DEFINITION OF SUPERFOOD
Merriam-Webster defines superfoods as, “…food (such as salmon, broccoli, or blueberries) that is rich in compounds (such as antioxidants, fiber, or fatty acids) considered beneficial to a person’s health.” It expands to say, “Superfoods increase energy and vitality, regulate cholesterol and blood pressure and may help to prevent or fight cancer and other diseases.”
This definition of superfoods really encourages me to attempt to incorporate these foods into our daily diet. I desire to feed my children foods that: supports their bodies, provides them with energy to learn and explore the world around them, and assists their immune systems so they are not frequently sick.
NOURISHING OUR CHILDREN
From the birth of my eldest son, it has been my mission to feed our children healthy foods. I nursed them with my breast milk, as I believe the literature that touts the benefits of breastfeeding. When I introduced foods in their diet after they turned six months old, I was careful to include superfoods and other healthy choices as much as possible.
I attempted a light baby-led weaning with them which you can learn more about here. My favorite foods were those that were healthy, delicious and simple to prepare! I loved the ease of taking a banana or avocado, mashing it with a fork, and feeding it to my children. My husband and I attempted to provide the whole family a nutritious meal. We fed our children the same food easily off of our own plates. It sets a good example for your young children – to eat the same foods they are eating, to sit down with them at the same table, to encourage them to try the food offered to them. As my children approached eight-nine-ten months, they were both eating most of what my husband and I were. We just cut up the food into bite sized pieces, and made sure they were soft enough for them.
FAVORITE SUPERFOOD SNACKS
Here are some of my favorite superfoods snacks that are easy to offer to our children:
- Blueberries – Blueberries are, “high in antioxidants and they also contain fiber, Vitamin A and Vitamin C,” according to Wholesomebabyfood. We offer blueberries among other berries, often as a complement for breakfast and on their own as a snack! Our boys love them and they are great superfoods for them to consume too. When our boys were under 12 months, I would simply cut the blueberries in half prior to giving them a delicious and nutritious bowlful of berries.
- Bee Pollen – this is a superfood my three and four year olds love. It is naturally sweet tasting (resembling honey in flavor). Bee pollen are tiny balls or granules that are collected by worker bees on their body as they collect nectar from flowers. We purchase ours at our local farmer’s market. According to the Weston A. Price Foundation, bee pollen reduces symptoms of: “allergies, asthma, menstrual irregularities, constipation, diarrhea, anemia, low energy, cancer, rheumatism, arthritis and toxic conditions.” We eat it by a small spoonful or sprinkle it on top of whole-milk yogurt. I read that some people can have allergic reactions to bee pollen since it often contains bee parts. Therefore, the advice I took was to start with small amounts. Then we increased to about a teaspoon full per day.
- Grass-Fed Butter – we add grass-fed butter into our daily diet by using it as a fat to cook our vegetables, meats and sometimes fruits. It is a great fat to have in your daily diet. We often use it for baking. I love Kerrygold Pure Irish butter because I can purchase it at Whole Foods for a good price. It is a great quality grass-fed butter. It is very satisfying to eat butter and helps you absorb great nutrients in your meal. I also love the Organic Valley grass-fed butter brand and will stock up on these when they are on sale.
- Quinoa – When our boys were younger than age one year old, we began to feed them quinoa as it is a great superfood seed full of iron, fiber, calcium and folate. We cooked it according to the instructions on the package, so it was similar to rice. I would often steam vegetables, or serve quinoa with some prepared frozen vegetables as a meal for the whole family.
- Yogurt – Our entire family loves eating yogurt for breakfast or as a healthy snack. Parentinghealthybabies.com notes that yogurt is an immune-boosting food and provides gut-friendly bacteria, and helps support digestion. I prefer whole-milk yogurt as I feel the taste is better and the full-fat helps promote dental health, satisfies hunger longer, and is a more natural way to eat the food. I try to look for a full-fat, grass-fed yogurt, without a lot of extra additives or dyes.
There are tons of easy snack and healthy meal ideas available on my nourishedchildren Pinterest page. Feel free to check them out here! What are your favorite snacks you like to offer your family?