As a parent, you most likely know what are the best foods to feed your children. Eggs, milk, fruits and vegetables are at the top of that list. Here are some foods you may not have considered that have great benefits for children.
Flaxseed - Flaxseed is full of Omega-3 fatty acids. These acids are needed for brain development. Flaxseed can be purchased in whole and ground seeds but research shows that ground is absorbed into the body better. Add flaxseed to your children's diet by sprinkling it into some of their favorite foods like cereal and pancakes.
Tofu - While you might think some kids wouldn’t touch tofu with a 10-foot pole, you may be surprised. Tofu doesn’t have to be eaten whole and can be added to many different foods. Tofu makes for a great base to homemade smoothies and can be found in a few different ice creams. Tofu is full of protein, vitamin B, calcium and iron. All of these things help with growth and bone development.
Sweet Potato - Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious and inexpensive vegetables available. Sweet potatoes keep eyes healthy because of the vitamin A. This potato is often a favorite for little kids because of the color and natural sweetness. There are so many different ways to cook and serve sweet potatoes, so give it a try.
Yogurt - Yogurt is great source of probiotics. Plain yogurts are best for children and a cup of yogurt counts towards daily dairy servings. Yogurt is also a great way to get in other essential foods such as fruit, almonds/nuts and granola.
Hummus - Hummus, made from chickpeas, is full of fiber, complex carbs and protein. Another ingredient includes olive oil, which is heart-healthy. Hummus will keep kids full for long periods of time.
Salmon - Salmon is a great source of protein and Omega-3 fatty acids. The fatty acids within salmon help boost brain development and fend off depression. Salmon is also full of taste and requires little seasoning when being prepared for a meal. The FDA has ranked wild salmon one of the top five fish with the lowest mercury levels so it is safe to feed to everyone.
Avocado - It is recommended that 25-35% of calories consumed by children come from fats, mainly unsaturated fats. Avocados are a great source of monounsaturated fats. Avocados can be presented to children in many forms such as a dip and spread for sandwiches. Avocados are full of taste and add a creamy texture to many foods.
Mango - One mango provides children with an entire days serving of Vitamin C. Vitamin C keeps immune systems up and running and teeth and gums healthy. Mangos also contain fiber and very few calories. Mangos can be served cut up in slices, in smoothes or blended and frozen into popsicles.
Cocoa - Cocoa helps improve blood pressure and heart and oral health. It is also reported that cocoa helps protect skin from the sun and sun damage.
Next time you are planning a meal, try adding one of these foods. It will benefit your children as well as be a healthy option for the whole family!