Getting your kids to eat the right food can be hard since there are so many options out there. Here, we have listed 7 superfoods that will be a great addition to your kids’ diet.
Salmon is high in omega-3 fatty acids which are important for our eyesight and cognitive development. It was also found that the intake of omega-3 reduces the risk of cancer as well as improving arterial functions.
In fact, salmon is perhaps one of the best sources for Omega-3 as it has a much lower saturated fat compared to other omega-3 sources like caviar.
Omega-3 is deemed as an essential acid because it cannot be created by our own body, thus we need to get it from other sources. But if your little ones are not pro-fish eaters, then getting them to eat salmon can be a tad hard due to its fishy smell and taste. The bones can be a real turn off too.
So what can you do? Well, start introducing your kids to canned salmon first. The bones of a canned salmon are typically softened so even if your children eat them, they probably wouldn’t notice it, so one problem solved. To mask the fishy smell or taste, you can make a patty out of it (by mixing it with mash potatoes and panko breadcrumbs), or serving it with sweet gravy like teriyaki and savoury ones like salsa.
Egg is pretty much the Bruno Mars of food – it’s very versatile. They can be eaten half boiled, made into an omelette, a frittata, mixed with other ingredients to make a cake, and ultimately, they are packed with a lot of nutrition and vitamins. They are high in Vitamin A which is important for one’s vision and immune system, as well as Vitamin D, which promotes bone growth.
Eggs are one of the most popular protein sources, but many are not aware that the egg yolk is actually very high in choline too. This nutrient helps to build signalling molecules in the brain, simultaneously improving memorisation.
While it is true, that egg is high in cholesterol, we are talking about ‘good cholesterol’ or also known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL). The function of HDL to remove the ‘bad cholesterol’ in your bloodstream, thus lowering the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Nevertheless, we would suggest that people with diabetes (yes, kids can have it), or a genetic disorder such as familial hypercholesterolemia to reduce or avoid eggs because it has been found that the consumption of eggs can increase their risk of heart disease. Parents should also avoid feeding children under one year of age to avoid an allergic reaction.
Forget Green Lantern, your child is pretty much a superhero is he/she eats vegetables. In general, green leaves are very high in fibres, potassium, and folate, and low in calories. In fact, skipping on vegetables means that you are missing out on a lot of health benefits.
Among top-tier vegetables with the highest benefits are kale, cabbage, collard green and bok choy.
As such, kale contains antioxidants like beta-carotene and lutein, substances that counteract free radicals in our body, thus reducing the risk of cancer and infections. Cabbage is also packed with both soluble and insoluble fibre which helps to augment the number of ‘good bacteria’ in our gut system and promoting regular bowel movement. When fermented into sauerkraut or kimchi, cabbage actually provides more benefits like boosting one’s immune system and keeping inflammation in check.
There are abundant of green leaves choices out there if these two are not up to your little one’s alley. They might say no to trying, so try cutting the vegetables into really small pieces and mixing them up with more flavorful dishes.
Let’s be real, almond, peanut, cashew, walnut, pecan, hazelnut, in fact, all sort of nuts, are great for snacking. Unless your kids are allergic to nuts, then there is absolutely nothing that should stop them from consuming these seed kernels.
But.. aren’t they are high in calorie too? Well, they are, but surprisingly, researches had shown that they actually promote weight loss. A study found that nuts are better than olive oil in decreasing waist circumference while another found that people who include almond in their diets can shed thrice the weight of those who went for a nut-free diet.
Furthermore, nuts are also great in reducing blood sugar level and lowering blood pressure, making it perfect for those with metabolic syndrome. For vegetable-despising children, nuts can also be a great alternative to vegetables considering that it is also high in fibre content.
It is best to eat nuts raw, but you can also roast them under 175°C.
Milk and Yoghurt
There are reasons why milk is the first thing that we feed to our children when they were born – the nutritional benefits of milk is wholesome. In fact, breast milk can provide all the essential nutrients that a child needs in his first six months.
Milk is very popular for having a high content of calcium, vitamin D, phosphorus and magnesium, all the important nutrients in preventing bone diseases like rickets and osteoporosis.
Milk is also a great source of high-quality protein. Casein and whey protein in milk has been found to reduce muscle loss, fasten muscle repair and reduce muscle soreness.
Then, we also have yoghurt, which is milk that has been fermented by adding good bacteria cultures (i.e. probiotics) to it. The existence of probiotics like Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidobacterium in yoghurt is great for one’s gut system and help in soothing diarrhoea and constipation. These bacteria also lower the risk of colorectal cancer and type-2 diabetes.
For those with children who are lactose intolerant, you can also opt for other milk option like almond milk, soy milk or coconut milk. The tastes are different but they’re pretty good too.
Like kale, berries are also potent with antioxidants such as anthocyanin.
Anthocyanin isn’t just great in keeping the number of free radical low, but one study even found that the consumption of berries helps brain functions such as memorisation and reasoning.
Not to mention, berries can help one to maintain an optimum sugar level. If anything, you do not have to be worried that your children will be too active after eating berries.
Have fun with berries and turn into a jam, pie filling, smoothies, or shortcakes. Your kids will love it.
Last but not least on our superfood list is seed! The benefits that seeds hold are impressive, unfortunately, it seems that many are still not aware of it.
Among the healthiest seeds out there are flaxseeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, hemp seeds and sunflower seeds.
In general, seeds are super fibrous, high in omega-3 and other nutrients like magnesium. They can facilitate bowel movement, lower cholesterol level and prevent chronic diseases. Many of them are high in monounsaturated and omega-6 fats that are especially good for your heart too. You can choose to add it in your oatmeal, or muffins or even your fried rice.
Pro tip: If your child has eczema, you can try using hemp seed oil because it can lessen skin dryness and itchiness.
Parenting in the Digital Age
Subscribe now to get a FREE guide, latest updates and more!