For many parents, buying and preparing healthy foods is pretty easy. It’s getting your child to actually eat those nutritious foods that’s the hard part! This makes mealtimes frustrating and leaves parents often wondering if their child is getting enough nutrients. If this is the case in your home, then read on because I will tell you about 5 super healthy foods that I guarantee even your pickiest child will eat.
This nutty plant food is packed full of Omega-3 fatty acids which are needed for optimal brain development. Flaxseed is sold whole and ground, but research suggests that ground is absorbed by the body better. Try sprinkling ground flaxseed onto cereal or into the batter of sweet treats like Oatmeal Almond Cookies. Replace 1/4 cup of flour with ground flaxseed in your child’s favorite muffin, bread, or pancake recipe to add a healthy boost to baked goods.
2. Sweet Potato.
This spud is one of the most nutritious (and inexpensive) vegetables around. The Vitamin A in sweet potatoes keeps eyes healthy, and acts like an antioxidant in the body. Sweet potatoes are a favorite among babies because of their natural sweetness and bright color, but they are often forgotten once kids get older. Try my sweet potato tots the next time you need a side dish. Apple sauce or a drizzle of maple syrup make good toppings.
This heart-healthy dip and spread is one food that most kids will eat – as long as you don’t tell them it’s made from beans! But it’s the fiber, complex carbs, and protein in those garbanzo bean—combined with heart-healthy olive oil—that make hummus such a perfect food. The complex carbs fuel your busy little one, while the protein and fiber help keep him content and meltdown-free until dinner. Serve hummus as a dip with baked pita chips or carrots or use it in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches and wraps. My daughter loves it with veggie burgers or baked potatoes.
Avocado is full of monounsaturated fats, the “good” fats that kids actually need in their diet every day. In fact, it’s recommended that 25 to 35% of kid’s calories come from fats, primarily the unsaturated ones. So how do you get your child to eat this creamy green fruit? The easiest way for me to spread on a toast, instead of cream cheese. Toast with avocado my daughter’s favorite breakfast. We like to make quacamole also, but to make it even more nutritional I add some chopped kale. Start kids on avocado early since fat intake is particularly important in the early years. In fact, ripe avocado is a perfect baby food spooned straight out of its peel.
One cup of this sweet tropical fruit provides almost a whole day’s supply of Vitamin C which helps keep kids’ immune systems running strong and keeps teeth and gums healthy. It also provides 3 grams of fiber for just around 100 calories. Buy fresh to serve cut up or in dessert like my Raw Mango Coconut Lime Tart. Want a fun way to cool your kids off and provide a nutritious snack? Puree peeled cubes of mango in a food processor or blender; pour into popsicle molds or ice cube trays and freeze. In a few hours, you’ve got frozen mango pops!
Here is a comfort kids food recipe that I came with last weekend. I was planning to make zucchini pancakes, but didn’t want to use any oil, so I made zucchini muffins, which I served with hummus. Sophia loved them, even she got sick, and didn’t have any appetite at all.
Baked zucchini muffins:
2 shredded zucchini
1 shredded carrot
1/2 chopped onion
1 glove of garlic
3 tablespoons chickpeas flour ( or any other kind)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Homemade hummus for serving.
Heat the oven to 350F. Mix all the ingredients in the food processor. Pour the batter into muffin forms. ( I used silicone ones). Bake in the oven for 30 minutes.
Serve warm with hummus or any kind of spread.