Eating healthy can be quite difficult for adults, let alone kids – who doesn’t love pizza, fries and sweets?! Yet, making healthy food a habit from the youngest of ages can make a tremendous impact on a child’s development. Children have a bigger need for proper nutrition as they grow fast, especially when they are very young. The first step is what we at Meisterdish, have built our mission on – cooking good food at home.
To help you and the family start the healthy rhythm of cooking at home, we’ve listed some foods that are great for children’s development as well as shared some tips and tricks below that we’ve incorporated into our kid’s meals.
Good Old Veggies
- Vegetables with rich, deep color are an excellent source of antioxidants to keep the brain cells healthy. Some veggies to include in your child’s diet are tomatoes, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, carrots, or spinach. For more information, visit www.onhealth.com.
- Full of folate and vitamins, spinach and kale are linked to lower odds of getting dementia later in life. Kale is a super food, packed with antioxidants and other things that help new brain cells grow. For more information, visit www.webmd.com
- Pro Tip: Replace potato or corn chips in your child’s lunch with baked sweet potato wedges or easy-to-snack-on veggies such as sugar snap peas, baby carrots or cucumber sticks.
- Recipe idea: Chickpeas (aka, the star ingredient in hummus) are incredibly good for you and kids will love the smooth and nutty flavor. High in protein and fibre and more than ten micronutrients, including mineral copper, which keeps our hair and skin nice and healthy. This is a great, nutritious snack for the family so serve it up with crunchy veggies or crackers for dipping!
- Fruits benefit your body immensely as they are natural sources of vitamins and minerals, which are essential for proper functioning of the body. Rich in dietary fiber, fruits also help to improve the functioning of the digestive tract. For more information, visit www.organicfacts.net
- The top ten fruits that are good for children include berries, apple, bananas, oranges, lemon, peaches, grapes, pineapples, pears and avocado. For more information, visit healthbeginswithmom.com
- Pro tip: Did you know – the darker the color pigment of the berry the more nutritious it is!
- Fatty fish, such as salmon, are good sources for omega-3 fatty acids that are beneficial for healthy brain growth and function. Getting enough of these fatty acids can help kids improve their mental skills.
- Fats are indeed a great source of energy for kids and are easily stored in a child’s growing body. Fats are also vital in helping the body properly process other nutrients it needs, when not over eaten. For more information visit, www.onhealth.com
- Protein-rich foods such as fish are important to help our muscles grow and repair. Eating the right amount of protein is really important as it provides you with essential amino acids: think of these as the building blocks of the body. Your body is continually building and renewing cells, and you need amino acids to do this. We are unable to produce amino acids in the body ourselves, so it’s essential we get enough from the protein in our diets.
- Pro tip: Use a fish that has a neutral smell and taste such as white fish if your child is picky or prone to reject new foods. White fish such as cod, can easily be broken up or mashed into pasta, rice or zoodles like in our kid’s meal below. It is also a great protein that pairs well with sauces like tomato sauce or cream sauce that kids love.
Tips and tricks from the Meisterdish Kitchen
- Dice finely: like our Veggie Rag Bowl Pasta
- Finely diced red pepper, zucchini and tomatoes that kids can easily eat
- “Hide” vegetables: like cauliflower puree in our Mac’n Cheese
- Cauliflower contains a lot of Vitamin C and “Vitamin C does more than just fighting off the common cold. It also holds the body’s cells together, strengthens the walls of blood vessels, helps the body heal wounds, and is important for building strong bones and teeth.” https://www.parents.com/kids/nutrition/healthy-eating/must-eat-nutrients/
- Make it look like their favorite dish: like our White fish with Zoodles
- Everyone loves pasta, so use a spiralizer to make zucchini or other veggies look like noodles