Top 10 Healthiest Foods for Kids
We understand the struggle.
It’s hard enough to feed your child.
It’s even harder to feed your child healthy food.
For many parents, curbing unhealthy habits start from the moment their first child is born. Be itsmoking, drinking, unhealthy eating– everything changes now that there’s a little one looking up to you as their role model. While we know that it’s difficult for adults to eat healthy, it’s even more difficult to whip up healthy meals and snacks for their children. The Get Well has come up with this article to help parents, young and old, newbies and seasoned, to explore healthier options for meals and snacks for their kids in order to help lead a healthier life.
We’ll start by saying– duh. Fruits are known to be natural sources of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The best part? Fruits are naturally sweet! Instead of giving your kids sugary treats, you would be well-off on getting them hooked on fruits. In addition, fruits contain natural fibers and antioxidants that help your child’s underdeveloped digestive system. High-fiber content found in fruits can also help strengthen a child’s immune system as well as fight viral illnesses.
Again… duh. Most parents understand how important vegetables are in their child’s overall diet. However, the biggest challenge is actually getting kids to eat veggies. One of the best ways to get your kids to eat veggies is to see you eating them as well. Parents have to lead by example. The biggest problem when introducing vegetables to kids is that some parents don’t really like eating vegetables either. If you’re a parent and you want your kids to eat vegetables, you better start loving veggies as well! Another way to get your kids to eat more veggies is to introduce them to all sorts of vegetable-based dishes. There are a lot of recipes online where kid-friendly foods are complemented by certain types of vegetables. For instance, pizza is known as one of the most kid-friendly foods out there. To make it easier for your children to eat veggies, you can top the pizzas with mushrooms, cauliflower, as well as zucchini and other types of vegetables that don’t really affect the overall flavor of the pizza. In this way, it’ll be easier for children to get the nutrients found in various vegetables while still enjoying their favorite food!
Yogurt is probably the healthiest and safest way to introduce your infant to solid foods. Yogurt is a dairy product made by fermenting milk with yogurt culture. Yogurts are known to have protein and calcium which helps bone development in children and also promote a healthy digestive system as it supports healthy gut bacteria. However, parents need to be wary about the sugar content of the yogurts that they buy. The healthier types of yogurt should only be a small contributor to a child’s sugar intake. It should also not contribute a lot of calories while delivering a plethora of nutrients that support a child’s developing immune and skeletal system.
According to Nutrition Australia, nuts are a good source of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants,healthy fats, protein, and fiber. These nutrients help children grow, develop, and learn. Nuts don’t have to necessarily be the highlight of your kid’s meal. The best thing about nuts is that it can be an appetizer, a complementary ingredient to your dish, or a snack you can eat while watching your favorite movie. Nuts can also be party appetizers!
Pro tip: Make sure to get an allergy test first before introducing nuts to your children’s diet as some nut allergies tend to be fatal. Equip yourself with enough know-how and your child will be able to enjoy all the benefits of eating nuts.
Not only is fish healthy for kids, it’s also healthy for adults. Which means it can be an easier alternative for meat that adults will get to enjoy as well! According to the Washington State Department of Health, fish is a low-fat high quality protein that’s filled with omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins such as Vitamin D and Vitamin B2. Fish is also rich in calcium, phosphorus, and is a great source of minerals such as iron, zinc, iodine, magnesium, and potassium. In addition, the American Heart Association recommends eating fish at least two times a week as part of a balanced healthy diet. It’ll be fairly easy to introduce fish to your children as fish is such a versatile type of meat. Fish can be cooked into a stew, fried (kid favorite!), and even baked. If you’re trying to introduce fish to your children, make sure to start with neutral tasting ones such as whiting, flounder, salmon, or tuna.
Not juice. Not soda. Just water.
Water helps in digestion and prevents your child from getting constipated. Studies have shown that water also helps transport nutrients and oxygen through the different parts of the body. Parents should also keep in mind that the amount of water that children need is dependent on their diet, health, age, and activity. Naturally, the more active your child is, the more water he/she should be consuming. So think twice when developing a more balanced diet for your child. Instead of giving them juice (which we all know contains A LOT of sugar), consider giving him/her water instead.
Other special mentions:
– Eggs: a great source of protein! It also has vitamin D, B12, and iron. Eggs make a great starter food for babies as you can have it scrambled. It also pairs well with kid favorites like bacon and sausages.
– Milk: contains calcium, a necessary nutrient to help your child build strong bones.
– Beans: contain a plethora of vitamins and nutrients such as protein and complex carbs. Beans are also an excellent source of energy.
– Peanut butter: provides children with energy and protein without eating meat. Be wary of peanut butter though as some brands tend to add too much salt, sugar, and fats. Make sure to find brands that are unsweetened and low in sodium. It can be an uphill struggle to get your children to eat healthier. But it’s also rewarding. Nothing good ever comes easy so if you want the very best for your child, make sure to consider the healthiest options out there.