Kids need to stay healthy and grow. That is why they must only eat fresh and nutrient-packed foods. Superfoods for kids are essential in their growth phase. They contain healthy nutrients that would help keep fit and grow.
It’s been discovered that though kids are eating more, their diet is usually calorie-packed and nutritionally skimpy. And one of the causes of undergrowth is undernourishment.
Children grow faster so they need to constantly be fed with food that will help their growing phase. But we know not every child loves their green healthy snacks.
Kids have to eat only fresh, healthy, and un-junk foods to stay fit and grow properly. The adequate nutrition they need in order to grow includes minerals, vitamins, calcium, iron, and potassium. Without these nutrients, your child’s health and growth might be stunted.
You should learn to keep processed foods and snacks away from your kids because they contain excess refined sugar. Consuming them could also weaken their immune system and their brain and motor functions.
So what do you do when you need to help your kids who have been relying too much on unhealthy foods? You give them nutrient-rich foods that are called superfoods.
Best Superfoods for Kids
Not all nutritious and healthy foods are found in the fruits and vegetable class. There are varieties of nutritious and concentrated foods that are good for children’s health. These foods will help keep a child-focused and sharp and also improve their brain development.
Some of these foods even work well as snacks, when eaten the right way and not as a derivative of the original source.
The list of superfoods for kids is not exhaustive, each time new benefits of a particular food keep being discovered, even though they have been in existence for a long time.
An egg contains protein, vitamin D, B12, and iron. Some eggs are even fortified with omega-3 fatty acids. Eggs are good for babies because the omega-3 fatty acids help in brain development. Eggs are best served as breakfast for kids.
Berry fruits like strawberries and blueberries are some of the best superfoods for kids because they contain many vitamins and antioxidants. You can let them eat it plain, turn it into smoothies or garnish it on oatmeal.
Cow’s milk is one of the best sources of protein, calcium, and vitamin D for kids. This is one of the most utilized superfoods for kids. An 8-ounce glass of milk is not only high in potassium, but it is also high in vitamin B12, phosphorus, and protein.
It is recommended you give your child whole milk until age 2, and then they can move to low-fat milk.
4. Nuts and Seeds
These are great snacks for kids because they are crunchy. Not only that, they are excellent sources of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Nuts are also high in magnesium, one of the nutrients responsible for bone development.
You can try giving your child almonds, pecans, walnuts, cashews, and other types of nuts. Seeds are as good as nuts and some of them have alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which is a type of omega-3 fatty acid.
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5. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamin A, fiber, and potassium. They are also a rich provider of beta-carotene. Limiting sodium and increasing potassium in the diet helps keep a child’s blood pressure and heart-healthy. You can bake the potatoes or boil and mash them to serve to your kids.
Although not widely popular with kids, tofu is a great source of vitamin B, protein, calcium, and iron. These are all the nutrients a child requires for proper bone health and growth. To make it more appealing, tofu can be used as a cream base for smoothies, cookies, desserts, and ice cream.
This tropical fruit is a rich source of vitamin C. It helps in strengthening a child’s immune system and keeps the chewing area, that is, teeth and gum strong and healthy.
Mangos also provide three grams of sugar in 100 calories, which is adequate. You can peel; turn to a smoothie or pudding to eat.
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8. Whole Grains
Fiber is one of the most important nutrients a growing child needs. Whole grains contain lots of fiber and can provide the 25 grams a child needs daily. Look for meals that provide 100% whole grains. Good whole-grain foods include oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, whole-wheat flour.
Vegetables can be a child’s worst nightmare but you have to make them eat them. Anything vegetable is good for a child, and the more colorful the vegetable is, the better.
Green vegetables like spinach contain vitamin K; orange and red vegetables are rich in vitamin A; peppers are specially packed with vitamin C; and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and cabbage contain cancer-fighting properties and also feed good gut bacteria.
How you present the vegetable matter a lot. You can wash and cut celery and carrots into fine cubes or shapes, and store them as snacks for later.
