By: Jennifer LeMaire
We’ve all heard the superfood hype. Eat spinach, salmon and quinoa if you want to give your immune system a boost and help prevent disease.
But what about your kids? What if they won’t jump on board the salmon filled superfood bandwagon?
While some parents have resorted to sneaking superfoods into their children’s meals, there is a better way. Why not choose superfoods that kids love?
If the idea of getting your kids to eat superfoods seems daunting, here are three nutritional powerhouses that kids will love.
Chocolate a superfood? Yes, you read that correctly. But before your kids make a run for the Snickers bars, hold on.
Raw chocolate, not processed chocolate, is the superfood. Raw chocolate, also called a cacao nut, is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, magnesium, iron, phenylethylamine (a mood enhancer) and flavenoids. If completely raw chocolate isn’t going to fly with your kids, choose a minimally processed dark chocolate with a cacao content of at least 70 percent. You’ll still get the benefits of the flavenoids.
Raw chocolate tastes great though and most kids will love it when eaten in combination with other foods. It’s great grated over oatmeal or popcorn, in smoothies, tossed in trail mix or baked into muffins.
If your kids are used to the golden-hued honey that comes from the little plastic bear in the supermarket, boy are they in for a real taste treat.
Buckwheat honey is a strong malt-molasses flavored honey that is made by bees that collect pollen and nectar from the common buckwheat plant. Dark purple, almost black in color, buckwheat honey contains vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, polyphenols and eighteen amino acids as well as anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties.
Although all honeys are considered superfoods, darker honeys like buckwheat honey generally contain more antioxidants than their lighter colored cousins. In fact, a 2008 study in the Journal of Wound Care found that buckwheat honey was up to 30 times as effective an antioxidant as some lighter colored honeys.
Buckwheat honey is also a great natural and effective alternative to cough syrup for children under six. Just one tablespoon can help tame a wild cough. Although–remember–never give honey of any kind to children under age one. Honey can contain botulism spores, which can be lethal to children under one year of age.
Buckwheat honey is a great superfood to use in baking, on pancakes or waffles, in yogurt parfaits, when making granola or in oatmeal. Because of its stronger flavor, buckwheat honey will produce a richer end product with a more distinct honey flavor than lighter honeys when used in baking.
Potatoes get a bad rap. Yes, potatoes contain starch and carbohydrates, but they are also a nutritional superfood that kids will love. They’re great sources of vitamin C, potassium and fiber (if the skin is included), all without fat or cholesterol. Potatoes even contain protein.
When most people think of potatoes as a superfood, sweet potatoes immediately spring to mind. But all potatoes, especially russet potatoes, are nutrition powerhouses. They can aid weight loss, lower blood cholesterol levels and keep your child’s heart healthy.
Most kids love potatoes and they are relatively economical and versatile. Try some of the specialty potatoes for a real superfood treat- fingerlings, purple varieties and red potatoes can all up the fun factor of this superfood.
Author’s Disclaimer: This article is intended for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a physician or other medical professionals.