Eating whole colorful foods is a good idea because these super foods generally are nutrient dense and provide the essential vitamins, minerals, fats, proteins and phytonutrients that kids need. They are also usually much tastier and easier to snack on!
Creating and incorporating whole colorful foods in your family’s diet is the perfect way to provide essential nutrients that are necessary for healthy growth, healthy immune system and general wellbeing – hence why they earned the label “super foods”!
5 Super Foods to Feed Your Super Family
Super Food #1: Asparagus
History: The people of Greece used asparagus to cure their toothaches. It sounds crazy but it worked! The Romans surrounded would surround their prized asparagus gardens with high walls. Asparagus made its way to North America in the 19th century after a quick stop in England.
Why it’s healthy: Asparagus is considered a super food because it’s packed with the antioxidant glutathione, which is an important element in supporting the liver during detoxification. This may sound unnecessary for children but we all all exposed to many unwanted toxins on a daily basis and helping our livers in any way is beneficial. Asparagus is packed with fiber, which does an amazing job of keeping the digestive and circulatory system squeaky clean by removing toxins.
Simply delicious: Try roasted asparagus sprinkled with a dash of Parmesan cheese.
Super Food #2: Blueberries
History: Blueberries are one of the very few fruits native to North America. Native Americans not only ate the berries for their sweet taste, but also used to leaves and roots for medicinal reasons and to help dye their clothes! Blueberries are Maine’s state berry in honor of Abijah Tabbutt, who invented the blueberry rake to aid in the picking of blueberries by hand.
Why it’s healthy: Blueberries make the list of super foods because they provide potassium, fiber, and the phytonutrient, bioflavanoids, which the eyes use for night vision! They are packed with antioxidants, which do much in the body to help protect healthy cells from damage.
Simply delicious: Blueberries are usually an easy food to encourage your kids to eat as they are super sweet tasting. Try adding them to oatmeal, yogurt, baking a blueberry crisp, mixing in a smoothie with peaches and bananas and tossing into salads.
Super Food #3: Cauliflower
History: Cauliflower are thought to have originated form Asia, and made their way to Turkey and Italy where they were treasured food. A cousin of the cabbage, the cauliflower buds appeared in North America in the 1800s.
Why it’s healthy: Cauliflower is a super food because it’s packed with many nutrients but the one that stands out the most for kids is fiber and its effect on the digestive system. This cruciferous vegetable will give you close to half your daily fiber needs, and the chemical, sulforaphane, found in cauliflower, may help protect the lining of the stomach, helping to decrease stomachaches.
Simply delicious: Serve to your family raw with a dip or try roasting them and adding them to any soup.
Super Food #4: Avocado
History: Known as the, “Alligator Pear,” by the English who where living in Jamaica as they thought the skin resembled that of an alligator! The avocado is part of the berry family and was officially named by Spanish explorers.
Why it’s healthy: Creamy, and easy to digest, avocados provide a terrific source of the “good fat” called monounsaturated fat, which is why it makes the list of super foods. Monounsaturated fats are an essential part of proper growth and development and enable the absorption of many fat-soluble nutrients. Avocados are also packed with a large variety of nutrients including potassium, which is important for good heart health.
Simply delicious: Because of its creamy texture, most kids do enjoy eating avocados. Try cutting into cubes, and serving to the kids either eat alone or mixed with cilantro and a little splash of lemon, and served with corn chips.
Super Food #5: Peas
History: Known as a fruit due to its seed content; however, once used in cooking, it is known as a vegetable. Canada is the biggest producer of peas and due to its great popularity, India is the largest importer.
Why it’s healthy: Peas are the funest super food on the list because they are round, lively and fun to eat. Peas are packed with protein, which is very helpful in maintaining blood sugar levels. This helps keep our kids’ emotional and physical states very balanced and also aids in preventing diabetes.
Simply delicious: Kids will eat them straight out of the pod. For an extra super food boost, try adding peas to salads, soups, or serve as a side dish.
Visit Dr. Heather, ND and Human Body Detectives series for kids, to learn more about Dr. Heather and her mission to have families be more proactive and healthy in their lives. You can also join the conversation on Twitter @drheathernd and HBD on Facebook.