Have you ever woken up to a morning with your kids jumping on the bed unanimously chirping: “We want broccoli for breakfast!” Neither have I, bless their souls, and chances are that no parent in this or any other parallel universe has ever experienced such bliss. That, however, is no reason to despair. Fortunately, there are ways you can actually inspire your kids to start loving healthy superfoods one bite at a time.
Picky eaters are everywhere, and parents always want to find the simplest ways to instill healthy habits in their kids and help them enjoy their nutritious diets (with an occasional cheat-sweet, of course). For parents everywhere, let’s introduce these superfoods to make your family meals more fun and tasty.
#1 Chia seeds
Without a distinct smell or appealing appearance, it can be tricky to get your kids to eat anything that’s not rice. However, add the right flavor, and your little ones will enjoy this as an excellent treat. As a parent, it pays to stock this is a very nutritious seed in your pantry. With ample protein and insoluble fiber that’s excellent for digestion, chia seeds are filling and nutritious.
The best way to introduce chia seeds to your family’s diet? Make a chocolate-chia pudding with cocoa powder and milk of your choice. Opt to add some honey or maple syrup to sweeten the deal. Let it stay overnight to develop the right texture, and your kids won’t know what hit them! Due to their neutral taste, you can also mix chia seeds with roasted veggies or tossed in salads. Your family will love and benefit from this superfood!
Avocados are one of my favorites! They’re creamy, rich, and delicious. The green, Grinch-like color may be a deal-breaker for some kids, but they can be prepared in ways that children will love. Avocados are loaded with healthy fats which are very satiating and allow your family to stay full for longer. And brimming with vitamins, the avocado is indeed an underestimated superfood. Your kids will appreciate it in your pancake mix or in a fruit and greens smoothie. Add berries for a pretty pink color, and you’ll have a winning plate!
Many parents get stuck on one kind of berry for their children. There are so many out there that your entire family could enjoy. For example, the commonly beloved strawberry is wonderful when paired with its slightly less sweet blueberry, but acai and goji berries have gained on popularity recently and been dubbed superfoods for their antioxidant benefits. Mix those smoothies up with a variety of berries and greens to keep your immune systems in superb shape!
How often do you remember to add some mushrooms as a side dish to your roast, or as a stand-alone meal for lunch? They are the forgotten superfood, that’s loaded with vitamins and minerals your whole family needs. From regular white mushrooms to more exotic kinds such as Chaga, there are so many varieties to choose from that it can become a challenge for any health-focused parent.
Try adding some Chaga extract into your smoothies, and you’ll enjoy the many health perks of this potent food. This is your perfect source of various micronutrients that are difficult to come by, such as vitamin D, B-complex vitamins, as well as minerals such as iron, zinc, and selenium, all of which will truly make your meals more nutritious than ever.
Eggs may not be too difficult to serve, but kids get easily bored with one choice, hence the need to add more variety to your menu. Eggs are a wonderful source of healthy omega-3 fatty acids, protein, and a slew of other micronutrients your children need for a healthy diet. They can easily be prepared to taste delicious, and with a few spices in your kitchen cabinet, you can mix it up on a regular basis and keep a basic breakfast healthy and appealing. Expose your children to all the different ways eggs can be prepared. Try frying, scrambling, boiling and even poaching your eggs.
Cooked, raw, or baked, tomatoes are a superfood with many preparation possibilities and your kids will love them! The best option, of course, means opting for fresh tomatoes in season, preferably from your local farmers’ market, and eating them fresh in a salad. However, you can rest assured that the classic Spaghetti Bolognese will also do the trick, and you can add some garlic to the mix as well – double your efforts and boost your nutrition for the whole family!
#7 Dark greens
Finally, we get to the most challenging of them all: the broccoli, kale, spinach, and other wonderfully nutritious greens that your kids will often refuse despite all the victorious stories of Popeye. Start small with sandwiches and salads, by mixing what they know and like with the rest. Baby spinach is a good place to start, but keep in mind that the way you cook and serve your greens will make all the difference. Eventually, you can graduate your family’s menu to green soups and smoothies.
Adding nuts and lemon for flavor can help by reducing bitterness, and break down the crunchiness of fresh greens, making them easily digestible. Shaping them all into interesting patterns will also make eating greens all the more fun for kids. These dark greens are packed with vitamins and minerals, and they are truly irreplaceable in any healthy diet – all the more reason to put extra effort into making them fun and appealing to consume!
We hope this inspired you with ways to create nutrient-packed meals for the whole family! Truth be told, some kids will never fall for the Popeye spinach story or the berry smoothie mix with avocado. However, you can do your best to diversify their menus by continuing to add a variety of ingredients and seeing what becomes a family favorite. Even by only adding one superfood at a time, your entire family will benefit from the wonderful health perks these superfoods can bring!
Guest Post by Zara Lewis.