A balanced and nutritious diet is immensely important for a growing child. During their growing stages, children need some minerals and vitamins for proper development. However, owing to the extremely busy lifestyle that most parents lead they find it difficult to cook nutritious meals every day and children get a chance to gorge on unhealthy fast foods. Fast foods and ready-made meals are high in sugar and fat and very bad for the health of your kid. You must make it a point to keep your children away from such foods and offer them some superfoods that will prove very beneficial in their growing stages. These superfoods are packed with antioxidants and nutrients and are great for your child’s mind and body.
Given below is a list of 10 superfoods that you can add to your child’s diet right from now.
Milk is good for your kids and you surely must be aware of it. The two important minerals that milk contains, phosphorous and calcium, are important for the development of healthy teeth, bones, and nails. It is even rich in vitamin D that is crucial for good bone health.
Furthermore, milk contains many other nutrients like zinc, vitamins A, B2, B12, and protein, and all of them are essential for growth. If your kid is under 2 years of age then you should give them whole milk, and those who are above 2 years of age should be given skim milk. Every kid must ideally drink 2 glasses of milk every day to enjoy maximum benefits. If they do not enjoy drinking plain milk, you may make milkshakes for them.
See also; 10 Simple and Easy Ways to Be Healthier.
Oatmeal makes a great breakfast option for kids, as unlike many kinds of cereals it is high in fiber, low in sugar, and free of any artificial ingredients. Oatmeal helps maintain a stable blood glucose level and can help keep kids stay alert for longer, which obviously will prove helpful at school. Not only are oatmeal rich in B vitamins, they also contain beta-glucans that lower blood cholesterol and prevents heart diseases from developing.
You can serve oatmeal to your kids with yogurt or milk and top it with their favorite fruits and some nuts to make it a perfect breakfast. You can also use oatmeal while making cakes or other desserts to make sure your kids eat them without complaining.
Eggs are really important for growing kids because they are very rich in protein. They also contain B vitamins that help in proper brain functioning and development. Furthermore, eggs are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, iron, selenium, zinc, folate, and vitamin D.
You can cook eggs in different ways – fried, scrambled, hard-boiled, or make an omelet. You should ideally give your children 1-2 eggs for breakfast at least a few times each week. This will help make sure your kid remain energetic throughout the day.
7. Lentils and beans
Lentils and beans are great for growing children as they are rich in fiber and releases glucose slowly, which keeps energy and mood stabilized. Also, they are rich in fiber, which aids regularity. Lentils and beans are good alternatives to meat as far as a source of protein is concerned. Protein is very important for growing kids, it helps keep them full, and even supports wound healing.
You can offer your children lentils and beans in many forms – mashed, pureed, plain, and may add them to stews, pasta sauce, or soups.
Broccoli is one of those vegetables that are very high in calcium, an important nutrient for every growing kid, as it prevents cellular damage and helps maintain great eyesight. This healthy vegetable also has a lot of fiber which again is something growing children need. Other nutrients that broccoli contains include iron, potassium, phosphorous, folic acid, and zinc.
It is best to eat broccoli raw, lightly steamed, or juiced to draw the maximum nourishment. If your kid does not like broccoli, a great way would be to add them to pasta, and the sauce that you add along with it will make it taste great and your kid will only enjoy it.
Berries are nutritional powerhouses and unlike some other foods in this list, your kid will not make a fuss about eating them. They are rich in antioxidants and vitamins and can meet the fiber needs of your kids. If berries are not in season you can opt for the frozen varieties and add them to smoothies or oatmeal. Freeze-dried berries can be served as desserts or as snacks, and your kid will love them either way.
Flax, hemp, chia, and sunflower seeds are all good for growing children and help meet their need for good fats, fiber, protein, and magnesium. Your kids are not likely to eat them easily, so you can sprinkle them on their favorite salads or soups, add them to smoothies, or use them while baking.
Do not forget to grind flax seeds as only then can they be digested, and keep all these seeds in the fridge to prevent them from spoiling.
3. Nut Butters
Peanut butter is a great superfood, it is easy to store, inexpensive, loved by many children, and just 2 tablespoons meet almost half of the protein requirement of a preschooler, and also offers B vitamins, magnesium, and healthy fats. You may even offer your kid walnut and cashew butter. They are also highly nutritious and tastes perfect when added to a sandwich, or you may even add them to their favorite muffin.
Growing children must consume at least two portions of fish every week. They are low in fat, rich in protein, and loaded with important minerals and B vitamins. Fish also contain omega-3 fats that improve eyesight, boost brain development, and keep your kids’ heart healthy. The best fish that you can serve to your children are tuna and salmon. You can add them to their soup, salad, and sandwiches, and serve them baked or grilled.
Cheese is extremely nutritious for growing children and you should serve them to your kid on a regular basis. They are rich in calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, and protein. Cheese is even a good substitute for meat since they are a rich source of easily digestible, high-quality protein.
Your kids will never mind having cheese so add them to their sandwiches, sprinkle some over their soup, add it to other dishes, or even just give them a slice and watch them enjoying eating it.
Most of these superfoods are such that your child will not mind having, and those that they do not like, you have to try and search for ways to include them in their diet in such a way that they eat it without creating a fuss about it.