Most likely, you have already heard about the benefits of superfoods for adults and kids. There are no official guidelines for classifying superfoods, but a number of foods are generally considered “super,” that is, very nutritious.
Let’s find out what foods parents can include in their kid’s diet to saturate their bodies with healthy trace elements.
What are superfoods?
Superfoods are foods that contain many antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The term superfood is a buzzword nutritionists usually avoid because it implies that these foods are extremely beneficial and cure all diseases. However, nutritionists agree that foods commonly referred to as superfoods have many health benefits and are part of a healthy diet.
Superfoods are a wide range of foods, so you can easily find some at the nearest supermarket.
Naturally sweet, colorful berries are rich in fiber and antioxidants. Eating them can boost the immune system. Blueberries are often called a superfood because they are high in manganese and vitamin K. Still, other berries such as cranberries, raspberries, and goji berries are also worthy of superfood quality. Enjoy them fresh, or use frozen berries to make smoothies. Organic fruit pouches with added berries can also be a nice idea for a healthy snack for the little ones.
A healthy source of protein and calcium, yogurt also contains probiotics believed to improve gut health. Avoid sugary, flavored yogurts and choose plain organic yogurt containing live and active cultures. You can choose your child’s favorite fruits or berries, add them to the yogurt, and make a snack together. In addition to a healthy lunch break, your little one will have fun cooking with you. Yogurt can be used as a healthy substitute for mayonnaise and sour cream and added to smoothies or granola.
Dark greens such as kale, chard, and spinach are rich in vitamins A, C, and K and are a good source of fiber, magnesium, calcium, and iron. It is low in calories but very nutritious. It will be great to include it in your family diet raw in salads and smoothies or use it in a variety of dishes.
Cabbage and broccoli
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and white cabbage are a great source of heart-healthy fiber and vitamins A, C, and K. Your kids may enjoy these crunchy and healthy vegetables raw or cooked.
Pea protein is a real salvation for parents whose children suffer from lactose intolerance. As you have already guessed, it is a quality plant protein that supplies the body with valuable amino acids. You can add it to smoothies or light desserts.
In general, legumes, from chickpeas to beans to soybeans, are an excellent source of lean plant protein, fiber, iron, and folic acid. They also contain manganese, a trace element essential for brain health. Legumes help children stay satiated for a longer time.
Flax and chia seeds are a healthy addition to meals. Flaxseeds are one of the best vegetarian sources of omega-3 fatty acids as well as a rich source of fiber and antioxidants. The nutrients in flax seeds are best absorbed when crushed; try adding them to cookies and smoothies. Chia seeds contain all nine amino acids and can be sprinkled on a variety of dishes or used to make vegan pudding.
How do you overcome the nutritional deficiency in children?
Let’s look at early childhood’s most common vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The best way to prevent these deficiencies is through proper nutrition.
The human body does not synthesize iodine. But this mineral is essential: without it, the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones, which are necessary for metabolism, brain function, and bone strength. And it is most dangerous to infants. The child might have mental disorders if the mother suffers from iodine deficiency during pregnancy.
- How to prevent it?
Dairy products are the primary source of iodine in the diet. Alas, they cannot be replaced by plant milk: the amount of the mineral in them is negligible.
Therefore, yogurt, as mentioned earlier, is an excellent alternative for replenishing iodine in children’s diets.
If the body does not have enough iron, it does not produce enough hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is part of the red blood cells, the red blood cells that carry oxygen to body tissues. The body does not get enough oxygen, and then fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, and poor concentration appear. This condition is called an iron deficiency, the most common nutritional deficiency in the world.
- How to prevent it?
One of the most iron-rich plant sources – is soybeans and everything derived from them. For example, 100 g of tofu has as much as 5.4 mg of iron. Lentils, beans, and peas are slightly inferior in iron content.
A balanced diet is essential for children from an early age. Superfoods are a good way to introduce kids to healthy and new products. At the same time, you must be sure your child is not allergic to any particular product when introducing it into your child’s diet. Since the kid’s body is still developing, and all the body systems are in their maturation stage.