Super foods for your little ones! - One Megacoolmama... One Megacoolmama…

One Megacoolmama…

…with fun and healthy ideas for kids!

Super foods for your little ones!

on April 2, 2013

human hand with green apple

 

With Spring getting into full swing, Old Man Winter is still giving us a battle by leaving our little ones with remnants of the germs spread during the cold.  To help your kiddos fight off that last winter cold or flu, make sure they are getting plenty of the following foods in their diets.  Each food, according to Parenting magazine, is a “Super food” that will help your kids’ immune systems be at their strongest!  I have provided my take on each food and ideas for incorporating them into your family’s meals.  Super foods = super healthy!

  1. Eggs- these offer protein, which helps kids feel satisfied longer after eating breakfast.  They are also a natural source of Vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.  My daughter likes her egg fried in some nonstick olive oil spray with a little sprinkle of herbs on the top.
  2. Oatmeal- high fiber + whole grains = a winning breakfast and good combination for helping kids focus in school.  I like oatmeal from the brand Better Oats.  It is all-natural and comes in yummy flavors, such as dark chocolate, blueberry and maple strudel!  Throw in some fruit and milk to drink and your kid’s breakfast is complete!
  3. Fruit- any kind is an integral part of a child’s diet, but a variety is best in order to get all of the nutrients the different kinds of fruits provide!  In my household, my kids and I make fruit smoothies  together- a fun and nutritious way to get all that fruit in!
  4. Nuts- good source of healthy fats, which help with growth and brain development.  This is great for a little burst of energy in the morning or for part of an afternoon snack.  Also, walnuts are packed with lignans, which have been shown to fight off free radicals that cause disease.
  5. Milk- provides protein and calcium- need I say more?  We like Trader Joe’s organic milk, and occasionally we will drink Horizon Farms organic milk.  Milk is one of my main products that I buy organic in order to try and avoid exposure to the hormones that are used to process non-organic milk products.
  6. Blueberries- provide antioxidants, help protect against heart disease and diabetes, and fight build-up of visceral belly fat!  Serve as a side of fruit, in yogurt, on top of oatmeal/cereal, or on top of a stick of celery spread with cream cheese.
  7. Tofu- excellent source of lean protein and gives potent anti-cancer benefits
  8. Tomatoes- have lots of lycopene, which has been shown to protect against many cancers.  Try this recipe  for my healthy pasta in order to help give your kids their serving of tomatoes!
  9. Low-fat Greek yogurt- contains bacteria that boost immunity and help with digestion for your little one’s tummies.  It also has three times the protein and much less sugar than your typical yogurt.  Add a drip of honey or maple syrup to the yogurt to make it more palatable for the kiddos.
  10. Cabbage- contains phytonutrients that help lower the risk for cancer and also aids in digestion.  Shredded cabbage is fun to throw over soups as a garnish or even to use in a cole slaw recipe.
  11. Salmon- has lots of healthy omega-3 fats, which help in brain development and act as an anti-inflammatory.  This can be a tricky one for kids to eat, but my little ones like a bit of healthy breading on the outside (Trader Joe’s sells some good salmon fillets that can be baked).
  12. Cocoa- has high concentrations of flavonoids, known to promote good heart health and improve blood pressure.  Hot cocoa…need I say more?
  13. Black beans- great source of protein, fiber, and calcium.  They help guard against heart disease and high cholesterol.  Use these as just a plain side dish, as part of a “Make-your-own-fajita night”, or smash them and mix with some lemon juice and cumin for a quick veggie dip!
  14. Basil- who woulda thought?  This herb is packed with antioxidants and can help aid in digestion.  Use it as an ingredient in my pasta recipe (linked in the tomato section above)!
  15. Cinnamon- can help regulate blood sugar and helps with circulation.  Sprinkle this on cereal, oatmeal, toast, yogurt and in any baked goods that you whip up!

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