Your kids would be much better off learning to avoid those types of high-calorie, high-fat foods with foods that are high in fibre, low in fat and have calcium, iron, and other vitamins and minerals, including these healthful foods that most kids love:
It often seems like toddlers and preschoolers just can’t get enough milk, but as they get older, many kids start to drink less and less milk. This probably isn’t because they develop a distaste for milk, but rather because so many other drinks, including soda, fruit drinks, and too much fruit juice, become available at home.
Milk is a good source of calcium, vitamin D and protein for kids and should be a part of every child’s diet. Unless they have a milk allergy. In fact, depending on their age, most kids should drink between 2 to 4 glasses of milk (low-fat milk if they are at least 2 years old) each day. Especially if they aren’t eating or drinking any other high-calcium foods.
If your kids don’t seem to like apples, taking them to the grocery store to pick their favourite variety or to an orchard to pick their own apples can be a good idea. Like most fruits, apples are great snack food. They are juicy, sweet (although some varieties are tart), have vitamin C, are low in calories (about 90 calories for a medium apple) and have about 5g of fibre for an unpeeled whole apple.
Unfortunately, apples are one of those healthful foods that can get turned into a “kid-friendly food” and lose a lot of their nutritional benefits.
Instead of giving their kids an unpeeled whole apple or a cut-up whole apple, parents often give kids peeled apples, applesauce or apple juice as alternatives. Peeling the apple makes it lose about half of its fibre, and applesauce is also much lower in fibre than a whole apple and has more sugar and calories.
For kids who don’t have food allergies, peanut butter is great food. Although it would seem like a PB&J (peanut butter and jelly) would be a staple in most homes, many parents are avoiding peanut butter because of the worry about food allergies and because it is supposedly high in fat. Peanut butter is relatively high in fat, but it is mostly mono- and- poly-unsaturated fat, so it is better than the saturated fats that are found in many other high-fat foods.
Reduced-fat peanut butter is also available. If you choose a vitamin-fortified brand, such as Peter Pan Plus, it also provides your child with vitamin A, iron, vitamin E, vitamin B6, folic acid, magnesium, zinc, and copper, in addition to being a good source of protein.
Yoghurt is often considered to be health food but sticks with low-fat yoghurt without a lot of added sugar when choosing varieties for your kids. Yoghurt is a healthful food for kids. Especially for kids who don’t drink a lot of milk, as yoghurt is a good source of calcium.
You make think that your kids are doing well with this one because they already eat yoghurt, but if all they eat is a kids’ brand of yoghurt with extra sugar and no additional probiotics, then they may be missing out on some of the nutritional benefits of yoghurt.
When choosing a yoghurt for your kids, look for one with “live active cultures” that is low-fat and without a lot of added sugar. You may also look for one with added probiotics, although not all studies agree that they are helpful.
A tuna fish sandwich using whole wheat bread and low-fat mayonnaise can be a nutritious meal for kids. Fish can be a healthful food unless your kids only eat fish sticks or fried fish sandwiches. Sometimes overlooked, tuna fish is a healthful fish that many kids like.
Parents seem to be serving tuna fish less often these days because of the concerns about mercury contamination. But it is important to keep in mind that like many things, tuna fish is OK in moderation. Even with the warnings, children are allowed up to two servings a week of canned light tuna or one serving of solid white albacore tuna.
Tuna fish is a great source of protein and provides omega-3 essential fatty acids and many vitamins and minerals. To make your child’s tuna fish sandwich even healthier, use low-fat mayonnaise and whole wheat bread.
A bowl full of sugary cereal is not usually a good choice for a healthy breakfast. No, a bowl full of sugary cereal is not a healthy breakfast, but many other breakfast bowls of cereal can be a healthy part of your child’s diet.
When choosing a breakfast cereal for your kids, try to look for one you can’t simply eat out of the box like candy. Good choices include whole-grain cereal that is calcium-fortified and has added fibre. Depending on the rest of your child’s diet, you may also look for a breakfast cereal that provides extra iron and other minerals and vitamins.
In general, some healthful breakfast cereals that many kids like include Cheerios, Multi-Grain Cheerios, Shredded Wheat, Wheaties, and Total Raisin Bran. Add a chopped banana or strawberry to the bowl, and your kids will like it even more
It is healthier to serve your child boiled eggs or poached eggs instead of fried eggs. So eggs are healthy again? For a while, eggs did get a bad wrap as causing high cholesterol, but most nutrition experts now agree that eggs can be a healthy part of your diet.
Eggs are a good source of protein and contain some iron and many other vitamins and minerals.
What about cholesterol? Eggs do contain cholesterol, but they do not contain a lot of saturated fat, which is the more important factor in raising a person’s cholesterol level. Still, an egg every other day is fine for most kids.
Carrots are high in fibre, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and potassium, but the extra parsley might be exactly the thing that turns off many younger kids on these cooked carrots. Of course, vegetables are going to be on the list of the best foods for kids, but that doesn’t mean tricking your kids into eating them or trying to force your kids to eat brussel sprouts, broccoli, and spinach.
There are plenty of vegetables that kids do like, such as cooked carrots, corn, peas and baked potatoes. Cooked carrots can be an especially healthful choice as they are high in fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, and potassium.
Remember to introduce your kids to a variety of vegetables at an early age. Offer lots of choices, set a good example by eating vegetables as a family and continue to offer very small servings of vegetables, even when your kids don’t eat them. If you keep offering them, they eventually eat them.
Oatmeal is a healthy high fibre food that most kids love. As much as infants enjoy oatmeal cereal, it is a little surprising that they grow up on white bread and other refined grains and don’t often eat oatmeal and more whole grains.
You can combat that trend by serving your kids oatmeal, which many kids love, and more oatmeal foods and snacks (oatmeal cookies, oatmeal bars, etc.).
Oatmeal is a high fibre food that is good for your kids, just like most other whole grain food
Sunflower seeds are a healthy snack, with a lot of fibre, iron, and many other vitamins and minerals. Although eating sunflower seeds may seem like a bad habit of kids on little league baseball teams, they are actually a healthful food that all kids can enjoy — as long as they don’t throw the shells on the floor and are old enough so that the seeds aren’t a choking hazard.
Sunflower seeds are high in fibre and are a good source of iron. They also have a lot of vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc and folate.
Although high in polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, those are the “good” fats. Sunflower seeds are low in saturated or “bad” fats.