Our eating habits are usually formed in the first few years of our life. That’s why you need to pay extra attention to what you’re putting on your child’s plate to ensure they grow up healthy and happy. All parents already know things like chocolate and ice cream are bad while fruits and vegetables are good, but what are the actual daily foods you should feed to your child to maintain and enhance their health? Here are some options and why they’re the healthier choice:
1. Peanut Butter
This is a food you won’t struggle much to convince your child to eat since it’s a favorite to most children. Many parents mistakenly avoid giving their kids peanut butter thinking it has too much fat, which it does, but what they don’t know is that it’s the good kind of fat! The reason why peanut butter is such good food for children to consume is that it’s a great protein source and contains important nutrients like vitamin E, folic acid, magnesium, vitamin A, iron, zinc, and copper. The best thing about it? You can use it to whip up all kinds of meals and snacks!
Speaking of protein sources, eggs take the prize for being the best one out there, sorry peanut butter! One large egg has 6 grams of protein, not to mention being packed with other nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, and iron. Some can even contain a little amount of omega-3 fatty acids, which helps in the progress of brain development in children. Eggs are also super easy to cook and very versatile, which means you can prepare them in several ways so your kid doesn’t get tired of eating them.
What’s that we were saying about omega-3 fatty acids? That’s right, they have a major effect on children’s brain development. It’s been proven that incorporating any type of fish in a child’s diet is set to protect them from declining mental skills and memory loss. Now, fish sticks and fried fish don’t really count, so if you want to introduce fish to your kid without too much hassle, consider making it more appealing by making a yummy tuna sandwich with mayonnaise or grilled salmon.
Does your child absolutely hate milk? Well, giving them yogurt is the next best thing to compensate for those missing nutrients. Don’t go for the usual children’s yogurt with loads of added sugar, it has to be the real deal. The best kind would be ideally Greek yogurt but you can get a view of the best brands in the market with Mommyhood101 to ensure that they are safe for your kid and have all the beneficial probiotics. It’s important to check product reviews before trying them to avoid anything that does more harm than good. While Greek yogurt is packed with good fats and protein, it may be hard for kids to like, so try adding ingredients like honey, dark chocolate, or berries to make it more appealing to them.
Apples are not only the perfect quick snack for children, but they are also an ideal source of vitamin C. Just one juicy apple can have about 5 grams of fiber, not to mention they are also an energy booster in the morning before school! It’s true, apples are brain food as well, they contain an antioxidant that prevents the weakening of cognitive skills. However, try not to give your child apple juice or a peeled apple instead of the actual fruit because aside from the fact that it makes the fruit lose all its great nutrients, most fruit juices are packed with sugar.
6. Starchy Carbohydrates
Good news for all the kids out there, you can have all the breakfast cereals and pasta you want! The parents reading this should not look so surprised though. While carbs are adults’ enemy, it’s not the case for children. However, the source of the carbs has to be the healthy kind with loads of fiber, which most kids lack in their diets, so oatmeal, brown rice, and whole-wheat pasta, and bread are good choices. Since kids are very active, giving them these kinds of foods can keep their energy levels up, and they contain the essential minerals and vitamins that enhance your child’s growth and development.
Now that you know which foods are good and beneficial for your child, all that’s left to do is to go grocery shopping! Although before that, make sure you search for recipes using each item on this list to choose ones that you think your kid will enjoy eating while getting the same health benefits. This means no frying or juicing anything just to make it easier to consume. You can get creative with the ways you introduce these foods into their diet in a way that won’t make it feel like a chore.
Source: Upscale Living Magazine