It’s so important for children to have a nutritious diet. The tastiest foods for children don’t seem to be so healthy when they are. For instance, many people believe that chocolate milk is too sugary to be healthy, but it’s actually just as nourishing as a glass of skim milk, depending on the brand. Overall though, the best foods for children are those that provide proper nourishment, including fruits, vegetables, dairy, and whole grains. Below are five foods packed with good nutrition that all children should have.
- Peanut Butter
Everyone knows that most children are not the biggest fans of eating meat. But, if you take that meat and wrap it up in some greasy breading and call it a nugget and load it up with ketchup, for some reason, the kids think it’s great. To take the place of this unhealthy “meat”, peanut butter is an excellent choice of protein that most kids love. Peanut butter is packed with about seven grams of protein in just one tablespoon, so rest assured a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is going to be a great source of protein for your kids. Choose either reduced fat or organic brands though. There are plenty of organic and natural peanut butter brands on the market, but don’t sweat buying some Jif or Skippy. Spread it on some healthy whole wheat bread and you have a protein-packed breakfast or lunch for your child!
- Chocolate Milk
Everyone tends to think that chocolate milk is a sugary drink or snack, but in reality, adding some chocolate syrup to a nice, cold glass of milk is not taking away any of the wonderful nutrients milk provides, as long as the chocolate is sugar and fat free and hopefully organic. Milk is packed with vitamins, calcium, minerals and protein that are so healthy for children. Many kids like milk as it is, but for those that don’t, chocolate can really help! The health benefit of drinking chocolate milk is better than them not drinking milk at all. Also consider chocolate soy milk, almond milk or coconut milk, all of which provide their own nutrients and are super yummy.
Oatmeal is something that both kids and adults should eat every day. Oatmeal is going to provide your children with a great amount of fiber and some omega-3s, which are very healthy for the heart. Oatmeal also contains a high amount of potassium, a necessity for children. A nice, hot bowl of oatmeal is the perfect way for your children to start their day and helps them to have enough brain power to last until lunchtime. Kids have lots of flavored individual packets to choose from. Best of all, they don’t take away any of the nutritional value. Oatmeal flavors like strawberries and cream, or maple brown sugar are usually big hits with the kids. If you make your own homemade oatmeal, try stirring in some of your kid’s favorite fruits or nuts to make it more enticing for them to eat.
- Fruits and Vegetables
This should be obvious, but some people do forget. What you should know is that most kids love fruit. Fruit has natural sugar, so kids tend to choose that over vegetables when given the option. Fruits give kids the daily vitamins and minerals, and they seem to enjoy picking out their favorite fruits at the grocery store. Veggies are not quite so popular, but remember that vegetables have so many important minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that kids need daily. So, it might pay to cover them up with something yummy, to make kids want to eat them. Ranch, onion, and bean dips are all wonderful choices for dipping vegetables in for children. Again, make your own or look for natural and organic brands, and you’ll be good to go!
Kids need to have a balanced diet. Eating the five foods above every day is going to provide the proper nutritional balance they need, but it’s always best to mix it up and provide as many different healthy foods as you can.