10 POWER foods you can get your kid to eat! (part one)

10-superfoodsHow to get your kids to eat some power foods without much of a fight!

True confession: I grew up on substandard and processed food. I remember in my college dorm room choosing to make Ramen noodles, and instant macaroni and cheese in the microwave instead of heading to the dining hall. I’m paying the price for all of it now as I am in my forties and having to play catch up with my health and my children’s health. But it was my children’s health that got me started really thinking about my diet and what I was feeding my children and why that was so important. It took me a few years to catch on for my two girls, so I missed that early window of introducing what some might call power or super foods early on so they would have just assumed it was normal. I had to play around and get them to join in on eating some things that might be different to their palates. I started this blog entry to write some thoughts about 10 foods that moms could easily learn about and incorporate into their kid’s diets. I didn’t realize I had so much to say about each of them, and in their own right each probably deserve their own blog entry, but I decided to send it to you in two parts. I am doing that because I know how overwhelming new information can be and I want you to take it in small steps.  That way there is a better chance of success with actually having your child eat it. So my advice is to pick one of these super foods, learn about it and see if you can incorporate it into your family’s diet, then move on to the next one after a few weeks! Keep it simple…

Here are 10 foods  full of nutrition that you can get your child to eat!!!(1st 5, now, 2nd 5 next week!)

Almonds

Almonds contain some of the best nutrients around. For little guys, they can carry a big punch for kids! They have incredible mineral content with the likes of magnesium, manganese, potassium phosphorous and molybdenum (say that 5 times fast!!)  AND they are high in protein and fiber.

Almonds Soaked and or sprouted are best as this allows the nutrients of the almonds to come to life.  If you are not familiar with this concept, please read here to understand why this is an important part of the process. You can save a few dimes by doing it yourself with a dehydrator and starting with good organic almonds. However, if you are busy mom and do have a few extra dimes to spare, buy them already sprouted here at Healthy flour . They actually have a multitude of sprouted flours and snacks.  ( I love their Einkorn sprouted flour and popcorn!)

 

Almonds make for a great simple snack to put in lunches or for right after school, but if that is not appealing to your child, crush them up and put in yogurt/granola combo, or even a muffin mix. My girls like to make a trail mix out of organic cranberries, seeds, almonds and Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips. Using almond butter is ideal- remember ANTS ON a LOG with celery and raisins? Great for a snack. Eating almonds with a meal is a great way to keep blood sugar stabilized during the day as well. Almonds are a home run!

Avocado

Avocados got a bad rap for a while when fat was considered taboo! Many might not realize they are classified as a fruit! In my book, it really doesn’t matter what they are classified as because plain and simple avocados have a complete package- fats, protein , lots and lots of potassium! Here is a great article in the Huffington Post about benefits of avocados.

This is a great baby food!!!! Easy to mash up and easy for baby to eat!!! We did lots of these when my girls were little. So now you might have an older kid who doesn’t like guacamole, but there are still plenty of ways to get this power packed food in!!! It makes a great pudding consistency for strawberry, chocolate or banana pudding, it can be easily mixed in smoothies, it can even be substituted for butter in various recipes. My girls like it mashed up with REAL SALT added with some organic blue corn chips. Great after school snack!!!

Real Salt

Believe it or not and contrary to the last 30 years of salt bashing, proper salt really can be good for you and a much needed element  for our bodies. Unrefined salt can provide the minerals that our bodies desperately need. Minerals are the catalysts for a lot of enzymatic functions in the body, so without the minerals we can not function properly.  Most of the grocery store salts have been processed and the good extra minerals removed leaving only sodium and chloride and the pretty white color. But real salt should have some color (minerals) to it. I am partial to the Real Salt brand from Redmond Clay in Redmond, Utah where they get it from underground salt mines. Listen to this podcast where I chat with Darryl Bosshardt of Redmond Clay about the health benefits of using Real Salt.  You can find this at some health food stores or on line. Most kids like the taste of it, but super easy to use in cooking! Use it liberally and salt your way to health!!!

 

Chia seeds

Who remembers the commercials for the chia pets? Ch..ch… chia!!! I had no idea back then they the little chia seeds could provide such packed nutrition. Wish I still had mine! These seeds have made a come back in the last several years as one of the most nutrient dense foods that provide a lot of sustained energy!!!

It’s label would read something like this for a one ounce serving

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.

Not to leave out also is they are a great source of B vitamins, zinc and potassium!

Kids’ bodies need lots of proteins and fats, and the little chia seed won’t disappoint to help stabilize blood sugar, and keep them fuller longer…=happier kids and moms!

I’m sure you are thinking, “how will I get my child to eat a chia seed?” I used to think the same thing, but many thanks to the blender or Vitamix, they have eaten lots of them!! First step is to hydrate them, and the way to do that is put them in a glass jar with some water using a nine parts water to one part chia seed ratio. Allow this to sit at least over night and it will make a gel consistency. This gel consistency makes for better absorption with chia seeds, especially with children who aren’t the greatest at drinking water.  I just keep a jar of the hydrated gel in my fridge most of the time. So when I am making smoothies, I can pull out a couple of spoonfuls and put them in the blender. Or put in a soup or sauce, sometimes I even put them in our weekly Einkorn muffins! Some recipes call for an overnight soak to make a yummy  morning pudding. The possibilities are endless. These are pretty economical as well, and easily found online! To the chia!

Blueberries

What a great gift to mankind these delicious berries are! Loaded with nutrition: potassium, vitamin C, fiber and antioxidants. They can be a sweet treat come late May and June. But for year round goodness, you can purchase frozen or freeze dried.  There have been lots of exciting studies on the benefits of blueberries.  Several at Tufts University have found they are beneficial to brain health as well as eye health. One study found a  link to lowered blood pressure and higher rates of metabolism. I would suggest buying organic if possible with blueberries. Easy to eat as they come, or put in smoothies, yogurt, pancakes, muffins and especially lunches!!! Much better choice than chips!!!

Please share in the comments if you have been able to get your kids to eat any of these power foods and how so!

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