12 Power Foods For Kids
Amazingly nutritious foods you should always have in your kitchen and fridge and how to serve them so your child will eat them without a fuss.
This one wins hands down because every tomato packs a big dose of lycopene, an antioxidant related to lower rates of cancer and heart disease. Tomatoes also contain loads of vitamins C and A, disease-fighting phytochemicals, and a fair amount of fibre especially in our diet in which tomatoes are exceeded only by potatoes! If your child won’t eat them fresh, grill them lightly with a little oil lycopene absorption is actually greater when tomatoes are cooked.Next Best Carrots are nature’s wonder drug, for the beta-carotene that turns into vitamin A in the body. They are rich in vitamins A, C and E, some B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, potassium, copper, iron and magnesium.
paneer or cottage cheese is a mighty source of milk protein, besides calcium, iron and vitamins A and C. It is also not so high in bad cholesterol levels and saturated fats. The calories your child gets from paneer depends on how it is cooked: Served in a salad or lightly sautéed it is low in calories, but if fried, it can be calorific. Next Best Lentils, soya and peanuts are all good sources of high-quality protein and essential minerals. While dal in some form is a regular at Pakistani meals, soya can be added as nuggets or in flour, and peanuts boost the crunchiness of salads.
SpinachPopeye’s favourite is jam-packed with iron, vitamin A, C and E, protein, and folic acid, besides calcium and fibre. Sneak it into a pasta sauce, puree it into a tomato sauce or shred it into dal. Next Best Fenugreek is rich in calcium, iron, vitamins C and A, and sodium. It’s also a good source of fibre. Because it is a little bitter, it’s best to use a little at first to develop your child’s taste buds.
Meat is the preferred source of protein for non-vegetarians and a lean white meat like chicken is the top choice: It has lower levels of cholesterol, saturated fats and trans-fats than red meats. It is rich in iron and a good source of vitamins A, E and K, some B vitamins, along with minerals such as iron, calcium and sodium. And chicken is a favourite with children.Next Best Fish fry, anyone? Eggs are welcome too. Fish as well as egg whites are good protein providers, and they have negligible amounts of fat and carbohydrates. They are also rich in minerals like sodium and potassium.
Whole-wheat flourWhole-wheat chapattis are an important source of energy, carbohydrates, protein and fibre. They also contain a range of nutrients such as vitamin E, some B vitamins and minerals including sodium, iron, calcium, magnesium and zinc. With almost no saturated fats or cholesterol, they can be eaten with a meal or in a snack.Next Best Go ahead and let your child have bread: Whole-wheat bread, besides being high in fibre, is nowadays fortified with iron, calcium and vitamins. Rich in sodium, whole-wheat bread, too, has very little fat content, making it a good alternative to chapattis.
Bananas are nutritional powerhouses, bursting with potassium, fibre and vitamin C. They also contain beta-carotene, a range of B vitamins, calcium, magnesium. They have no saturated fat or cholesterol. Contrary to popular perception, they are also low in calories (only 100 in a medium banana). They also contain pectin, a type of soluble fibre, which is believed to help lower “bad” cholesterol levels. A single banana has 1-2g protein and 30-36g carbohydrate and so can be considered as a complete nourishing meal in itself. The high levels of natural sugar in the banana provide an energy boost and the potassium in it is essential for muscle and nerve performance.Next Best Both guavas and mangoes are called super fruits and for a good reason: They are loaded with vitamin A (carotene) and vitamin C, and are great sources of natural fibre.
Orange juiceOrange juice is full of vitamins A, C and E, many B vitamins, folic acid, calcium and other essential minerals as well as phytochemicals. It is now being fortified with Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that are healthy for the heart. However, a glass a day is enough, or you may pack in too many calories.Next Best Guava, mango and carrot juices provide loads of vitamins and illness-busting phytonutrients. However, make sure there is no added sugar or preservative, as these raise the caloric content and lower the nutritional value. Mango and guava are naturally high in sugar. You could try mixing orange and carrot juice for that extra punch.
Milk and oat
s/daliaPorridge, whether made of oats or dalia, is a great start to the day for your child as it’s high in carbohydrates and fibre and low in saturated fats. This high-energy food is filling for the stomach and is good for your child’s metabolism. Besides, porridge provides calcium, phosphrous and protein for the growth of the bones. For making a more wholesome meal of this morning energy-booster, you can also add fresh or dried fruits and nuts to your child’s porridge. Leave the sugar out.Next Best Banana lassi or smoothie makes a nourishing and refreshing breakfast, especially during summers. It gives your child an energy fillip, along with protein, fibre and that extra mineral punch from the banana.
Fruit-veggie chaatChop a banana, a boiled potato and a tomato into a bowl, sprinkle a little chaat masala and a dash of lemon juice and what you have is a tasty treat full of vitamins, antioxidants and lots of power packed energy for your child. You can add peanuts for a crunchy zing. It’s a quick, nourishing snack for any time of the day, with all the goodness of bananas and tomatoes, plus the added appeal of potatoes, which most children relish.Next Best Serve roasted gram with finely chopped tomatoes, onions and fresh coriander. They are packed with nutrients carbohydrates, fibre, protein and sodium and are low in saturated fats and trans-fats. Roasted gram is a great alternative to kids’ favourite munchies – French fries and chips, which are high in calories and saturated fats while being low in nutrition value.
Fruit-flavoured yogurt smoothie (straight or frozen somewhat like a sorbet) is full of calcium, protein and loads of probiotics. Yogurt is also low in calories – just don’t add too much sugar to it. Sweetened yogurt preparations are an ideal substitute for ice creams, making a wholesome, nutritious treat if your child has a sweet tooth.Next Best Rasgulla, til laddu are all good sources of protein, energy and iron with less refined sugar, and hence are a healthier choice than chocolates or cookies.
Almonds are the stars of the nut family. Rich in heart-healthy phytochemicals and vitamin E, they also have B vitamins, fibre and calcium. They lower bad cholesterol and boost good cholesterol levels, and are an excellent source of Omega-6 fatty acids and proteins. Whole nuts can be a chocking hazard for children under 3 years, so grind them fine.Next Best Peanuts are fun to eat: They are full of proteins and energy givers, and contribute vitamins C and E, certain B vitamins, and minerals like calcium, magnesium, potassium and iron.
AmlaIt’s the miracle fruit, though it has to be disguised because it’s very sour and has a bitter edge. Amla has anti-ageing and immunity-enhancing properties, that make it a very important food for children. Ayurvedic practitioners have used it for treating a range of ailments such as indigestion, fever, liver problems, anaemia, hay fever, arthritis, cataract and even cancer.Next Best Classic nutritional supplement of storybooks, cod liver oil is rich in vitamins A and D, and helps in the growth of the body, besides preventing various infections and night blindness. It contains essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that help reduce bad cholesterol levels.
It’s the miracle fruit, though it has to be disguised because it’s very sour and has a bitter edge. Amla has anti-ageing and immunity-enhancing properties, that make it a very important food for children. Ayurvedic practitioners have used it for treating a range of ailments such as indigestion, fever, liver problems, anaemia, hay fever, arthritis, cataract and even cancer.
Next Best Classic nutritional supplement of storybooks, cod liver oil is rich in vitamins A and D, and helps in the growth of the body, besides preventing various infections and night blindness. It contains essential Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids that help reduce bad cholesterol levels.
Info collected from: The Mag