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The inherent pickiness of children’s eating habits can pose challenges for parents every step of the way—we’re constantly brainstorming new ways to add healthy ingredients to meals, and present those healthy ingredients in ways that will convince kids to eat them. When it comes to superfoods—whole grains, legumes, nuts and vegetables with high amounts of nutritious content—this challenge remains daunting. With a few simple culinary tricks of the mommy trade, you may just get your child to eat that extra helping of kale.
Photo credit: Shutterstock
Kale, chard and cauliflower are among the top superfood salad greens on the planet. One ounce of kale contains most of the vitamin A and all of the vitamin K that you and a child four years or older needs for the day. Steam your vegetable of choice, then puree in a blender, Cuisinart or Vitamix with a few tablespoons of the boiled water. Then, mix into fruit smoothies, tomato sauce or pancake batter.
Spinach and bok coy (Chinese cabbage) are other great choices when it comes to superfood greens. Chop them up finely and add to a lettuce salad, put inside a burger, grilled cheese or pressed panini sandwich.
Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and almonds all offer impressive amounts of vitamins and trace minerals in a single serving. Grind a ½ pound bag of your favorite nut or seed, and keep the grounds in the freezer for regular use. Sprinkle the grinds in your child’s sandwich under the nut butter, ketchup or mayonnaise, or add 1 teaspoon of ground nuts to pancakes or smoothies.
Add Superfood Flour to Baking
Garbanzo beans and buckwheat are two excellent superfoods that can be purchased in the form of flour. Include ¼ cup of said flour in any cookie, muffin, quick bread or cake recipe for added amounts of fiber, protein, B vitamins and amino acids. The amount of ¼ cup seems to be the magic number—more than that and your child may taste the difference, while adding 1 tsp of superfood-based flour won’t include enough additional nutritional content in every serving.
Good luck. Let us know in the comments below what works best for you.
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