Our children grow at alarming rates and, while we all have good intentions, it can be quite difficult to encourage them to do things that will set them up for a lifetime of health. While most of us understand that we need to encourage them to eat vegetables or to take digestive probiotics, we don’t always know what we should suggest. (To help your child digest foods, consider adding digestive probiotics: https://bioptimizers.com/best-digestive-probiotics-what-are-they-how-they-help/.)
The foods that our children eat are essential to forming who they are today and who they will be in the future. As their bodies grow and strengthen, we need to give them the fuel they need – even if their metabolisms are fast enough that they can eat junk food for every meal. So what foods should you incorporate into your child’s diet? Here are some of our suggestions:
Most children are afraid of green foods, and let’s be honest, they don’t always taste great. The best thing you can do is find fun ways to prepare leafy greens so that they retain their nutrients but kids still like to eat them. For example, there are many recipes that add kale to pasta dishes, spinach to muffins, or mix a few different types into smoothies.
The key is to make sure that you aren’t zapping all of the nutrients out of your children’s food by making it taste better.
Eggs – Of All Kinds
Eggs are some of the best foods that you can get your kids to eat, which is perfect because most kids love eggs. There are plenty of proteins and other nutrients in eggs that help to strengthen kids, boost their brains, and keep them full. Hardboil eggs for snacks, make scrambled eggs for dinner or breakfast, or even make egg salad sandwiches for lunch.
Once again, just make sure you aren’t only making fried eggs that have way too much fat for many kids to process.
Seeds, Nuts, and Nut Butters
Seeds and nuts make for great snacks because they have so many different essential fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins that children need. They help to fortify nervous systems, they are easy to eat and travel with, and most kids love them. You just have to make sure that you don’t send them to school if your child eats lunch with someone who has allergies.
Of course, you can also use nut butters on bread, celery, or crackers. However, do make sure that you aren’t feeding your child too many sugars or processed foods like are found in commercialized spreads. If your child cannot take peanut butter to school, consider sending sunflower, almond, or other types of butters.
Yogurts and Kefir
Greek yogurts and kefir drinks are perfect for children. They often taste just like their sugary relatives but have many more nutrients. There are many types that have the protein that will keep your children full, help to build up their muscles, and provide them with probiotics they need to digest foods. Even better, yogurts help to build brain muscles. You can even use plain Greek yogurt as a replacement for sour cream in many recipes!
Instead of buying flavored yogurts, buy plain vanilla yogurt and supplement with fruits, a bit of honey, granola, dark chocolate chips, or peanut butter.
A Rainbow Of Fruits
Many kids will eat bananas, strawberries, and oranges without a problem. But what about some other fruits? Plums, dragonfruits, and apricots are all great fruits that too many kids don’t have access to until they are older. Fruit is extremely easy to take wherever you go, keep in a bowl for quick, self-serve snacks, and cut up for road trips. Go to your grocery store with your child and have them pick out fruit that looks interesting and then incorporate it into their diets.
If possible, you want to buy organic foods and encourage your children to actually eat the skins of the fruit – that is where they get the nutrients.
It may seem so simple, but many people aren’t eating oatmeal anymore – but they should be. Oatmeal helps to keep the heart and brain healthy. It is easy to make, can be worked into many different recipes, and is affordable.
Whether you work it into muffins, serve it as overnight oats, or add cinnamon to it in the mornings, oatmeal really is a great food. Your mom was right (as usual).
These are just a few of the foods you want to work into your child’s diet. Remember, the more foods you can expose them to now, the more adventurous they will be later in life.