Keeping your children safe and fed are the most basic parenting skills you need to master. However, there’s a lot more to planning and executing three meals per day than mixing up a box of macaroni and cheese. Making sure your children get nutrient-dense foods is the best way to ensure they are establishing good eating habits now and encouraging their bodies to be as healthy as possible down the road. As you teach your kids about taking care of their bodies, choosing the right food is the best place to start.
There are lots of superfoods out there that contain essential minerals, vitamins and nutrients yet don’t come with lots of calories and fat. It doesn’t matter whether your child is a picky eater or if they tend to eat everything in sight, choosing healthy food over junk food is always a good choice. However, many of the nutrient-rich foods that make the recommended lists contain food items that, frankly, are rarely going to appeal to kids. While sardines, liver, kale, green tea and other similar foods are indeed packed with nutrients, they may not yet be an acquired taste for many youngsters.
However, that doesn’t mean your family needs to be deprived of nutrient-dense meals and snacks. Here’s a list of the top 7 superfoods that your children will most likely eat and will definitely enjoy.
Rich in antioxidants and high in fiber, blueberries put the “super” in superfoods. It’s easy to add fresh or frozen blueberries to a number of kid-friendly snacks and meals, like pancakes, fruit salads, muffins, bread and even plain.
This breakfast staple is extremely healthy and is ideal for kids to have a good start to their day. The fiber in the oatmeal takes its time to digest, leaving kids feeling fuller all morning long.
With 13 vitamins and minerals, eggs are an excellent source of protein. As one of the few foods that naturally contain Vitamin D, eggs will help the body absorb calcium better. They are also versatile enough to be included in all kinds of meals and snacks.
While too much of anything can be detrimental, a proper serving of nuts provides lots of nutrients and good fats to kids. They are an excellent source or protein, too. Try almonds, cashews, walnuts and peanuts as long as there are no nut allergies.
Believe it or not, tomatoes are an excellent source of nutrients for growing kids, including lycopene, which may reduce the risk of cancer. While fresh tomatoes are very nutritious, cooked tomatoes still deliver the nutrition, such as in pizza sauce and spaghetti sauce.
Milk, cheese and yogurt are packed with the good stuff, like calcium and protein. Good for teeth, bones and the brain, dairy foods in their purest form are not only healthy, but taste great. Steer clear of added sweeteners that pull down the nutritional value, such as chocolate milk or sugar-laden kids yogurts.
Full of fiber and an excellent source of calcium and protein, beans can be added to lots of different dishes for a nutritional boost. The darker their color, the more nutritious beans are. An easy way to get kids to eat beans is in salsa, quesadillas or a bean hummus for dipping.
Healthy eating is important for everyone, but especially in growing children. When your growing family has the chance to eat these and other nutrient-dense foods on a regular basis, their bodies will respond accordingly with better health and development. Not only are you setting them up for life with good eating habits, but you’ll also be doing the whole family a favor by introducing delicious and nutrient-rich foods to every meal.
We would love to share all the awesome things we’ve learned from Dr. West and Dr. Latham! Sign up for our FREE newsletter to have a hands-on learning experience every week!