Hello!

With this generation of children arguably the pickiest eaters in history, most parents know that feeding kids is no easy task.[1]

Kids instinctively gravitate towards junk food [2] so it can often be a struggle to ensure they are eating healthy foods that are both appealing and beneficial.

Children often associate healthy food with being tasteless, and they refuse to eat it. This often means they miss out on essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fats, which are vital for their mental and physical development.

Below are 5 foods that children will think are treats – but are actually pretty healthy:

  1. Peanut butter on toast. Peanut butter has a bad reputation as being full of calories but it‘s actually a great snack for children as it’s packed with nutrients that will provide them with energy for hours. Peanut butter is a great source of vitamin B, iron, fibre and vitamin B.
  2. Jelly. Homemade jelly is a great hydrator and made from scratch with fruits, a great source of vitamins [3] and protective plant pigments. And, if your kids don’t normally snack on fruit, it’s a great disguise to the fact they are eating fruit.
  3. Sweet potato fries. Kids love anything that could pass as takeaway, and there’s no doubt that sweet potato fries are always a hit. Substituting potato for sweet potato adds extra nutrients such as Beta Carotene (which is turned into Vitamin A in the body), Vitamin C and Potassium, which are great ways to help their immune system and increase muscle function.[4] Baking the sweet potato in the oven also helps keep retain delicate water soluble nutrients, without sacrificing the crunch that kids love!
  4. Walnut and dark chocolate cookies. By adding walnuts into the age old favourite of chocolate cookies, you are not only adding flavour, but also a significant amount of omega-3s. This simple ingredient will help boost your child’s concentration and focus [5], and the dark chocolate is an easy way to increase their intake of iron, fibre and magnesium [6] without changing the taste. Remember that nuts aren’t suitable for young children as they can be a choking hazard.
  5. Macaroni and cheese. Because what kid doesn’t love mac and cheese?! Homemade macaroni and cheese is incredibly simple and also provides your kids with extra calcium and vitamin D.  We all know pasta is a great source of carbohydrates, but cheese is considered one of the healthiest foods for children’s teeth as it stimulates the salivary glands and helps protect them from acids that can cause cavities.[7] It also contains calcium for strong bones and teeth and you might be surprised to learn that pasta is pretty low GI so it provides long lasting energy for your kids.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
[1] http://nspt4kids.com/feeding/picky-eating-how-common-is-it
[2] http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140722111916.htm
[3] http://benefitof.net/benefits-of-jelly/
[4] http://fit.webmd.com/kids/food/article/sweet-potato
[5] http://www.breckenridgeamerican.com/news/ci_26355817/back-school-nutrition-primer-give-kids-healthy-head
[6] http://authoritynutrition.com/7-health-benefits-dark-chocolate/
[7] http://pediatrics.about.com/od/nutrition/a/cheese-nutrition-facts.htm
  • Suggestion of healthy foods that are healthy for the child, but what I was curious about is, do they help improve child’s concentration and focus? ref: https://brainy.co.in

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  • Growing up I loved fruit!

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  • Oh yum, what a tasty list of foods! My daughter went to kindy with a boy who had a love of mandarins. It’s what he would ask for when in a shop, in his lunchbox. Other kids want chips or chocolate….he wanted a mandarin

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  • cheers ravinder on posting such a great artcle for the moms site.

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  • This was an interesting mini article. Thanks for posting!

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  • Must give sweet potato fries a go everyone is saying they’re great

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  • this is so important. great article

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  • I added a heap of grated vegetables to things like sausage rolls with my son. He was helping me make them, so knew exactly what he was eating, too. As you can see, they were a success

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  • I agree – sweet potato fries are always a hit amongst our bunch!

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  • Oh I was hoping for some ideas on fruit. The only fruit my child eats without me forcing is passionfruit. Apple is the only other fruit she will eat but it is a challenge getting her too.

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  • My kids love food so I don’t have any issue with trying to get them to eat healthy things luckily.

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  • yeah… I’m not so sure about all of these jelly is full of sugar and doesn’t actually contain any of the healthy parts of fruit.

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  • fruit is good and so easy to eat

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  • Fruit is always on the shopping list and we eat so much of it.

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  • or maybe we don’t trick them but teach them about these healthy ways of eating so that they are able to recreate these choices for themselves in the future. and these are all yummy options that my kids will eat anyway


    • exactly if they dont know what good choices are how can they make them for themselves.

    Reply

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