Many parents throw up their hands at the thought of getting their children to eat healthy, whole foods at every meal. When your child refuses to try new things, leaves half of his plate empty at each meal, and wants the same two or three foods on a rotation, it can be easy to put nutrition aside for a moment and just focus on getting your child to eat, period. But these five superfoods are easy to feed to young kids, and contain properties they need as they grow.
- Salmon. Salmon is easy to work into your child’s meals. Does your little one love teriyaki sauce? Honey mustard? Serve your salmon with whatever sauce will make it more appealing to your child, and she’ll benefit from omega-3 fatty acids, which are not only heart healthy, but aid in brain function and development. Buy the wild salmon as opposed to the farmed variety, which contains more mercury.
- Blueberries. Does your child eat cereal for breakfast? Add a handful of blueberries everyday. These tart little fruits are packed with antioxidants, which prevent heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, as well as combatting obesity and metabolic syndrome.
- Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt, when topped with blueberries, strawberries, honey, or even agave syrup, is a treat for young kids and is a great way of getting them to snack on something which will leave them full and energized for hours. Greek yogurt contains nearly triple the protein of conventional yogurts, and its healthy bacteria aid in immunity and digestion.
- Cinnamon. Cinnamon lowers blood sugar, which makes it a great addition to oatmeal, cereal, and applesauce, since it may keep those blood sugar swings at bay throughout the day. Your child won’t need much convincing to eat it. Add it to meals and snacks as a “sweetener” that’s more spicy than sugary.
- Cabbage. Vegetables typically have a bitter taste that is palatable to adults, but feels far too strong to younger tastebuds. It can be difficult to get kids on board with green veggies. But cabbage has a mild flavor that your kids may not notice, and its crunch makes it a great topping for tacos, sandwiches, and noodle and rice dishes. Its antioxidants have anti-inflammatory properties that your child needs.
Some of these foods, like blueberries, will be easy sells to your child. Others, like cabbage may take a little bit of convincing and possibly some subterfuge. But working them into the diet of your young child will boost her immunity, her energy, and will ward off a variety of health risk factors as she grows.