package. Eggs are a source of choline – an important nutrient for brain development – they naturally contain vitamin D which helps the body absorb calcium and some even include Omega 3s. Serve them scrambled with grated cheddar cheese, in an omelette, sun side up or hard boiled in egg salad.
Nuts & Seeds
Think beyond peanuts, especially if you have kids or friends with allergies. Nuts are made up of protein and healthy fats that kids need for growth and development, as well as for heart health. Seeds are an excellent source of protein and nutrients and are a healthy alternative to nuts when allergies present. Almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds, or pumpkin seeds make a great mid day snack to give kids extra fuel to keep them going.
Beans are an often forgotten superfood but contain much needed protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, calcium and important vitamins and minerals, such as iron. Versatile, they can be pureed into a dip for vegetables, added to soups or tasted for a crunchy snack.
Research shows cinnamon can help regulate blood sugar, which may minimize sugar induced spikes in energy and subsequent crashes. Cinnamon is simple to add to baked goods and top off their morning oatmeal pancakes or dessert of applesauce.
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