11 Superfoods Your Toddler Will Love
Chips, cupcakes, candy bars will all make their way onto your Childs list of superfoods. However, these items may not make it onto YOUR list. Left to their own devices, my toddlers would eat chips and pizza day in and day out! I mean literally: breakfast, lunch, dinner - pizza, chips, and pizza with chips on top (maybe a sprinkle of M&M's) that would be the diet. And knowing my kids, I would get a thorough explanation of why pizza covers the entire food pyramid and is in-fact healthy!
So I decided to counteract my toddlers list of superfoods with my own list of actual healthy superfoods my boys will love.
Here We Go:
Eggs offer protein, and they're one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. Eating protein at breakfast helps kids feel satisfied longer. Theres so much variety here:
- Boil them up and chop it into Tuna Salad. For a vitamin boost you can add in some chopped avocado as well.
- Make Shakshuka, an omelet with loads of tomatoes.
- A classic: Deviled Eggs.
Fiber-rich whole grains, like oatmeal, digest slowly, providing kids with a steady stream of energy.
- Make hot oatmeal with a dash of cinnamon and turmeric. Both cinnamon and turmeric are super potent in anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.
- Overnight oats, let your imagination run wild. Use your favorite milk (I use almond milk) and add in strawberries, bananas, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, peanut butter, maybe M&M's?
Fruit is simply god's candy, they are all loaded with vitamins and all Delicious!
- Make a fruit salad
- Add fruit in Salad to add some flavor, sweetness, and a pop of color
- Offer fruit as a snack instead of a Snickers Bar.
Nuts are made up of healthy fats, which kids need for growth and development, as well as for heart health. Having a little bit of “good” fat in the morning gives your kids a burst of energy to keep them going.
- You can add nuts into hot oatmeal, overnight oats, and salads.
- Use nuts as a heart healthy snack
Protein and calcium in dairy products provide fuel for the brain and body. Protein helps build brain tissue, while the calcium in milk keeps kids' bones and teeth strong. When I was little my mom would beat regular whole cow milk with strawberries. It was delicious! Actually I think I'll go take a break and do that now. But instead of strawberries which I don't have on hand I'll use papaya. and instead of doing this by hand I'll use my Nutri-Bullet! Try it, it's delicious!
Loaded with lycopene—a substance that protects against many cancers. Cooking tomatoes makes them even healthier because the heat releases the lycopene. Hint: Pairing tomato-y foods with a good fat, like olive oil, helps the body absorb more.
- Make Shakshuka, mentioned above
- Pasta sauces
- Have a bowl of chili and salsa for dipping if you've got a spice lover.
7. Greek Yogurt
Great yogurt contains probiotics, a healthy bacteria known to boost immunity and aid digestion, and has two to three times the amount of protein and less sugar than regular yogurt.
- Add a drizzle of honey (after age 1) for sweetness, maple syrup, or a squeeze of agave syrup (a sweetener with a lower glycemic index, so it won't make your child's blood sugar spike.
8. Broccoli, Kale & Cabbage
Broccoli, kale, and cabbage contain phytonutrients known to lower the risk for many types of cancer, as well as improve digestion. It also helps clear harmful toxins from the body by triggering the release of enzymes whose job it is to whisk them out.
- Make Coleslaw with low-fat mayo
- Shred and toss it into soups or Asian noodle dishes.
Heart-healthy omega-3 fats, known to boost brain development, fend off depression and have superb anti-inflammatory powers. Be sure to pick the wild kind, which is lower in mercury and higher in omega-3's.
- Pair salmon with side dishes that are already loved: mashed potatoes, fried potatoes, Mac and cheese.
- Glaze salmon fillets with orange juice or brush them with Teriyaki sauce.
- Make Salmon Burgers with lettuce, tomatoes, some mayo, and a bun
Great source of protein, as well as fiber and calcium. The darker the color, the better they are. They also help against heart disease and high cholesterol, which aren't adult-only problems.
- Make Chilli
- Black-Bean Veggie Burgers
- Whip up Black-Bean Hummus.
- You can even make dessert, ever tried Black Bean Brownies ? Contrary to how they sound they're actually pretty good and your kids won't notice the difference.
Packed with antioxidants—vitamins A, C and K—as well as iron, potassium and calcium and can help improve digestion. Some research shows it may even ease headaches.
- Drum-Roll please, it's Pesto. Finally an excuse to use pesto EVERYWHERE. I may be a slight fan here. Spoon it over chicken breasts or stir into cooked pasta.
- Make tea! Throw a few basil leaves into hot water with lemon and mint and a tad of honey. You'll never turn back!
This spice can help regulate blood sugar, its an excellent source of antioxidants, and has many anti inflammatory properties
- Sprinkle it on oatmeal, pancakes, cereal and yogurt
- Add a few extra dashes of cinnamon to muffins or quick-bread recipes
- Sprinkle it on air-popped popcorn or combine it in a shaker with cocoa and sprinkle both together for a superfood two-fer.
- Jennifer Akiyama