Ensuring your child is getting enough nutrients for healthy development can be overwhelming and confusing. But it doesn’t have to be. I’ve got a favourite ingredient that always packs a nutritional punch when it comes to my child’s diet.
I have a favourite simple and affordable ingredient that you can easily incorporate into your baby’s diet to support healthy growth, brain development, gut health and general nutrition.
I’m talking about sprouts.
Encouraging young children to eat enough greens can be hard especially if they are not keen on many of the bitter vegetables. Sprouts are an amazing way to get plenty of greens into your child’s diet without them even knowing. The key is to use a variety of different sprouts to ensure you are covering all their nutritional needs. My favourite sprouts are lentil sprouts, chickpea sprouts & mungbean sprouts. Combining these three varieties will provide an amazing amount of nutrients, protein and fibre all so important for developing kids.
Why do I love this combo of sprouts for a child’s diet?
Sprouts Are Rich in Vitamin C
This vitamin plays an important role in the development of bones and teeth and also supports a healthy immune system.
Sprouts contain Vitamin A
This Vitamin is essential to support children’s growth and to also support healthy mucous membrane development & immune function to fight infections.
Sprouts Are Rich in Iron
Iron is necessary for healthy brain development. A deficiency can lead to developmental delays and learning disorders.
Sprouts Are High in Folate
Folate is needed for healthy brain and nervous system development, it also plays a vital role in DNA/RNA production (the building blocks of our cells) and also in energy production.
Sprouts Are High in Magnesium
Magnesium is a vital mineral that has over 300 functions in the body. Healthy levels are needed for good sleep, mood regulation, nervous system support, bowel regulation and also aids in the absorption of other nutrients like calcium and vitamin d.
I really like a product called Crunchy Combo by Aussie Sprouts. It contains all of my favourite varieties of sprouts, is Australian owned and grown and found at most of the major supermarkets. Mash these through any meal you like or even blend through a smoothie.
Other Nutritional Boosters for Your Child’s Diet
This is a great food to add into your child’s diet. Rich in healthy fats (vital for healthy brain development) they are also high in fibre, folate (a crucial nutrient required during times of rapid growth), magnesium, vitamin c and more. The great thing about avocados is they are so versatile.
Salmon has one of the highest sources of EPA & DHA (omega 3 fatty acids) which are essential for healthy brain, nerve and eye development. In fact studies have shown a long term deficiency of these nutrients can lead to anger, depression and inability to properly regulate emotions, so it is important you start early in ensuring that your child is getting enough of the essential fatty acids for healthy brain and neurotransmitter health.
Hemp & Chia seeds
Both of these are super versatile and when combined together make an incredible superfood feast. Rich in all the nutrients needed for your child’s best including b vitamins, zinc, iron, magnesium, fibre, fatty acids and more, they are an easy way to supercharge your child’s nutrition. Try making a chia pudding with hemp seeds.
Tip: Always soak the chia seeds In water for at least 5 minutes before feeding so that they can be easily broken down in the digestive system.
What are your favourite ways and secret ingredients to increase the nutrition of your child’s diet? Tell us in the comments below.