A balanced diet is one of the most important things growing children need. Their bodies require a variety of nutrients at the right amounts for good health, and proper growth and development.
Additionally, kids have higher energy levels and, as such, always need to eat nutritious foods to help them stay energized and ready to take on all activities.
Unfortunately, a busy lifestyle may make it difficult for you to prepare healthy meals and snacks every day. Because of this, you may end up giving your kids plenty of store-bought, ready-to-eat meals and treats that are typically high on empty calories, fat and sugar content.
When you frequently feed your kids foods that have a combination of these three, you will put themat high risk for various childhood diseases which include obesity, diabetes, and high cholesterol.
Feeding Your Kids Right
Since a balanced diet is essential for your children to stay healthy and strong, you really have to make it a priority to prepare well-thought-out, healthy dishes, and snacks every day. However, in the instances that you can’t give your children nutritious meals and healthy energy-boosting snacks, you can ensure they will still get the nutrients they need by including these superfoods in their diet:
One of the most versatile superfoods around, you can include eggs in all meals from morning to night. You can even add them to your kids’ snacks as well.
Eggs contain high levels of B vitamins and vitamin D (a nutrient that is not commonly found in food sources). They are also rich in protein and choline – substances essential for brain development.
They are easy to cook as well. The easiest way to serve them is hard-boiled: simply boil several eggs and store them in the fridge. You can then add them to salads, sandwiches, and other dishes.
2. Fatty fish
Giving your kids at least two portions of fatty fish every week will give your kids plenty of health benefits. This is because salmon, tuna, herring, and other types of fatty fish are rich in protein and B vitamins.
They are also fantastic sources of omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that play a vital role in supporting brain development and good eyesight, and improving heart health.
For young, picky eaters, baking and grilling salmon is the best option since these cooking methods tame the fishy taste. You can then add them to sandwiches, pita rolls, and tacos.
Canned salmon and tuna are also convenient options that still offer a lot of nutritional value for kids.
3. Green leafy vegetables
If you want to include the most nutritious food in your kids’ daily diet, you won’t go wrong with giving them green leafy vegetables every day. These veggies are packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and other nutrients that meet your children’s daily nutritional requirements.
Some of the healthiest green leafy vegetables that are considered superfoods are:
- Kale – rich in vitamins A, C, and K and antioxidants
- Collard greens – an excellent source of vitamins A, C, K, and B9
- Spinach – high in vitamins A, K, folate, and manganese
- Swiss chard – rich in vitamins A, C, K, potassium, and manganese
These vegetables can be cooked in a variety of ways and added to different types of dishes. You can even serve them raw, in salads, or as toppings.
If you want to give your kids a healthy meal to start their day right, you won’t go wrong with giving them a bowl of oatmeal.
Oatmeal is a rich source of B vitamins, potassium, and zinc – nutrients that support proper brain development and functioning. It is also high in fiber which aids proper digestion and heart health.
When serving oatmeal to children, make sure you add milk or yogurt, fruit, and organic honey for flavor.
You can also boost your kid’s intake of this superfood by using oats when baking and pureeing them to add to soups.
Blueberries are rich in vitamin C and manganese. They are excellent sources of antioxidants, too.
You can give your kids fresh blueberries to snack on. They are an excellent alternative to cookies and other sugary, unhealthy treats. You can also add them to smoothies or yogurt if your kids are asking for a sweet, refreshing snack or dessert.
Blueberries also make for superb toppings. As such, add them to your kid’s bowl of oatmeal, cereals, and pancakes.
Other berries, including strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and blackberries also contain plenty of nutrients so make sure you always have a stock of them, too.
Nuts are rich in protein, iron, zinc, and healthy fats. Because of this, nuts are one of the most nutritious foods around and work as well as natural protein supplements. Their processing is therefore made easy with the best nut chopper reviewed from time to time.
Add peanuts and tree nuts to trail mix to make a healthy snack. Use them as toppings for ice cream and yogurt as well.
Nut butter is also an amazing, delicious alternative that you can add to sandwiches or use as a topping or dip.
7. Chia seeds
Finally, chia seeds are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and calcium – nutrients your kids need for proper brain and body functioning.
You can use chia seeds as an egg substitute in baking and for pasta dishes. You can also add them as toppings to oatmeal and smoothies for additional texture.
By having a stock of these food items in your fridge and pantry all the time, you will be sure your kids will have something nutritious every day come mealtime. In doing so, you get to support their health, growth, and development.