Trying to get your kids to eat more of the superfoods you keep hearing about?
Superfoods are nutrient rich foods that include essential fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals to help kids grow healthy and strong. The trouble is, most kids don’t want to sit down and eat a plate of spinach or a can of sardines, so how can you get more superfoods into your kids diet? Try some of these healthy idea’s to add fruits, vegetables, grains and even fish into your everyday meals and boost them to superfood status.
Turn Everyday Food into Superfoods:
Healthy Recipe & Snack Idea’s
–> Superfood – Fruit & Vegetables
Full of vitamins, antioxidants, fiber, phytochemicals, lycopene and good fats, fruits and vegetables should be included in all meals and snacks during the day, but what if you have a picky eater who doesn’t like avocados or melon and won’t go near blueberries or zucchini? Try our healthy smoothie recipes for adding more fruit and one of our healthy recipes for kids favorite, mac and cheese, that contains loads of vegetables!
Start with 8oz of milk in your blender and then add blueberries, strawberries, melon, apple, a touch of honey and maybe even some vanilla yogurt and blend. Experiment with different flavours.
Squashy Mac n Cheese
This is not your everyday mac n cheese but it is healthy enough that it could be! We start with whole wheat noodles and the basic sauce of milk, flour and cheese and then add pureed vegetables that match in colour such as squash, sweet potato, carrots or those that blend in like zucchini or cauliflower. Added vitamins in a kids favorite make this meal a hit at our house.
Chocolate Spinach Brownies
You honestly cannot taste the spinach or carrots in these brownies. They certainly do not taste like their gooey chocolatey counterpart but, they definitely have the chocolate kids crave with a ton of vitamins, antioxidants and iron that parents can feel good about. My kids take these spinach brownies to school everyday and their friends all think they are the luckiest kids ever!
–> Superfood – Whole Grains
Whole grains include all three parts of the grain kernel: the bran, the germ and the endosperm and are considered a superfood because they provide fibre which is essential for digestion and help stabilize blood sugar and insulin and may protect against heart disease. Look for ‘whole grain’ on the label to find foods that are made with all three of these grain components and use whole wheat flour, brown rice, barley and oatmeal to create healthy recipes with this superfood.
Oatmeal Banana Pancakes
Pancakes are usually nothing but flour and egg, but not these Oatmeal Banana Pancakes. Loaded with oatmeal, flax, oat bran, milk, bananas and not much else! These quick to make pancakes have quickly become weekend favorites at our house and they freeze well to pop in the toaster on busy school mornings or for a healthy snack idea for kids after school.
There is not a cookie, muffin, loaf or bar that I make in my house without adding the goodness of oatmeal . . .and then I sprinkle in flax, bran, wheat germ and chai seeds too! Making chocolate chip cookies? Add oatmeal. Banana bread your kids favourite? Add oatmeal. They love apple muffins? Add oatmeal! Stock your pantry with oats and whole grain flour, pasta, rice and barely and then toss in soups, stews, and all the baked goods you can.
–> Superfood – Fish
Omega 3 rich oily fish such as salmon, tuna and mackerel are a heart healthy superfood as they contain high levels of the essentials fatty acids EPA+DHA that kids’ brains and bodies need in order to develop properly. If your kids are not a big fan of fish, try one our our healthy fish recipe idea’s and if they still are not a fan, consider a supplement such as IronKids Omega 3 gummies, that makes getting enough of this superfood easier.
Yes, fish sticks can be healthy IF you make them yourself! Save all that crust the kids won’t eat from the whole grain bread to make bread crumbs and store in the freezer for when it’s fish night! Start with only real fish, like salmon or mackerel, (or try first with less fishy tasting sole or haddock) and either bread both sides of the whole pieice or cut into strips and make your own healthy fish sticks and be sure to bake in the oven and not fry.
Tuna Two Ways
Tuna is full of protein and omega 3s and this superfood taste great on top of a whole grain bun or english muffin and then set under the broiler with some melted cheese. I often use this as a go-to healthy kids meal when we are on the run between after school activities. Another favorite that is just as quick and easy is cooked whole grain noodles mixed with a can of cream of mushroom or celery or broccoli (you get the idea) soup and a can of tuna! Make your own tuna helper and add in some peas or corn for a complete meal in skillet.
–>Superfood – Yogurt
Rich in calcium and protein, greek yogurt makes a healthy kids snack idea and adding another superfood like berries, just ups the nutrition punch of this versatile food. It is a case of buyer beware though, the yogurt isle is a confusing place with many high sugar options full of artificial colours and flavours. Your best bet is to try to add plain yogurt to a healthy smoothie recipe above or try one of these healthy idea’s.
Yogurt and Berries
Start with your favorite plain or vanilla greek yogurt and add fellow superfood, raspberries, strawberries or blueberries and whole grain granola for an easy breakfast or healthy dessert, or chill it up a notch and freeze for an hour to mix up your own version of healthy frozen yogurt. Another option is the healthy smoothie recipes above – the combination of yogurt and berries in the blender is endless and makes a great breakfast smoothie or end of day treat or, dust off that popsicle mold and freeze your smoothie for some fun, fruity and healthy yogurt popsicles.
Yogurt Dips & Marinades
Replace sour cream or mayonnaise in your favorite recipe for plain yogurt! Perfect when paired with caramelized onions for an onion dip or avocado and mint for a greek dip or even dijon mustard and lemon juice for a salmon marinade before barbecuing. Experiment using yogurt in place of oil and butter in your favourite loaf or muffin recipe, the possibilities are endless!
–> Superfood – Beans
Beans, beans good for your heart, the more you eat the more . . . well, you know the saying! Beans are a superfood for a good reason, they keep us going! Full of protein, fibre and antioxidants, beans come in all colours and flavours and can be added to just about anything. More and more baking recipes are surfacing using beans such as chickpea cookies or lentil muffins, but I prefer to get my beans in soups and stews.
Immune Boosting Soup
My favorite time of the year for a healthy kids meal is in the winter when I can make this Immune Boosting Soup. For some reason my kids who won’t go near zucchini or cauliflower on a plate will gobble it up in a soup, so I always add a can of black beans, chick peas and lentils to this basic recipe to boost the nutrient value of this vitamin rich soup. And next time you make chilli, add a little less hamburger meat and substitute an extra can of lima beans or add in some black beans for a fibre boost.