As adults everywhere renew their gym memberships, stock up on workout gear, and indulge in their last desserts in preparation for tackling those New Year’s resolutions, most kids are just looking forward to an excuse to stay up late and bang pots and pans. But while they may not be concerned enough with their health to commit to self-improvement in 2013, parents should see the New Year as an opportunity to improve the whole family’s health.
One easy way to do that is to incorporate better foods into your children’s diets. Here are 13 superfoods you should feed your kids in 2013:
Whole grain bread – Bread made from 100% whole wheat or whole grain flour gives your child energy without the moodiness and weight gain brought on by white breads made with refinded whole wheat, enriched wheat, or wheat flour.
Yogurt – Calcium is an especially important part of a child’s diet, and yogurt is a great source that most kids also enjoy. But be sure to buy low-fat yogurt so its benefits aren’t negated by high-sugar content.
Natural nut butter – Peanut butter is a big part of many kids’ diets, but it’s often full of sugar, salt, and trans fats, which lead to high cholesterol in kids as well as adults. Look for almond, cashew, peanut, and other nut butters that contain those nuts only.
Sweet potatoes – If your kids are anything like I was as a kid, they love french fries. But by replacing them with sweet potato fries, you’ll be loading your kids up with fiber, beta-carotene, vitamins E and B6, iron, and potassium, not to mention saving on fat.
Beans and other legumes – They’re high in protein and fiber and low in fat and cholesterol. Plus, they can be added to just about any dinner you have planned.
Dark chocolate – It’s probably impossible to keep chocolate away from your kids entirely, so dark chocolate is a great alternative to milk chocolate because it’s high in antioxidants.
Dark green vegetables – Sure, any vegetable is good for you, but the darkest green vegetables, like broccoli and kale, are the highest in vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Seeds – Whether sunflower, pumpkin, or flax, seeds are high in minerals and calcium and can easily be sprinkled in smoothies or salads.
Fatty fish – Fatty fish, like salmon and tuna, offer omega 3 fatty acids, which promote cardiovascular health and are essential to body function.
Blueberries – Just like all vegetables, all fruits are good for your child to eat. But blueberries are the highest in anti-oxidants.
Eggs – Besides being high in protein, vitamins, and minerals, eggs also contain choline – a nutrient that aides brain development in young children.
Beef – In moderation, beef is a great source of protein, iron, niacin, zinc, minerals, and choline for brain development. Aim for leaner cuts that are low in fat.
Milk – Milk is essential to healthy bone development due to its high calcium and phosphorous content. It also contains vitamin D, vitamin A, and magnesium. For kids over age two, go with reduced fat milk.
What is your health goal for your child in 2013? Tell us below.
Sources: canadianliving.com, wholesometummiesblog.com, howstuffworks.com