Children grow fast and they need healthy foods to grow strong.
Let’s face it, feeding children can sometimes be a herculean task. Parents are always worried whether or not the children (including fussy eaters) are getting enough nourishment for their mind and body. There’s a constant battle between what is healthy and what is tasty.
But, nutrition can be fun for kids too, if you make them participate in the kitchen and the weekly menu planning. Educate kids about benefits of different food groups, and encourage them to always try something new before rejecting it. Allow them to come up with creative ways to eat, for e.g., fruits on sticks, fruit smoothies, or a sandwich shaped like their favourite animal.
Let’s look at some Superfoods to fuel the nutritional requirements in your kids:
Essentials for Sharp Memory - Nuts and seeds such as almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. are tasty and high in omega 3 & 6 fatty acids, and vitamins which help in cognitive development. Fish such as salmon, sardines and mackerels contain essential fatty acids which boosts memory. Eggs can be cooked in many delicious ways, and also helps the brain perform better. Other brainpower foods include avocados, berries and virgin coconut oil.
Immunity Boosters: Ragi contains iron, amino acids and protein which help in fighting anaemia and it keeps the metabolism active. Healthy fats such as desi ghee and coconut oil are anti-viral in fighting infections. Kids can enjoy ghee topped on their dals or vegetables. Introduce your kids to the spice cabinet – turmeric and cumin helps in fighting diseases and maintaining good digestion. Even herbs (tulsi leaves, coriander, and mint) are health boosters.
Taller & Stronger: To match the rapid growth in kids, include soya beans, whey water and a variety of dals in your menus. These foods help provide the necessary protein requirement to assist height and growth. Non vegetarian sources of protein include eggs, chicken and fish.
Eye Health: Foods rich in omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin C, zinc and vitamin E will ensure good eyesight for a lifetime. Orange, red and yellow pigmented fruits and vegetables such as carrots, pumpkin, watermelon, oranges etc. are filled with beta-carotene which reduces muscular degeneration around the eye. A handful of nuts and seeds (almonds, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds) provide sufficient omega 3 and vitamin E.
Healthy Bones & Teeth: Even children are aware that calcium is important for strong bones. Milk and milk products such as paneer, curd, and yogurt are good sources of calcium. Add some green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and cauliflower in soups, cutlets or pizzas. Eating Fish can assist in bone strengthening as it contains vitamin D and protein.