Are your children picky eaters? My two are. As a degree-qualified nutritionist, it’s frustrating to get the nutrients into them when they refuse to eat the food you place on their plate.
I combat this struggle by only ever preparing nutrient-dense meals, so my kids don’t get much choice in the matter! But, with the right encouragement, and a relaxing environment, they’ll usually end up not only eating but also enjoying it.
See the recipes below for fun ways to incorporate these foods into meals that your children will love.
Here are my personal top 10 foods for healthy kids.
Eggs hold superfood status, containing protein, essential fatty acids, iron, fat-soluble vitamins, choline and vitamin B12 (necessary for energy production and brain function). On average, my kids each eat one egg every day. Either on their own or in mini frittatas, savoury muffins or as an addition to potato salad, which is chock full of healthy resistant starch too.
Potato Salad Recipe
5 large dutch cream potatoes, chopped and steamed
5 eggs, hard-boiled and quartered
5 pickled gherkins, diced
½ bunch chives, chopped
¼ cup soy mayonnaise
2 tbsp wholegrain mustard>br> Splash of apple cider vinegar
Avocados are a rich source of fibre, vitamin C, magnesium, folate and vitamin K. This translates to better gut health, superior immune function, a more relaxed temperament, increased energy and faster wound healing – things that we all want our kids to have! If the idea of avocados doesn’t excite them, make a simple chocolate mousse that will surely delight all their senses.
Chocolate Mousse Recipe
2 large avocados
½ cup of cacao
½ cup of maple syrup
Wild-caught fish, such as herring, mackerel, salmon, sardines and anchovies, provide the omega-3 fatty acids necessary for healthy skin, a balanced nervous system and heart strength. If the kids won’t eat it as is, try melting some anchovies into pasta or pizza sauce. You could also make healthy fish fingers with herring or mackerel by coating thin slices in egg and breadcrumbs.
Healthy Fish Fingers Recipe
1 ½ cups breadcrumbs
¼ cup nutritional yeast
2 tsp paprika
Salt and pepper
2 tbs flour
Coat strips of your choice of oily fish first in the batter, then in the crumb and bake in a 180-degree oven for 15 minutes.
Blackstrap molasses is a by-product of refined sugarcane. It is very high in iron, which is necessary for growth and development. Unlike most other plant-based sources of iron, molasses is absorbed easily in the body. So, if your child has a sweet tooth, you can use a small amount to create and help sweeten healthy, nutrient-rich cookies and introduce them to its unique flavour.
Healthy Cookies Recipe
2 cups oats
1 cup walnuts
3 tbs flax meal
3 tbs chia seeds
3 tbs hemp seeds
¼ cup coconut oil
¼ cup maple syrup
3 tbs molasses
1/3 cup raisins
½ tsp vanilla paste
Bake for 10 minutes in a 180-degree oven.
Containing all nine essential amino acids, nutritional yeast is a complete protein (like animal products), which assists with tissue repair and nutrient absorption and is also jam-packed with B vitamins. I substitute it for parmesan cheese in homemade pesto, adding it in egg dishes, hiding it in mashed potato or sprinkling it on popcorn.
Green Pesto Recipe
1 bunch fresh basil
1 cup raw cashews
1 cup nutritional yeast
2 cloves garlic
¼ cup olive oil
1 lemon, juiced1 tbs sauerkraut juice (optional)
See 10 Best Foods To Feed Your Kids - Part 2 for the delicious mini cheesecake recipe and bliss balls that you can keep on you for when the hungry hippo strikes.