Nutrient packed foods!
Is your child a fussy eater? Are they difficult when it comes to food. These are my top 5 healthy and nutritious foods that kids will love!
A warm bowl of oats makes a healthy nourishing breakfast for kids and a great alternative to sugar-filled breakfast cereals. Oats provide long-lasting carbohydrates, protein for growing, brain-boosting fats and are a great source of healthy fibre to keeping their energy going until lunch time.
Oats contain antioxidant plant compounds, calcium, magnesium, iron, manganese, vitamin B5, folic acid and silica needed for bones and connective tissue.
Porridge doesn’t have to be boring. Help your children get the benefits of this superfood by adding fresh, dried, or frozen berries, chopped apple, sliced banana, raisins, and top with chopped nuts and seeds. Add a drizzle of honey for older children if needed.
Top tip: Get the kids involved and set out toppings on the breakfast table and let kids make their own porridge creations.
Berries are nutritional powerhouses and kids love them! Packed with nutrients such as vitamin C, antioxidants and fibre, berries are naturally sweet and are a great on-the-go snack. Fresh blueberries are a great snack for toddlers and kids since they’re small, sweet and ready-to-eat.
Whizz up into a smoothie, add to porridge to boost your breakfast or layer into plain yogurt for a simple dessert.
Top tip: If berries aren’t in season, frozen berries are good value for money and still pack a nutritional punch.
Fish is a great source of brain-boosting Omega-3 fatty acids for both children and grown ups! Salmon is one of the richest source of Omega-3s and it also contains calcium, selenium, vitamin D and vitamin E. These are important nutrients for hormonal health, the skin, growing bones and the developing immune system.
Salmon, tuna, and even breaded fish fingers are a favourite with kids.
Plant based sources of Omega 3s can be found in chia seeds, hemp seeds and flaxseeds, walnuts and even brussels sprouts!
Top Tip: If your child isn’t initially keen on fish, try topping it with a sweet glaze like teriyaki, or mix flaked salmon into a pasta dish with your little ones favourite sauce.
Seeds are little gems of goodness for kids and are really versatile. Sunflower, pumpkin, hemp, flax and chia seeds all provide healthy fats, protein, fibre and minerals such as magnesium, iron and calcium. Iron is essential for brain development and children need iron to transport oxygen through the blood to all the cells in their body. Iron is also an essential nutrient for many beneficial gut microbes.
Sprinkle seeds into yogurt or porridge, mix them into a smoothie, use them in baking or add them to homemade granola bars.
Top tip: Flaxseeds need grinding to release their nutrients, and all seeds are best stored in the fridge to preserve their nutrients with the exception of chia seeds that can be stored in the cupboard. These ingredients are readily available in the supermarkets.
Eggs contain just about everything needed to support growing children. An excellent source of protein and healthy fats, eggs are rich in B vitamins and fat soluble vitamins A and D.
Eggs can be cooked in any number of ways; boiled, poached, scrambled, baked or mixed with veggies to make a nutritious omelette.
Top tip: Savoury muffins are a favourite with kids and make a great alternative for sandwiches in lunch boxes. Sneak in some veggies for an extra nutritional boost.
AUTHOR: EMILY HARRIS
Emily Harris is a registered naturopath, is a member of the The General Council and Register of Naturopaths (GCRN), the Complementary and Natural Healthcare Council (CNHC), and the General Naturopathic Council.