Growing up I was a very picky kid. Like most kids I had a phobia of all green foods and I was a slave to my sweet tooth. I dreamed of dancing cakes and sweets. If anyone mentioned that the food they were serving me was organic, healthy or “good for me” I would refuse to touch it.
So what is a parent to do? What foods will kids eat that are healthy too?
Here is a list of fifteen foods to get started with.
While I wouldn’t advocate movie or microwave popcorn which is drenched in butter or worse — some sort of butter flavored substitute — air popped popcorn is very healthy and tasty. Pop corn is a whole grain and it is rich in antioxidants. (1) You can add butter and salt to your liking (or eat it plain). Air popped popcorn is quick and easy to make, and unlike many fruits and veggies, kids don’t know it’s actually good for them.
Berries are the best at providing antioxidants and vitamins. Berries contain micronutrients such as vitamin C and folic acid which are essential for health. (2) Recent studies have even suggested that eating fruits and vegetables can prevent cancer. Berries are probably one of the few foods your child would willingly eat straight from the vine.
A popular way to consume fruits and vegetable in today’s society is through shakes and smoothies. (3) The trick to smoothies is you can slip all sorts of veggies in them and as long as they don’t vary the color too much your picky kids will never know the difference. Smoothies are a great way to mask the taste of vegetables and still consume all the important vitamins and minerals.
Kids don’t just love sweet things they also love salty treats. Nuts that are loaded with essential nutrients. Assorted nuts are full of vegetable protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. (4) They contain all the healthy stuff necessary to grow a tree and they will help your kids grow up just as big and strong.
Cheese is a delicious and nutritious addition in a kids’ meal. You can serve it in chunks, melt it on chips or serve it in a sandwich and kids will gobble it up. It may come as a surprise that cheese is actually very healthy. Aside from being fairly high in protein cheese has a probiotic effect. (5) That means that it helps you better digest food.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and eggs are full of protein and carbohydrates that will help you start your day off right. The great thing about eggs is they come in all shapes and sizes. So if your kid isn’t a fan of the runny yolk in a sunny side up or over-easy egg, they can try it scrambled or hard boiled. Eggs also contain omega-3’s an essential nutrient that reduces inflammation, blood thinning and the likelihood of growing tumors (6)
Muffins like smoothies are a great way to sneak your child fruits and vegetables. Baking the fruits or veggies into a muffin doesn’t diminish their nutritional value. (7) In my own opinion the “healthy stuff’ doesn’t necessarily taste bad either. One of the best muffins I ever had was a zucchini muffin.
Potatoes are one of the most popular sources of fiber in our diet. (8) And while you may not be able to convince your kid to eat an entire baked potato if you cut the potato up to look like fries and then bake it your kid is guaranteed not only to eat it but to beg you for seconds. Every kid on the planet loves french fries.
Peanut butter and jelly, a dish after my own heart. Don’t worry if thats one of the only things your kid will eat. Science suggests peanut butter appeared to be very high in antioxidants. (9) I wouldn’t recommend peanut butter with added sugar and oil but any natural peanut butter has actually been proven to be good for your kid. Remember the less processed the better.
Speaking of spreads you and your family should try hummus. Pita chips with hummus is very tasty and filling. Hummus is made out of chickpeas. They contain fiber and essential vitamins and minerals to the diet, yet are low in fat and sodium and contain no cholesterol. (10) Really its a win/win situation.
Your little one is sure to love eating olives. They bring a whole new meaning to finger food. Do you remember putting one olive on each finger tip and eating them finger by finger? Aside from being fun to play with, they contain lots of healthy unsaturated fat that can help improve brain function and they are also chock full of antioxidants. (11)
Melons are the perfect summer food. They are so sweet and juicy. Melons have no cholesterol, but contain lots of vitamins and minerals such as potassium and vitamin C. (12) Instead of letting the little munchkins gorge themselves on popsicles try feeding them some melons.
Isn’t it curious that orange juice is the only juice that comes with pulp in it. Of course most picky kids will insist on drinking it pulp-less. Even without the pulp orange juice is very healthy. It still contains probiotics, prebiotics, vitamins, and minerals (13)
Toasted granola with a little bit of cinnamon and sugar is an easy recipe that’s to die for. Not only are oats are a well known healthy food for the heart but they make a delicious snack. (14) I would recommend switching out the sugar cereal with this healthy substitute. You can even eat it with or without milk.
Who doesn’t love a nice big glass of milk. Milk goes great with everything from pb&j to milk and cookies. Milk contains calcium which strengthens your teeth and improves your smile. (15) It also is high in protein and carbohydrates.
When you have a picky eater in the house it can be hard to find foods that they will eat that are actually good for them but these fifteen foods: popcorn, berries, smoothies, nuts, cheese, eggs, healthy muffins, potatoes, peanut butter, hummus, olives, melons, orange juice, granola, and milk are a great place to start.