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What your children eat affects their physical and mental development. Start getting the right foods into their bodies early. These five choices will offer your child a head start on good health and set the stage for good eating habits for years to come.
Healthy fat can be eaten in different ways, avocados offer a nutritional punch in a small package. They contain more potassium than bananas and contain the right fats to promote a healthy heart. If you want to make sure your child is getting enough fiber, avocados can help with that as well.
Eating avocados can also help your child’s body absorb nutrients from other foods he eats. Kids who eat a lot of plant-based foods will especially benefit from this since their bodies need the magic of avocados to absorb the vitamins in plants.
Offer your child avocados by making guacamole or another type of dip. You can even use avocados to make brownies or icing. Your child won’t know the difference because the smooth texture of smashed avocados can easily be hidden.
You have an opportunity to add healthy food to your child’s diet each time you prepare a meal. Cooking with polyphenol-rich olive oil has been connected to reducing the risk of diabetes and lowering blood pressure. Olive oil is good for the heart, and this makes it a popular staple in diets around the world.
Inflammation in the body is thought to be the root of many diseases, and olive oil can reduce inflammation. This is due to the antioxidants found in good olive oil. You can sauté vegetables or use olive oil as a base in a salad dressing. The taste is pleasant and your child will grow accustomed to having olive oil in her diet.
Getting your kids to eat fruit is usually pretty easy. It’s sweet and yummy. A great choice for any child is berries. High in vitamin C and other antioxidants, berries can do everything from help your child fight the common cold to protecting him from cancer.
Smoothies are an easy way to get a lot of berries in your child at one time. However, you can also offer berries as snacks or pack them in your child’s lunch each day. Offer berries for dessert instead of processed foods. You can even get your child involved in growing berries in your backyard so they understand how this sweet treat makes its way to their table.
Spinach may not seem like an easy food to introduce to your kids, but it’s worth it to try. Spinach is good for your child’s eye health and full of iron. Iron can help your child feel energetic and help red blood cells.
Eating a salad is a way for your child to get iron, but you might need to find other ways to sneak it in. Add spinach to fruit smoothies and your child will likely be unaware of what he’s ingesting. You can also shred or cut spinach and add it to rice, meat, or other dishes. Your child will benefit from consuming this super vegetable, even if they don’t know they are eating it.
Protein is an important part of a healthy diet, but your child doesn’t need to equate protein with only eating meat. Beans are a healthy alternative that should be a staple in your child’s diet.
Beans are full of fiber, and this is essential if you want your kids to avoid the pain of constipation. Make sure your child drinks plenty of liquids with beans since they will need it to help with all the fiber. Beans are also full of iron, zinc, and magnesium. All of these are important to keep your child’s body running properly.
If you have a choice, pick dry beans over canned. The sodium added to canned beans isn’t great for your kids. You can serve beans as a side dish, in soups, or as an addition to tacos or other meals.
Teach your child good eating habits early. Introduce him to foods that offer health benefits now and in the future. Set an example by consuming these foods as well.