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Superfoods for You and Your Children

You probably hear the word 'superfoods' everywhere! So what are they? Superfoods are just that. Super foods! These are whole foods great for your health, packed with nutrients including antioxidants, minerals and vitamins.  Often, children are picky eaters and you may never expect them to eat a superfood. Not true! There are so many to choose from all year round that are good for your children (and you!), and that your children will love.  

*Be sure to keep offering a food a few times if your child refuses it at first. They may like it the next time!  It can take multiple offerings before your child accepts a new food.

Starting a healthy diet in the early years helps your child develop a lifetime of choosing healthy food options and healthy eating as adults!

My Top 14 Superfoods
Almond butter is a favorite of mine! Not only is it delicious, but it is packed with vitamins, including Vitamin E, nutrients, fiber and is a good source of protein. It is also a good source of monounsaturated fats.
Salmon is another favorite of mine! This is a great fish option for little ones because it's lower in mercury but contains plenty of vitamin D and omega-3 fats, which help promote brain development.  My kids love it just plain grilled like me!  If your child is not a fan of just fish, try mixing it with pasta or mayo.
Blueberries are high in vitamin C, fiber and also antioxidants which protect again heart disease and help brain function.  Adding blueberries to yogurt is a great way to have kids eat them.  Fresh blueberries children love and they are good for babies when eating finger foods.  Frozen blueberries are a kid favorite too.

**Freeze fruit, this always works to get kids to eat fruit! 
Broccoli has many nutrients and vitamins, including vitamin C, which as above is good for the immune system; vitamin A, which is good for eyes; and calcium for baby's bones.  One easy way to help this green go down is to add it to a puree or add to an older baby's pasta or macaroni and cheese.  
Edamame is a great source of protein, iron and calcium as well as many vitamins and nutrients.  Most kids also love edamame.  Be sure to give kids sitting down as any other food to avoid choking risks. 
Cauliflower is a veggie that is another great source of Vitamin C.  Many kids love them just plain and steamed.  Mashed or pureed cauliflower works well for younger children and babies.   
Oatmeal is high in fiber.  It also provides a lot of energy since it is digested slowly.  Oatmeal is a great breakfast for kids.  Adding raisins, cinnamon or honey (be sure to give honey only in children older than 1year of age) often does the trick for kids to eat it. 
There you have my top 14 superfoods, and there are SO many more  for you and your children to choose from (and that I love!).  

Good habits start early.  

Having your child choose between health options now, really does set them up for maintaining a healthy lifestyle as adults.  
Sweet Potato is a great food to introduce to your child.  It is not only naturally sweet-YUM- it is PACKED with vitamins and nutrients including Vitamin C which is great for your child’s immune system and antioxidant Beta Carotene (in turn Vitamin A) which is good for your vision. 
Simply baked is delicious. Mashed sweet potato is great for your little one less than a year.  You can even add to your baby’s cereal. Sweet potato french fries are a great way to have kids eat sweet potato too! 
Eggs pack tons of superfood benefits. The egg white is high in protein, and the egg yolks a good source of choline which is good for brain function and memory.  Plus, many kids love them hard-boiled or scrambled once they've moved past purees.
Greek Yogurt  has LOTS of protein and also calcium which is good for bones and teeth. Kids love the taste.  I would suggest the plain flavor and adding your own fruit to avoid the sugars that are in the flavored yogurts.

***My favorite treat and trick.  Take Vanilla greek yogurt and stir in blueberries (or other berries, bananas or fruit) in a cupcake liner.  Freeze for 2-3 hours until firm. It looks yummy like a cupcake and it taste great. There are a lot of variations. You can also add granola to the top or bottom or can sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top.  
Spinach  has many nutrients and vitamins, including iron and Vitamin C.  Pureed spinach works well for younger kids.
Brussel Sprouts  are so good for you!  They are a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K which is important for blood clotting, fiber which is good for digestion and iron.  Sprinkle some parmesan cheese and roast/bake them in the oven and they are delicious.  Your kids will love them.  Ketchup makes them tasty too.  
Kale is a good source of Vitamin K, and high in the antioxidant beta-carotene.  Kale chips for toddlers is a great way for them to get this leafy green! Simply coat with olive oil, a light sprinkle of salt and then bake. Your children will be loving these healthy chips. 
Dates are also high in fiber and low in fat. They are a a good source of potassium which supports the nervous system. They are also great for baking or eating with desserts.  They are also great alone as a dessert!  Break into very small pieces and remove pit and it is a great low fat treat.  
Recent Articles (More Food for Thought)

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"Superfoods are Super Foods for Children"

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"10 Superfoods Parents Should be Feeding Their Babies"

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