Ten Superfood Options for Super Kids
You’ve heard the adage, “you are what you eat.” While eating that candy bar or bag of chips sounds good when you are hungry, the way the food makes you feel afterward is an important consideration. It is harder to change habits as we age – but it is possible. Your toddler’s brain is growing at a super fast rate. Give them foods that will help boost brain and body development.
Here are ten superfoods every child should be introduced to again and again for optimal health.
- Eggs – Rich in protein and choline, eggs are one of the best foods for young (and older) humans. Prepare eggs in a variety of ways to make consumption easy. A hit at our home are hard-boiled eggs, which can be eaten when warm, or refrigerated and given as a snack or even a meal when paired with some fruit, veggies, and grain.
- Peanut butter – Don’t fear the peanut butter. New research shows that toddlers can have it, read this for more info. From apple slices with peanut butter to a peanut dipping sauce for chicken satay to a good ole’ PB & J sandwich, there are many options for adding peanut butter – or any nut butter – to your child’s diet. Be sure to choose natural peanut butter. It is one of those products that if you have the processed kinds that add sugar, it is hard to go natural. Let your kids only know the taste of natural peanut butter. You can even make it fun and have the kiddos with you when you grind your peanut butter at the grocery store.
- Whole grains – Whole grains are better than white, refined grains any day of the week. Full of vitamins, fiber and some omega-3 fatty acids, your child’s diet should include plenty of whole grains. At the grocery store, choose whole wheat pasta and bread over their white counterparts whenever possible. Introduce foods such as quinoa to your menu for the betterment of the entire family.
- Oatmeal – This low glycemic, high protein and fiber food will keep your child full, longer. One study showed that children who ate sweetened oatmeal had better memory retention than those who ate sweetened cereal. It is also full of essential B vitamins, which has been shown to help prevent Alzheimer’s disease as well as brain shrinkage.
- Berries – Chock full of antioxidants, berries are hard to resist for kids. Add berries to some of those less popular meals to add color appeal and nutrients.
- Milk – Full of protein, which helps build brain tissue, milk is also great for building strong bones within the body.
- Yogurt – Provides a good source of vitamin B and protein. It also helps improve digestive health. Yogurt squeezes are quite popular with kids, but choose those without sugar as the #2 ingredient. Chobani Champions and Stoneyfield’s YoKids are healthier options for developing bodies. Freeze the yogurt squeezes and voila, you have frozen yogurt!
- Leafy greens – Rich in folate and vitamins and, surprise, surprise, protein, dark leafy greens are super nutritious. If you can’t get them to eat them cooked, try raw or add them to a fruit smoothie.
- Fish – Fish is one of those things you either love or don’t. Despite your personal opinion of fish, it is super good for growing brains and bodies. Full of Omega 3 fatty acids that are essential to brain growth, it has also been shown to help prevent memory decline.
- Colorful veggies – Vegetables that are deep in colors have higher concentrations of vitamins and antioxidants, which is essential for brain health. Cut up carrot and bell pepper sticks as well as halved grape tomatoes and have on hand for snacking.
You truly are what you eat. Think about how you feel after a meal. Are you energized or lethargic? Choose foods that energize the body. Superfoods will help young bodies develop into strong, powerful adults who know how to pick a good meal or snack! Have additional questions about healthy foods for your family? Schedule an appointment with our pediatric providers today.