Top 10 Superfoods to Feed Your Kids
While superfood may not be a medical term, it’s used to designate fruits, vegetables, or other foods that are extra-high in nutrients. A diet rich in superfoods is important at any age, but it’s especially beneficial for healthy growth and development in kids.
Here's a list of the top 10 superfoods your kids should be eating – along with ideas for slipping them into your diet!
Sweet potatoes are the ultimate superfood. They provide your children with vitamin C, and B-complex vitamins, as well as fiber and beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant that’s great for eye health. It’s fat-free, lower in calories than white potatoes, and also low in sodium.
How do you get more sweet potatoes in your diet? Consider these easy ideas:
- Boil and mash them with a little honey, butter, and milk, then put them in a casserole dish and top them with crushed almonds.
- Cut them into wedges and roast them with olive oil, rosemary, garlic, and sea salt.
- Shred them with a cheese grater and sauté them in olive oil with diced onions and green pepper for morning “hash browns”.
Blueberries are one of the healthiest berries. They provide vitamins A, B, C, and E as well as minerals such as iron, copper, and manganese. They're a good source of chlorogenic acid (which can help control blood sugar levels) and powerful antioxidants like anthocyanin and quercetin.
Adding blueberries to the diet is simple! You can:
- Add them to a whole wheat pancake mix.
- Mix with cottage cheese and other favorite fruits for a healthy breakfast dish.
- Add frozen blueberries to almond milk and honey to make a great, simple smoothie.
Skip the white rice – it’s over-processed and has little nutritional value. Brown rice, in contrast, is amazing. It has loads of fiber for your child’s digestive health.
To get more brown rice in the diet, you should:
- Replace white rice with brown rice when serving up stir-fries.
- Sautée with mushrooms and zucchini to serve with chicken or fish.
- Make brown rice pudding: Mix the rice up with honey, eggs, a little milk and some raisins, and bake until firm.
Salmon is a great source of lean protein, but most importantly, it’s one of the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids, which are necessary for brain and heart health.
Want to add more salmon to your diet? Here are some suggestions:
- Pan-fry the salmon in a skillet with lemon, butter, and fresh dill and serve up with new red potatoes and buttered peas.
- Make a loaf with chopped salmon, egg, salt and pepper, chopped onions, and whole wheat bread crumbs and bake like you would a traditional meat loaf.
- Cut cooked salmon into pieces and chill, then serve in a spinach salad with shredded carrots and a homemade lemon vinaigrette.
This dark, leafy green vegetable is a rich source of important minerals like iron and calcium and has a ton of fiber as well.
Fun ways to add spinach into the family diet include:
- Add chopped spinach to egg dishes like scrambled eggs, frittatas or quiches.
- Make cream of spinach soup with onions, garlic, chicken stock, salt and pepper, and a dash of cream.
- Make a spinach-artichoke dip and serve with whole wheat pita crisps.
Almonds are a great source of healthy fats and plant-based proteins as well as minerals like calcium to help build strong bones.
To add more almonds to your diet, try any of the following tips:
- Add chopped almonds into oatmeal, along with dried or fresh fruit of choice.
- Bake into a cookie, cupcake, or muffin recipe.
- Sprinkle it over a fresh fruit salad with yogurt.
Aha! Your kids’ favorite superfood! Dark chocolate is rich in antioxidants and flavonoids and is also a great source of magnesium; that’s required for over 200 chemical reactions in your body.
Want more dark chocolate in your diet? Try out these:
- Make homemade hot chocolate with dark chocolate powder, milk, and honey.
- Add it to a smoothie with cherries or bananas.
- Use it to make healthy versions of your child’s favorite cookies or muffins.
Oats are rich in B-complex vitamins and important minerals like manganese, iron, and phosphorous. They're also a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber – to protect your child’s heart and make sure the digestive system is working at its best.
To get more oats in your diet, you can:
- Add oatmeal instead of breadcrumbs to meatloaf.
- Make oat muffins or oat bread.
- Use it as a base for your own homemade granola.
Apples are a rich source of Vitamin C and polyphenols. They also contain a special form of fiber called pectin which can help to curb the appetite naturally if your child is trying to lose weight.
Adding apples to your diet is easy. You can:
- Chop them and add them to oatmeal with raisins and cinnamon.
- Make them into a healthy cobbler by rolling chopped apples in cinnamon and topping them with oatmeal, butter, and honey.
- Serve them as apple wedges with a honey-yogurt dip.
Avocados are quite possibly a perfect food, providing your kids with healthy, monounsaturated fats, protein, fiber, and over 20 vitamins and minerals.
To increase your avocado intake, you can:
- Top your southwestern or veggie omelets with a dollop of fresh, mashed avocado.
- Make veggie-avocado wraps with whole wheat tortillas and an array of fresh vegetables.
- Start the day with avocado toast.
What superfood dishes do your children love?