We all know the benefit of incorporating super foods into our diets, but sometimes it is hard to remember what the best options are. Parenting.com put out a great list of the best super foods for kids, including toddlers. Next time you head to the market, make sure you stock up on some of these!
1. Eggs- Not only are they protein rich, they are also one of the only foods that naturally contain Vitamin D. Having eggs for breakfast will help keep them fuller longer.
2. Oatmeal- Studies have shown that children who eat oatmeal for breakfast are able to concentrate for longer periods of time while at school. Since whole grains digest slowly, they provide energy for longer periods of time.
3. Fruit- While all fruits are not created equal, they all provide fiber, essential vitamins and minerals, and are low in calories. Try to incorporate a variety of fruits into your children’s diets to get maximum benefits of fruits.
4. Nuts- Nuts are made up of healthy fats, which kids need for growth and development, as well as for heart health. Having a little bit of “good” fat in the morning gives your kids a burst of energy to keep them going.
5. Milk- Packed full of protein and calcium, milk helps provide fuel for both the brain and body. It also helps to keep bones and teeth strong!
6. Tofu- Whole soy foods are an excellent source of lean protein and have potent anti-cancer benefits. Try adding some to soups, stir fry, or use silken tofu in smoothies in place of yogurt.
7. Tomatoes- They’re loaded with lycopene, a substance that protects against many cancers. Cooking tomatoes makes them even healthier because the heat releases the lycopene!
8. Low-Fat Greek Yogurt- It contains healthy bacteria known to boost immunity and aid digestion, and has two to three times the amount of protein and less sugar than regular yogurt.
9. Cabbage- It has a mild flavor and crunch that kids tend to like better than the usual salad greens. And cruciferous veggies such as cabbage, broccoli, and kale contain phytonutrients known to lower the risk for many types of cancer, as well as improve digestion.
10. Salmon- It contains heart-healthy omega-3 fats, which are also known to boost brain development, prevents depression, and have anti-inflammatory powers. Be sure to pick the wild kind, which is lower in mercury and higher in omega-3’s.
11. Cocoa- Cocoa powder actually has one of the highest concentrations of flavonoids, a compound known to improve blood pressure and heart and oral health. They may also protect skin from sun damage. Use at least 70 percent pure cocoa and check that it isn’t processed with alkali, also called “Dutch processed”, which removes most of the flavonoids.
12. Black Beans- Beans are a great source of protein, as well as fiber and calcium, two things kids tend not to get enough of. The darker the color, the better they are! They also help guard against heart disease and high cholesterol, which aren’t adults-only problems.
13. Fresh Basil- This herb is packed with antioxidants, vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron, potassium, and calcium and can help improve digestion.
14. Cinnamon- Research shows that this spice can help regulate blood sugar, which may also minimize those all-too-common mid-morning energy crashes aka mid-morning meltdowns!