When learning about “superfoods for kids,” many people assume that kids won’t like the superfoods. We generally tend to think of superfoods as unpleasant tasting, or the sort of thing you have to eat to be healthy. The truth is: almost any healthy food can be a superfood, and superfoods are easy to make appealing to children.
Here are some of the top superfoods for kids along with ideas for serving them:
With their high antioxidant and vitamin content, berries are considered superfoods.
Blueberries in particular are touted as healthy for kids as they are said to improve immunity and brain function and to promote eye health. If your kids don’t care for fresh blueberries, try freezing them.
Here are some other ideas for serving berries to kids:
- Blend blueberries with a little water or natural apple juice and freeze them in popsicle molds or in ice cube trays. You can use the cubes in smoothies.
- Blend them with yogurt or oatmeal.
- Make a mixed-berry smoothie that includes blueberries. Frozen berries do well in smoothies. Add yogurt, milk, or whatever else you’d like to the smoothie (you can freeze smoothies into popsicles, too).
Many people don’t know that turkey is considered to be a superfood. With its lean protein, B vitamins, zinc, and potassium, turkey is considered a healthy food for kids.
Whole, cooked turkey is best; turkey that’s been processed into lunch meat or other items contains a lot of things besides turkey – and some of them may not be so healthy.
Ways to serve turkey to kids:
- As meatloaf or meatballs (ground turkey is available in grocery stores)
- In a turkey salad
- Sliced as a sandwich
- Rolled in breadcrumbs and baked into turkey nuggets
3. Leafy Greens
Broccoli, spinach, kale, and so forth are not foods associated with children, but the health benefits of these leafy greens are excellent for your kids.
For spinach, kale, and other greens, here are fun and easy ways to serve them to kids:
- Mince greens and use as a pizza topping, or add them to meatloaf or meatballs.
- Make a green smoothie with leafy greens, chunked apple, and natural apple juice. You can make green popsicles with this mixture too.
- Use a blender to puree raw greens into spaghetti, pasta, or pizza sauces.
4. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are not only nutritious, but are reputed to help stabilize blood sugar, which can be very helpful for growing little ones. Chia seeds have almost no taste and are very tiny and tender, so they can be hidden in lots of foods.
Here are some ideas for getting your kids to eat chia seeds:
- Stir chia seeds into applesauce.
- Add a tablespoon of chia seeds to a smoothie before blending.
- Add chia seeds to pancake mixes or bread dough.
When it’s not mixed with lots of fat and sugar, raw cacao is considered a healthy food known for its antioxidant properties.
To get it into your kids’ diets without a lot of “bad stuff,” try some of these ideas:
- Make a cocoa smoothie by adding a tablespoon or two of unsweetened cocoa powder to a smoothie made from sweet fruits, such as bananas and/or strawberries.
- Mix cocoa into chili or Mexican sauces.
- Stir a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder into a bowl of oatmeal and top with raw honey and milk.
Which of these superfoods are your kids’ favorites?
original image credits:
- strawberry snatcher: https://www.flickr.com/photos/95072945@N05/14138579148
- turkey sandwich: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dabinsi/6366705951
- green smoothie: https://www.flickr.com/photos/rgourley/14259076647
- chia seeds: https://www.flickr.com/photos/notahipster/4999199198
- cocoa powder: https://www.flickr.com/photos/cart_wheels/7749610294