1. Oatmeal: A fabulous breakfast food, full of B vitamins, iron, zinc and calcium. Old-fashioned oatmeal offers plenty of carbohydrate for quick energy and high fiber. Add berries and honey to make it a delicious perfect food for those fast-paced school day mornings!
2. Yogurt: Kick your child’s dairy consumption up a notch and include yogurt on the menu. A great source of calcium, yogurt is easier to digest than regular milk, and the cultures (check the label to make sure they’re in there!) are very beneficial to good colon health. Watch it on the sugar content though. A great idea is to buy plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with fresh fruit!
3. Broccoli: it is one of the best vegetables for anyone, especially growing kids. It has loads of calcium, potassium, beta-carotene and a wide variety of the B vitamins. If your child is not a fan of plain vegetables include broccoli in a casserole or put a little shredded cheese on top to add flavor.
4. Protein: One size does not fit all when it comes to protein. The fact is that growing kids need protein to keep growing. How you’re going to give it to them can vary widely, according to your preferences. Good choices include legumes, beans (combined with a grain to make a complete protein), soy products like tofu, eggs or lean meat, fish or poultry.
5. Whole Grains: The best nutrition is found in whole grains. Brown rice and whole wheat bread are a quantum leap over their white counterparts and offer necessary fiber, minerals and vitamins. Choose grain products with the words “whole”, “unbleached” and “intact” or “ground”.
6. Nut Butters: Peanut butter and other nut butters are great fast and easy foods for kids. Kids need fat (it’s a good fat if it doesn’t have hydrogenated oils mixed in it) and they need the protein. Try spreading almond or sunflower seed butter on crackers, toast or celery sticks for a quick and nutritious snack.
7. Fresh Fruit: My personal choice would be cantaloupe in the melon department. Vitamin C, beta-carotene, bits and pieces of B vitamins and trace minerals and calcium fill every juicy bite. Any in season fresh fruit is sure to be packed with healthy goodness!