When you hear the words “super foods,” many people assume that kids won’t like whatever the super food is. We tend to think of super foods as unpleasant tasting, or the sort of thing you have to eat to be healthy. But really, almost any healthy food can be a super food, and they can be made appealing to children. However, there are some super foods that may really help children’s health.
Here are some of these super foods, and how to serve them to kids.
With their high antioxidant and vitamin content, berries are considered super foods. Blueberries in particular are touted as healthy for kids – they’re said to improve immunity and brain function, and to promote eye health. If your kids are not fond of blueberries out of hand, try freezing them. Here are some other ideas:
- Blend blueberries with a little water or natural apple juice and freeze them into popsicles or in ice cube trays. You can use the cubes in smoothies.
- Blend them with yogurt.
- 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 by many to be a super food. 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 lunchmeat or other items contains a lot of things besides turkey – and some of them may not be so healthy. 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! If your kids turn up their noses at these vegetables cooked, try broccoli raw with dip. For spinach, kale, and other greens, here are some things to try.
- 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.
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 sneaked into lots of foods. Here are some ideas.
- Stir chia seeds into applesauce.
- Add a tablespoon of chia seeds to a smoothie before blending.
- Add chia to pancake mixes or bread dough.
When it’s not mixed with lots of fat and sugar, cocoa 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.
The Whole Family Cookbook