Feeding a hungry kid is already a task in itself! Making healthy, nutrient-dense lunches is also another story. But did you know that there’s a certain type of food that’s packed with nutrition in every bite? Check out these seven superfoods for kids that are as tasty as they are healthy.
Eggs are good sources of protein. One single egg contains 6 grams of protein. It also contains vitamin A, folate, vitamin B5, B12, B2, phosphorus and selenium.
One thing that makes eggs one of the perfect superfoods for kids is its versatility. Eggs can be prepared in various ways and can be added to sandwiches. Most kids also love eggs with its mild flavor and texture. However, some kids may be allergic to eggs so if it’s your first time to give your child any, it’s good to try it at home first.
2. Oats and Oatmeal
Oats are chockfull of vitamins and minerals like manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, folate, vitamin B1, B5 and trace amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 and B3. Oats have higher protein (13 grams) and fat (5 grams) content than most grains.
They’re also a good source of fiber and even contain beta glucan, a soluble dietary fiber that improves cholesterol levels and heart health. Half a cup of dry oats provides 51 grams of carbohydrates and 303 calories, making oats one of the most perfect, nutrient-packed food you can give to your child.
Want to give your kids a sweet treat without sacrificing nutrition? Try packing blueberries for lunch. This succulent superfood is full of vitamin C, providing 24% of the recommended daily allowance. It also has vitamin K.
Blueberries contain anthocyanin, a certain flavonoid that gives blueberries its blue color. Flavonoids have antioxidant properties that protect the body from harmful free radicals.
The good thing about blueberries is that they can be added to almost anything as in waffles or pancakes and also make a good sandwich spread. Blueberries alone can also make a healthy dessert, making it one of the top 7 superfoods for kids in our list!
Eating nuts is a great way to get as much nutrients as you can, such as vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and selenium by a handful. An ounce of mixed nuts provide 5 grams of protein, 6 grams of carbs and 3 grams of fiber. Amid all these nutrition, the same amount of mixed nuts are only 173 calories.
You can easily add nuts on the side or as toppings for dessert. Nut butter is also a great option for sandwiches. For heavier meals, some Asian recipes like stir-fried chicken call for peanuts. Peanut sauces and dips are also common in Asian cuisine.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamins including vitamin A, C, K, B6, folate and thiamine. Minerals such as potassium, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and copper abound as well.
More importantly, tomatoes naturally contain lycopene, a type of antioxidant that repels cancer. Heating tomatoes brings out more lycopene, so while it is good to add cherry tomatoes for lunch why not make homemade pizza sauce from tomatoes? Kids will have a blast if you pack “make your own pizza” for lunch.
Wild-caught salmon has loads of health benefits. It is high in omega-3 fatty acids which have anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show that omega-3 fatty acids contribute to a child’s cognitive development, brain growth and development and reduce asthma risk.
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Salmon is also a good source of protein, B vitamins and selenium. It also contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin which is responsible for salmon’s red-orange color. Astaxanthin helps protect the brain and the nervous system from free radical damage. That makes salmon one of the best superfoods for kids.
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Dark chocolate (at least 45-80%) or unsweetened cocoa (at least 88%) is high in flavonoids, the same antioxidant found in blueberries. It helps keep blood pressure and cholesterol levels in check.
Cocoa flavanols, a specific class of phytochemicals in the flavonoids family, has also been linked to better cognitive skills. Cocoa is also dubbed as “food for the heart” as it helps promote blood flow and a healthy cardiovascular system.
So go ahead and sprinkle some good cocoa on top of pancakes or use it instead of regular cocoa powder for lunch bakes.
These superfoods for kids are great ways to give them a boost of energy and a better immune system, too. Which superfood will you be sneaking into their lunch box?
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