After your kids outgrow the baby food stage, providing them with wholesome, nourishing meals can be a difficult endeavor. Children can get picky around this age, and making foods from scratch is much more time-consuming than spooning them from a jar. However, that doesn't mean you have to fall back on unhealthy, pre-packaged meals to keep their tummies full. Here are five healthy food choices that nourish.
Veggies are the foundation of a healthy diet. They're low in calories, contain a wide range of essential nutrients and provide fiber to assist proper digestion. Leading the veggie kingdom with the highest content of antioxidant and antiproliferative effects, the top three champions are red bell peppers, broccoli, and spinach. Unfortunately, not everyone has time to chop fresh veggies, and canned vegetables are very low in nutrients due to processing methods. For times like these, choose frozen veggies instead. They possess far more of their original nutrition, they're as tasty as their fresh counterparts and they take only minutes to cook. Plus, they make a great finger food for children just starting on solids.
If you're looking for a healthy protein source, look no further than all natural poultry such as chicken or turkey. They are fantastic sources of protein without causing many of the health detriments associated with red meat intake. These options are relatively low in saturated fat, contain no added hormones and are often more affordable than beef or pork. They also work well in a large variety of recipes. Chicken and veggie stir-fry, herb-baked chicken breasts and juicy turkey burgers are just a few ideas.
It's been said that fruit is nature's candy. It satisfies your child's sweet tooth while providing an abundance of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that support healthy growth and development. Some fruits, like apples, are also excellent at keeping blood glucose under control, helping to prevent diabetes and obesity. Don't forget to feed them the skins as they have the highest antiproliferative effects against cancer of all the fruits. Grapes, berries, and pineapple chunks are some other fantastic choices that can be served as a snack or part of a meal.
These flavorful, bright orange tubers are highly nutritious, and they even have the reputation of being a super food. They're inexpensive, easy to prepare and can be used in many ways. Mashed, baked, steamed, stir-fried and shredded into salads are just a handful of popular uses for these delicious vegetables. Furthermore, their pleasant sweetness ensures they'll be a real hit with the kids.
Everyone knows that dairy products are a great source of calcium, but there's more to it than that. It's also a good source of protein, healthy fat, vitamins A and D, B vitamins and numerous minerals. Foods like unsweetened greek yogurt, whole milk and cottage cheese provide the greatest amounts of these essential nutrients, so make sure your family gets at least two to three servings per day.
Giving your children a healthy diet doesn't need to be a struggle. There are many nutritious, tasty and easily prepared foods, such as those listed above, that can make your life easier while also nourishing your family.
Informational credit to harvestlandbrand.com