Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.

Simple Superfood Snacks To Try

DEFINITION OF SUPERFOODS

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.” Next, 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 which: support their bodies, provide them with energy, and assist their immune systems.

Superfoods Home Page Strawberry Plant Garden Hands
Home Page Strawberry Plant Garden Hands

NOURISHING OUR CHILDREN

From the birth of my eldest son, it has been my mission to feed our children healthy foods. First, I nursed them with my breast milk, so they could gain benefits of breastfeeding. I was careful to include superfoods, because they are so beneficial, when I introduced foods in their diet after they turned six months old.

Next, I attempted a light baby-led weaning with them which you can learn more about here. My favorite foods are those that are 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 try to provide the whole family a nutritious meal. We feed 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. So, we just cut up the food into bite sized pieces, and made sure they were soft enough for them.

superfood Homemade Gluten-Free Paleo Blueberry Muffins
superfood Homemade Gluten-Free Paleo Blueberry Muffins

FAVORITE SUPERFOOD SNACKS

Here are some of my favorite superfoods snacks that are easy to offer to our children:

  • BlueberriesBlueberries 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 or as a snack! Our boys love them. We love them also because they are great superfoods. 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 preschoolers love since 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 our bee pollen at our local farmer’s market because it is fresh. 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.
  • 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.

Finally, 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?

Boys Stirring Muffins. Helping in the kitchen.
Boys Stirring Muffins. Helping in the kitchen.

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Boys Stirring Muffins. Helping in the kitchen.

Help Your Child Eat A Variety of Foods

Help Your Child Eat A Variety of Foods

“The parents’ chief care is, that that which they supply shall be wholesome and nourishing, whether in the way of picture-books, lessons, playmates, bread and milk, or mother’s love.”  — Charlotte Mason Home Education pg. 5

Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam
Boys in the kitchen strawberry jam

My child only eats mac and cheese and a few other foods. We struggle to feed our child a variety of foods. I want my child to eat something, anything. So, we finally offer my child mac and cheese so he won’t starve.” 

I see so many parents with this struggle. It is easy to fall victim to this vicious cycle. When we offer food to our children and they don’t eat their food, we feel like we should never offer the particular meal again. This results in your child eating the same variety of foods.

When young children are learning how to eat, they may need to try the same food many times before they discover if they like it or not. My oldest son refused eggs in ALL methods of preparation for about two years! Then one day, he decided he wanted a hard boiled egg. He has consumed hard boiled eggs ever since.

Find out why a Farmer’s Market and CSA is wonderful for your family. 

 

Helping hands in kitchen. Fresh vegetables.
Helping hands in kitchen. Fresh vegetables.

Below, are four tips to help your child receive a variety of healthy nutrients to nourish their bodies.

  1. STOP SERVING MAC AND CHEESE. Literally.

Give your child a few days to adjust, give yourself some grace, and provide a variety of other healthy foods. Do not feed your child mac and cheese, no matter what. Its just a few days – you can do it. In a few days, feel free to offer it back to them on occasion. The intention is not to deprive them of the foods they love, however, you are in control of what they eat. Provide them foods other than mac and cheese. 

2. WHAT DO WE EAT? 

  • Offer a variety of healthy food choices. Foods can be simple, easy and enjoyed by the whole family. When you offer an assortment of healthy choices to your children, you are fueling their bodies. The following examples below are filled with nutrients. Children can also help to prepare these foods.
Examples are, but certainly not limited to:

You can find simple recipes the whole family can be involved with on Pinterest.

3. INVOLVE YOUR CHILDREN IN THE FOOD PREPARATION. 

Children, and mamas too, are more interested in something if they have had a part in the creation of it. Children (even very young children) can help prepare all of the above meal examples in tip #2. By participating in food preparation, children are more inclined to taste test what they directly helped make. Please always make sure to assist your children and supervise as needed.

Your children can learn and help you by: gathering ingredients that are accessible to them, opening jars, bags, spreading the foods on the sandwiches, spiralizing vegetable noodles, squeezing lemons, adding garnish to dishes, and washing fresh fruit or vegetables.

Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.
Helping hands in the kitchen. Peeling vegetables.

4. EAT MEALS WITH YOUR CHILDREN. 

When it is possible, sit down and eat meals with your children. Lead by example so your children see you eat the same foods you are asking them to eat. Children are constantly learning from everything they experience, see and hear. When you sit beside your child, and eat the same foods together as a family, you are reinforcing their good eating habits. 

Stick with this parents and you can do this. Remember, you are their primary and first source of nourishment and you make the decisions. It may be a tough few days, but you can do this. I have seen it work with my children. Pave a path for your children. With your efforts, they will experience a wealth of nutrient dense and healthy foods, in just a few days time.

Our boys are pictured below. We made homemade whipped cream with just a few ingredients and it therefore turned out amazing. Finally, we topped our gluten-free pancakes with the cream.

Boys homemade whipped cream

 

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