Friday, August 13, 2010

Power Foods Even the Kids Will Love

It's difficult enough preparing and cooking meals for our children when they aren't complaining, whining, or refusing the eat what we put in front of them. Here are some great power foods that even the kids will love.

Parsley: The pure beauty of Parsley is its ability to be hidden in pretty much anything! Tiny specks of green may not deter your youngster from scarfing down chicken, pasta, or a soup. Parsley contains incredibly high levels of Vitamin C (3x as much as oranges), iron (2x as much as spinach), and Vitamin A.

Blueberries: Blueberries are fun, tasty, and a healthy alternative for a snack. They are filled with great antioxidants which have been proven in preventing heart disease and diabetes. In addition, the antioxidants increase brain function! (Great for back-to-school!) They make excellent additions to a bowl of oatmeal or cereal, yogurt, or even more fun alternatives such as frozen into popsicles or blended into smoothies.

Cocoa/Dark Chocolate: Believe it or not, there are some great health benefits to our sweet little friend, cocoa! When you purchase at least 70% (non-processed) cocoa, you are giving your kids a great source of flavonoids which can add to heart and oral health as well as promoting a healthy blood pressure. How can you not serve cocoa to your kids? Add it atop their favorite breakfast food or even that ever so popular winter beverage! Dark Chocolate is packed with antioxidants which add to heart health and promote healthy circulation. Instead of using milk chocolate, dip your child's favorite fruits in unsweetened dark chocolate (chocolate covered strawberries or bananas make great treats!)

Tomatoes: Tomatoes are excellent sources of a substance called "lycopene." Lycopene has been proven to protect against many forms of various cancers, and unlike many fruits and vegetables, the amounts of lycopene in tomatoes skyrockets when they are cooked! Use pasta sauces and pizza to entice your kids to up their intake of tomatoes!

Watermelon: Another high carrier of lycopene is watermelon! This tasty summer treat is filled with water (thus, the name.) It makes a refreshing snack for hot summer days while being incredibly low in calories. In addition, watermelon is a great source of Vitamin A and C! Kids love it raw or puree then freeze to make watermelon ice cubes!

Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are excellent sources of Vitamin C, Potassium, Vitamin A, Calcium, and Iron among many others. The great thing about sweet potatoes is you can treat them just like any other potato! Make sweet potato french fries, bake them, mash them, etc.! You can even use them as a fun dessert when baked with a couple marshmallows and our next power food.....

Cinnamon: This snazzy little spice has been said to regulate blood sugar which means it could be a prime combat tool against those before-lunch youngster crashes! Add it to their breakfast cereal, yogurt, or oatmeal.

Always consult your pediatrician with any food questions or concerns.

No comments:

Post a Comment