Yogurt is another superfood for kids that have lots of calcium to enhance growth. When buying, go for yogurts that contain live-active cultures like bacteria and probiotics.
Most times yogurt foods for children do not contain these things, so you have to keep an eye out for the ingredients before you buy.
This exotic fish is filled with omega-3 fatty acids which are essential for brain development. Their protein level is very high and helps in a child’s proper growth.
Additionally, they are low in mercury and require little seasoning due to the already available natural flavor. They take little time to prepare and can be served baked or grilled.
You can never find a more humble superfood like beans. They are rich in fiber and protein and don’t need much time to prepare. Fiber helps to promote digestion and makes the kids fuller for a while after eating.
When you buy beans, buy low-sodium canned beans because they are easy to prepare. All you have to do is drain and rinse the beans of the extra sodium and add to any dish.
At least 25 to 35% of calories for kids should come from unsaturated fat. Avocados can play such a role as they are an excellent source of monounsaturated fat, which decreases inflammation and keeps the cholesterol at a controlled level.
Avocados should be given to kids, by mashing them into a paste and spreading on wraps instead of cream cheese or mayonnaise. To give avocados a bit of flavor, you can mix lemon juice and salt to make a tasty dip.
14. Air-popped Popcorn
Air-popped popcorn is derived from whole grains and is low on calories and fat. Since it is air-popped and without oil, it serves as a light snack between meals. You can add your child’s preferred choice of toppings to make it more delicious. You can also mix it up with dried fruits and nuts.
How to Plan Diet of Superfoods for Kids
It’s not easy getting a child to eat healthy foods, especially when the taste does not suit their buds. Here are some tips to help improve the diet of superfoods for kids.
Think holistically and not specifically
When planning your child’s diet, think about the overall benefits of eating whole, minimally processed foods, rather than maybe one or two superfoods. Encouraging a healthy eating habit for your child will pay off in the long run.
Disguise the taste of healthier foods
For foods like vegetables that are danger zones to kids, you can disguise them in other foods like adding them to a beef stew or mixing mashed carrots with mashed potato. Be creative with how or making a smoothie with carrot and yogurt.
Additionally, be creative with how you present your superfoods.
Let them learn from you
Kids assimilate faster by watching the people around them. If you want your child to have a more healthy diet, you have to have a healthy diet. Eat what they eat and drink what they drink. This way it would be easier for the child to learn and adjust.
Let them eat more home cooked meals
Restaurants and takeout foods have more added sugar and sodium – which is unhealthy – than foods cooked at home. Eating at home also builds a healthy lifestyle for your child that would greatly impact them as they grow.
Start with healthy snacks
Keep fruits, vegetables, and healthy beverages on hand in the house. The child can avoid unhealthy snacks like soda, cookies, and chips. This doesn’t mean you should totally ban sweets entirely.
Once in a while let them have sweet things to curb their spontaneous or overindulging cravings.
Learn their eating habits
You learn a lot when you watch your child eat at mealtime. Things like what they love and avoid, and also what they are learning on their own, like when in school or a friend’s house. You can also monitor and control their diet only if you learn their eating habits.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Do superfoods for kids help in brain development?
Yes, superfoods for kids also help in developing the brain. Some of the foods contain nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids which improve brain cells.
You can feed your child with these nutrient-packed foods to help their brand grown healthy and faster.
When should you start feeding your kids superfoods?
After a year. Once your child is over a year, you can start adding superfoods to their diet to boost their immune system and help them grow healthy and strong.
If your child is already grown, you can still incorporate the foods into their diet.
Having your kid stay healthy and grow is important. That is why we have to pack their diet with superfoods for kids that would help them grow healthily. There are various options of foods like dairy milk, fish like salmon, fruits like berries and mango, vegetables, and much more.
Knowing the superfoods isn’t the only thing. You have to think holistically about your child’s diet. Also, you have to be an example by also eating with them and learn their eating habits to get a better sense of how to monitor them.
Thanks for reading.
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