Kids love sweet potatoes and they are perfect cooked, baked as fries or mashed on top of Sheppard’s pie. Sweet potatoes provide important nutrients such as calcium, vitamins A, C and B6, potassium, fiber and are packed with phytochemicals.
Poached, scrambled, sunny side up, baked or hard boiled – the kids have to like eggs cooked somehow! One egg is considered the gold standard in protein and includes more than a dozen other vitamins and minerals. Eggs are also a source of choline – an important nutrient for brain development and lutein, an important antioxidant and phytochemical.
Babies love avocado plain and kids will too if you use it mashed in place of mayo or mixed with lime for a dip. Avocado is another fruit loaded with nutrients including potassium, iron, vitamins A, C, E, B-complex, fiber, potent antioxidant phystochemicals as well as heart healthy monounsaturated fats.
Top cereal, yogurt and ice cream with berries! Strawberries, raspberries, blueberries are high in fibre and low in fat. The pigments which give berries their deep colors contain numerous phytochemicals that have powerful antioxidant effects, protecting us against disease.
Dark Leafy Greens
Cook it, puree it, bake with it or have it plain, but get the greens in the kids! Broccoli, spinach, kale and collard greens are super veggies high in nutrients that help fight disease, including vitamins C, E, and A, and calcium and brimming with antioxidant phytochemicals.
Fish sticks are OK but only if you make your own! Give kids real fish that has a name like salmon, halibut, sole or mackerel and try all different kinds. Heart healthy Omega 3 rich fish such as salmon, mackerel, and trout are the best for kids. Omega 3s are important for brain development, heart health and inflammation and fish can be a great source of Vitamin D also.
Only buy whole grain bread, whole grain pasta, brown rice and real oats. Start early with whole grain breads and pasta with your children and they will know no different. Include fibre rich oats, brown rice, and quinoa to get the benefits of more fibre and added protein. Whole grains represent a unique package of energy, micronutrients, and phytochemicals that work together to promote health and prevent disease.
Natural peanut butter counts , but creamy with added sugars and fats do not! Go nuts at snack time for regular nuts like almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds. Think beyond peanut butter. Nuts provide vitamins, minerals and protein with phytochemicals that help reduce cholesterol.
Beans, beans, good for your heart. . . . it’s true. Add to soups, stews, salads, pureed for a dip or roasted for a crunchy snack kids will love! Nutrient-rich beans and lentils contain protein, complex carbohydrates, fiber, antioxidants, phytochemical called flavonoids and important vitamins and minerals, such as iron.
Too many ‘dessert’ yogurts are giving this health food a bad name. Go for plain or naturally sweetened Greek yogurt and add your own berries and fruit for a great source of protein and bone building calcium that aids in digestion without the added sugary ingredients.