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15 Super Foods for Children
September 13, 2013
|J.R. and I hope you're well and adding natures super foods to your diet!
Today we'd like to share with you fifteen super foods for kids.
It's when information meets inspiration that a newsletter can help you lead a healthy and active life.
Knowledge is important when you have what it takes to become a healthier you!
Super Foods for Children
As super foods are becoming more mainstream, we've been getting increasingly more people asking us if there are specific super foods that would be beneficial for our children and grandchildren.
Our opinion is, the earlier a person (child) starts, the more benefits will be derived as they continue through the years of their lives.
Remember, we all want to live longer and live younger.
So, our suggestions are to serve up the following colorful, tasty, nutrient-packed super foods, generally, once a child starts consuming solid foods.
The earlier children become used to these various super foods, the more likely they'll be to enjoy them as they progress through life.
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 (no mid-morning hunger pangs).
Still works for us!
Research has shown that kids who eat oatmeal in the morning are better able to concentrate and pay attention in school.
Fiber-rich whole grains, like oatmeal, digest slowly, providing kids with a steady stream of energy to carry them through the day.
Any fruit is good for your child, as fruits provide essential vitamins and minerals.
Fruit also has fiber, which keeps kids regular and aids in maintaining a healthy weight.
To reap the multitude of nutritional benefits, aim to serve a variety of fruits, like berries, melons, kiwifruit, and oranges.
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.
Protein and calcium in dairy products provide fuel for the brain and body.
Protein helps build brain tissue, while milk's calcium keeps a child's bones and teeth strong.
They've ranked among the healthiest fruits (berries) for years.
Now, research suggests that in addition to protecting against heart disease, diabetes and improving brain function, blueberries may also help reduce visceral "toxic" belly fat, a type of fat that has been linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
They're a natural, add-on breakfast choice (ie, tossed into a bowl of granola and milk) and are also great in summer salads and desserts such as yogurt.
Try making ice pops by freezing a blend of whirred-up blueberries, yogurt, and some organic honey (after age 1).
Whole soy foods are an excellent source of lean protein and have potent anti-cancer benefits.
Tofu is great for young girls because it has a protective effect as their bodies and breast tissue are developing, which lasts into adulthood.
Dice and toss tofu into stir-fries or soups; use the silken variety as a substitute for yogurt in fruit smoothies; snack on lightly boiled and salted edamame (soybeans), the kids will have fun popping them out of the shells.
They're loaded with lycopene, a substance that protects against numerous cancers.
Cooking tomatoes makes them even healthier because the heat releases the lycopene (the orange variety are best).
Pairing tomato foods with a good fat, like olive oil, helps the body absorb more.
Pizza and pasta sauces are obvious choices, or serve tomato sauce over turkey meatballs or meatloaf if you need to disguise it.
A bowl of chili and salsa for dipping are good options (easy on the spice).
Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
It contains healthy bacteria known to boost immunity and aid digestion, and has two to three times the amount of protein and less sugar than regular flavored yogurt.
Add a drizzle of organic honey (after age 1) for sweetness, a bit of maple syrup, or try a squeeze of agave syrup (a sweetener with a lower glycemic index, so it won't make your child's blood sugar, and energy level, spike and then crash soon after breakfast).
Agave is available in grocery stores, try the organic aisle where you'd find the honey.
It has a mild flavor and crunch that kids tend to like better than the usual salad greens.
And cruciferous veggies such as cabbage, broccoli, and kale 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 of the body.
Make coleslaw with low-fat mayo; shred and toss it into soups or Asian noodle dishes.
It contains heart-healthy omega-3 fats, which are also known to boost brain development, fend off depression, and have superb anti-inflammatory powers.
Be sure to pick the wild kind though, as it's lower in mercury and higher in omega-3's.
A good way to get your kid to eat it is to pair salmon with ingredients your child already likes.
Glaze salmon fillets with organic honey, orange juice or brush them with low-sodium teriyaki sauce.
Or serve it as salmon cakes, burgers, or salad (mixed with low-fat mayo of course).
You probably think of the marshmallow-topped beverage, but cocoa powder actually has one of the highest concentrations of flavonoids, a compound known to improve blood pressure and heart and oral health.
Flavonoids may also protect skin from sun damage.
Use at least a 70 percent pure cocoa and check that it isn't "Dutch processed" (processed with alkaline), which removes most of the flavonoids.
Sprinkle it on pancakes, waffles, or French toast, or melt some dark chocolate and dunk strawberries in it.
We all know beans are a great source of protein, as well as fiber and calcium, two things kids generally don't get enough of.
The darker the color, the better they are.
Beans and legumes also help guard against heart disease and high cholesterol, which are not adult-only issues.
Make nachos, chili or quesadillas with black beans, cheese, and salsa; try black-bean veggie burgers, or whip up black-bean hummus.
This herb is packed with antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron, potassium, and calcium and can help aid in improving digestion for kids and parents alike.
There is research showing it may even ease headaches.
Make a pesto sauce and spoon over chicken breasts or stir into cooked pasta.
Chop fresh basil superfine and sprinkle on pizza, hide it in sauces, soups, and everyone's favorite...meatyballs.
Research shows that this spice can help regulate blood sugar, which can also minimize those all-too-common mid-morning energy crashes.
Sprinkle it on oatmeal, pancakes, cold cereal, and yogurt, or add a few extra dashes of cinnamon to muffin or bread recipes that call for it.
Our grand-kids also love it on air-popped popcorn.
Or combine it in a cheese-shaker (the kind you see in pasta resaurants) with cocoa and sprinkle both on foods for a superfood double-dose.
Unfortunately, that's all the time we have for today.
We truly hope this information helps and you found some value in this edition!
Until next time, we want you to,
live longer, live younger!
You can do it with
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