6 Super Foods for Children
23rd July 2013
Encouraging your children to eat healthily whilst managing a budget and finding the time to cook can seem like an impossible task, but here at Tiny World we think differently. With a little bit of prior planning and knowledge it is now easier than ever to get your toddlers eating the right stuff, and most importantly they will be happy about it because it’s yummy and fun too!
Free Range Eggs
Quick to cook, inexpensive, ethical food that kids love! Eggs have a low fat to protein value and make an excellent treat for breakfast, lunch or dinner. They can be boiled, poached, fried with a little oil, or combined with other ingredients to make an omelette or frittata. The key with eggs is to be creative and play to the wants of your children, be it eggs and soldiers for a Sunday brunch or the left overs of the potato frittata you served as tapas at last night’s dinner party – there’s so much potential!
The oats will fill your kids up until lunch time. They are an ideal winter warmer as breakfast or in smaller portions as a snack to stave off hunger until tea time. Porridge can be made with either water or milk depending upon your preference, and if you’re lactose intolerant it also goes very well with soya milk. Add a pinch of cinnamon or a spoon of syrup for a little taste and sweetness, and then sprinkle with blueberries or raspberries for one of your five a day.
Skimmed, semi-skimmed or whole milk is a tasty wholesome way to get calcium into the diet without offering the sugar-laden alternatives, such as kids’ yogurts or fatty, processed cheese snacks. Unfortunately, with the gift of modern advertising, it can difficult to make real healthy choices, and in the pursuit of one vitamin or another we can unwittingly be supplying our children with unnecessary sugars and fats. There are of course naturally occurring fats and sugars in milk, but as long as it is not over indulged, milk is most definitely a super food that both babies and kids love.
One normal sized tomato will provides over 50% of a child’s recommended daily dose of vitamin C, but without the naturally occurring sugars found in sweet fruits such as the clementine. High in dietary fibre, the tomato is one of the best natural sources of the antioxidant lycopene, which has been linked to lowering the risk for certain types of cancers. As an ingredient it is incredibly versatile; it can be used as a pizza base, part of a sandwich or salad, and of course that dinner time favourite – pasta sauce.
Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
Yogurt itself is an excellent probiotic and encourages the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Like many dairy products, it is also a good source of calcium. Despite its tartness, Greek yogurt works as a quick and easy pudding alternative, a between meal snack, or as part of a lunch. On its own it can be a little boring and sometimes children don’t take well to the tartness of it, therefore a great healthy addition is some summer fruits or berries. Occasionally you can add a swirl of jam, syrup, or a spoonful of unrefined sugar. The key is moderation, and it teaches your children that there’s more to desserts than fatty or sugary food groups.
Sweet potatoes are a surprisingly versatile food staple; they can be roasted as wedges or chunks, baked and combined with salad, or mashed for a variation on the traditional mashed potato dish. They taste great and kids find the bright colour intriguing, it certainly brings a splash of colour to the dinner table. They contain potassium, fibre and vitamin C as well as many other nutrients! They are one of the most nutritious vegetables on the planet and inexpensive too.
With this list as inspiration, which super foods could you cook up for your kids?