When it comes to kids and eating, there’s no doubt that it can be interesting. Whether your child is a picky eater, an adventurous one or somewhere in the middle, making sure their diet is healthy and balanced is essential for their overall health and wellness. Not only are many foods nutritional powerhouses, they’re kid-friendly and versatile as well. Here are four to try incorporating into your child’s diet.
When you think of oatmeal, what comes to mind? Chances are you’re thinking about a steaming bowl of thick and hearty cereal. While this is delicious and satisfying, there are so many other ways to prepare it. And when you’re feeding your child, you can use oatmeal’s versatility to your advantage. In addition to the traditional cereal, try preparing some of the healthiest oatmeal cookies your kids have ever had. Chances are they won’t know they’re eating more than just a cookie, and you can feel great knowing that their nutritional needs are being met. You can also incorporate oats into smoothies or use them as the main ingredient in grab-and-go breakfast bars.
- Healthy Fats
Did you know that healthy fats are one of the most important components of a child’s diet? Not to be confused with processed fats found in things such as cakes or processed snacks, healthy fats are found in foods such as nuts, peanut butter, avocados and fish. Wondering why healthy fats are so important? Not only are they building blocks for energy, they’re also incredibly beneficial for overall physical development. They also help little bodies absorb important vitamins found in other healthy foods. Try adding natural peanut butter to breakfast smoothies, or add in half of an avocado. For older children, nuts are an excellent source as well — just be sure to supervise to avoid choking and monitor for any adverse reactions.
If you’re looking for a quick and satisfying snack for your kids, yogurt is the perfect solution. However, it’s important to note that not all yogurt is the same. Knowing what to look for will ensure you’re serving the healthiest option possible. Many yogurts, especially ones marketed towards kids, don’t have as much nutritional value as you might think. Bottom line? Read the ingredients first. Greek yogurt is a great choice due to its high protein content, making it perfect for breakfast parfaits and smoothies. You can also use good quality plain yogurt as a wholesome dip for fruit. Just add a bit of honey and a dash of cinnamon.
- Fruits and Vegetables
Eating plenty of fruits and vegetables each day is one of the healthiest habits anyone can have. Is your child getting enough of each? One of the easiest ways to incorporate both into their diet is to serve them with each meal. Remember that it can take kids time to warm up to different foods, so if orange peppers or plums aren’t a hit the first time, serve them several more times. You have probably seen countless recipes boasting about all the “hidden” veggies included. While doing this is a perfectly good way to ensure your kids are eating their vegetables, making it a normal part of meals each day is very beneficial as well. Try making it fun. Think corn on the cob, a veggie platter with different dip choices, or experimenting with different seasonings or marinades. Fruits tend to be easier simply due to their sweetness. In addition to eating fruit in its whole form, try making popsicles or applesauce. Don’t forget that brightly colored fruits and vegetables aren’t just pretty to look at. They’re rich in vitamins and minerals that are the building blocks of a healthy mind and body.
Providing your child with a proper and nutritious diet is not essential to their health, it will give you peace of mind as well. It will also help to set the foundation for a lifetime of healthy habits.