The start of a New Year often goes hand in hand with starting new health eating habits. It’s always a great idea to make it a family affair. Help your children to make healthy choices too.
We should take any opportunity to teach our children to nourish their bodies by making positive food choices.
Here are a few healthy food tips for kids to get you started
Oh no…oily fish! There’s no escaping the importance of the omega 3 fatty acids in oily fish for our growing children’s brains and general health. So few children delve into a recommended three portions of oily fish a week. Finding a way to incorporate salmon, sardines and trout into your child’s diet will do them real favours in the long run.
Perhaps salmon fish fingers or mashed sardines on toast. If oily fish-based meals are really a no-go, then a good quality supplement is the way to go.
The omega 3 fats found in seeds may not benefit our children in the same way as those from fish. If your child has marginal levels of zinc of magnesium they may not be able to convert these omega 3 fats into the longer chain omega 3 fats found in the fish.
Get them hooked on smoothies – green ones!We have a rule in our house that any smoothies made with the nutri-bullet (or other equally useful blending machine!) must include vegetables. Never are pure fruit smoothies made in our house. The sugar hit is just too high. However, add in some green leafy vegetables or an avocado and the nutritional benefit has just rocketed!
Nut butters are a great addition to your child’s diet
They are nutrient dense and easy to digest. They give your child a good source of both minerals and protein. Protein will help keep your child’s blood sugar (and therefore their mood and energy) stable. Almonds are rich in calcium, cashews contain good amounts of iron and brazil nuts are fabulous for selenium. Rotate them to get a good spread of minerals.
Bake with coconut flour or ground almonds. You can use a little honey or dried fruit to add sweetness. These baked goods offer a nutrient dense alternative to the usual nutrient raiders found on the supermarket shelves.
Did your mum ever serve liver for dinner? Did it put you off it for life? Liver is an excellent source of B12 and iron. A great way to keep children topped up in these nutrients is to add a tablespoon or two of ground liver into your spaghetti Bolognese, chilli or lasagne.
Chicken stock made from good quality chicken is great way to support your child’s health. Use a whole chicken to make the stock for the best variety of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Chicken stock is a good food when your child is feeling a little unwell.
On other days we like to combine our chicken stock with rice noodles and pak choi which the children attempt to eat with chopsticks before drinking the stock from the bowl.
Connect here with WatchFit expert Sarah Hanratty