Super foods for super kids, are whole foods. Kids who eat a lot of whole foods are pretty super!
Whole colorful foods are not refined or processed. Many people refer to whole foods as being plant-based. This is true for the most part. And because of that, it is where I begin when teaching kids the difference between whole and processed foods. In fact, I had a girl in one my classes tell me when I asked if they knew the difference,
“ Oh, I get it whole foods are foods you can pick!”
She nailed it and the rest of the kids got it too. Perfect scenario. Kids teaching kids
I encourage whole food colorful eating because they are nutrient- dense, providing the essential vitamins and minerals, fats, proteins and phytonutrients people need. Plus, they are usually much tastier. Incorporating whole colorful foods in your family’s diet is the perfect proactive way to ensure essential nutrients necessary for healthy growth, healthy immune system, and healthy being. If you need help with your picky eaters, try some suggestions from the post.
Super food: Purple Peruvian Potato
History: Known as the, “Gem of the Andes,” these South American potatoes, purple inside and out, are delicious and nutritious and add some flair to the dinner table.
Why it’s healthy: This potato is packed with vitamins and minerals, fiber plus numerous phytonutrients like phenols, polyphenols and beta carotene which fight off many degenerative diseases.
Simply delicious: A perfect after-school snack. Slice them up, mix with salt, pepper, garlic and olive oil and bake in the oven like a french fry. Substitute any potato recipe with this lively vegetable. Try serving it next time in replacement of your oven roasted potatoes.
Super food: Broccoli
History: The broccoli was a valuable and favorable vegetable to the Italians; according to the Italians, broccoli is the, “ flowering top of cabbage.” Despite being introduced to North America by Thomas Jefferson, they were not popular until the 1920s.
Why it’s healthy: Broccoli is packed with fiber, and vitamin A and K which all help keep our vitamin d levels balanced. Broccoli also contains the phytonutrient, kaempferol, which may lesson allergy reactions because of its anti-inflammatory properties.
Simply delicious: Before meals, lay out a tray of chopped veggies – broccoli, carrots, celery with a dipping sauce like hummus or a yogurt mix. Let the kids snack on them while you are preparing the meal. If you have a nut lover in the house, toss lightly steamed broccoli with cashews or almonds.
Super food: Blueberry
History: Blueberries are one of the very few fruits native to North America. Native Americans not only ate the berries for their sweet taste but also used the leaves and roots for medicinal reasons and to dye their clothes. Blueberries are Maine’s state berry, in honor of Abijah Tabbutt, who invented the blueberry rake to aid in the picking of blueberries by hand.
Why it’s healthy: Blueberries provide potassium, fiber, and the phytonutrient, bioflavanoid, which help the eyes with night vision. They are packed with antioxidants which helps protect healthy body cells from damage.
Simply delicious: Blueberries are an easy food to encourage your kids to eat. On of my favorite ways to prepare them is in a blueberry crisp. Otherwise, I add them to oatmeal, yogurt or mix in a smoothie with peaches and bananas or tossing into salads.
Super food: Walnut
History: Walnut trees gained notice in historical writings around 2000 BC. The trees made their way to Europe and North Africa where they became known as the English Walnut tree. They finally made it to Central California in the 1800s by monks who then sold the nuts under the name, “mission walnuts.”
Why it’s healthy: Walnuts are packed with magnesium, zinc, iron, vitamin b6 a significant amount of omega -3s which amongst many things, help with cardiovascular and neural health.
Simply delicious: I like to buy walnuts whole and let the kids crack them open ( this is a great way to keep them occupied before a meal). I also grind them up and toss in salads, pancakes, and yogurt.
Super food: Avocado
History: The avocado is referred to as the “Alligator Pear,” by the English who were living in Jamaica. They thought the skin resembled an alligator’s skin, which is very true! The avocado is part of the berry family and was officially named by Spanish explorers.
Why it’s healthy: Creamy, and easy to digest, avocados provide a terrific source of the monounsaturated fat, known as the good fat. Monounsaturated fats are essential for proper growth and development and enable the absorption of many fat-soluble nutrients. Avocados are also packed with a large variety of nutrients including potassium which is important for heart health.
Simply delicious: Because of its creamy texture, most kids do enjoy eating avocados. Typically, I will cut into cubes to eat on their own or toss in a salad, or on top of a taco. I will mix the cubes with cilantro and a little splash of lemon, to eat with corn chips.
Be well, laugh, keep hydrated and get out in nature!