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Recipes

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipes

When it comes to nutrition, here are the leaders of the pack.

By Ceri Marsh and Laura Keogh
Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipes

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipes

Super foods

Super foods are some of the healthiest options out there, but they sometimes don't appeal to picky eaters.

Here are the benefits to some of your favourite foods as well as some recipes to get your little ones to eat them... and like it!

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: TrentBell/iStockphoto.com

Mango

A fun alternative to oranges when you’re looking to make your vitamin C quota, mangoes also deliver a healthy dose of glutamine acid, which is known to boost memory. Try sliced over cereal or salads.

Get the recipe here: Tropical Pork Tenderloin with Mango Salsa

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipes

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Applesauce

Applesauce is the way to go if you want to add more fibre to your children’s diet, and it contains vitamins A and C. Just be sure to select a brand that doesn’t add any bells and whistles that increase sugar content.

Tip: Make your home baking a little healthier and sub applesauce for a portion of the butter.

Get the recipe here: Sarah's Mother's Pink Applesauce

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: little blue hen/Flickr

Natural nut butters

When it comes to nut butters, reading labels pays off. You can buy versions with hydrogenated fats, salt and sugar (but why would you?), or you can get jars of just plain nuts.

Add a spoonful to a morning smoothie for extra protein.

Get the recipe here: Maple Nut No-Bake Vegan Treats

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: Stan Byrne

Whole grains

Make the switch. Your kids already love bread, pasta and rice, right? So begin your pantry makeover right here where newcomers will likely receive a warm welcome.

They’ll be getting more fibre, fatty acids, vitamins and minerals, and we bet they won’t even notice, especially if you start slowly by mixing your old faves with healthier versions.

Get the recipe here: Sneaky Snack Bars

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: Sean Ryan/Flickr

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Popcorn

It’s all about air-popped here, people. A great source of fibre, popcorn is an easy and fun sugarfree snack for kids.

Get the recipe here: Monster Munch

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: familyfriendsandfood/Flickr

Greek yogurt

Because Greek yogurt is strained, it has less moisture (hello, creamy!), so it delivers nearly double the protein of regular yogurt.

Use it instead of sour cream in a dip, or on a baked potato.

Get the recipe here: Lemon Chicken

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipes

Goji berry

These tart berries may be tiny, but contain a major dose of vitamins C, A and E. Goji’s antioxidants help build strong immune systems and fight infection.

Use them in place of dried cranberries in a batch of granola bars. They are also great in a lot of salads.

Try swapping out the strawberries in this recipe, or simply add them in for more flavour.

Get the recipe here: Baby Spinach Salad with Strawberries and Almonds

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: katteballetje/Flickr

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Salmon

There’s a reason they call fish brain food: The high levels of omega-3s found in salmon make it an important brain builder (as well as a protector against cognitive decline, parents!).

Get the recipe here: Simple Salmon Pasta

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: Pim Fijneman/Flickr

Legumes

Going meatless at least one day a week is one of the single best moves you can make for your family’s health, as eating less meat is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity.

Chickpeas, black beans and lentils all make dinners filling without the fat.

Get the recipe here: Chicken, Brown Rice and Black Bean Burritos

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipes

Kale

Frankly a bit of a showoff when it comes to nutrition, kale is loaded with vitamins A, C, K, B6 and folate, plus minerals like calcium and iron.

Afraid your kids will revolt? Try swapping it for basil in a pesto and watch it disappear.

Get the recipe here: Kale, Carrot and Feta Super Toss

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipes

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Sweet potato

Off the charts when it comes to immunity boosting vitamin A, sweet potatoes are also a good source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fibre.

Get the recipe here: Baked Sweet Potato Fries

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipes

Avocado

Ideal for babies just beginning solids, the healthy fat, vitamin C, potassium and folates in avocados are just as good for big kids and parents.

Try adding half an avocado to your next morning smoothie.

Get the recipe here: Perfect Guacamole

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: hale_popoki/Flickr

Blueberries

Packed with vitamins and antioxidants, blueberries also protect against cell damage and reduce the risk of heart disease.

Getting the recommended ½ cup serving three to four times a week is a breeze if you toss them in smoothies, add them to muffins and sprinkle them on a bowl of cereal.

Get the recipe here: Honey Blueberry Toasts

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesphoto: Jodi Pudge

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Flax

Ground flax can boast about its mineral and vitamin content but where it really shows off is in fibre and omega-3s (healthy fats), which promote heart health and brain function.

Sprinkle it over yogurt, or add it to muffin recipes.

Get the recipe here: Oatmeal Flax Chocolate Chip Cookies

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: Muy yum/Flickr

Dark chocolate

A balanced diet has to include some treats – families cannot live by kale alone!

When that treat is a couple of squares of dark chocolate made with at least 70 percent cocoa, you get the antioxidant power of flavonoids, plus essential minerals like manganese, copper, iron and magnesium.

Get the recipe here: Double Chocolate Biscotti

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: Dale Chumbley/Flickr

Quinoa

Typically considered a grain, quinoa is actually a seed that comes close to chicken in terms of protein. It also contains all the essential amino acids, which are vital for body function.

Give hot quinoa cereal in the morning a shot in place of your usual cold cereal. Try substituting the couscous in this chickpea and vegetable dish for quinoa.

Get the recipe here: Quinoa with Chickpeas and Vegetables

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: Christian Guthier/Flickr

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Oatmeal

The fibre in oatmeal has been shown to protect against heart disease, regulate blood sugar levels, and may even reduce the risk of asthma. All in a little bowl of porridge.

Serve it up for your family’s breakfast a couple of days a week.

Get the recipe here: Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oatmeal

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: Cary Lee/Flickr

Eggs

There’s a reason a slogan like “the incredible edible egg” exists. This protein powerhouse has a nifty nutrient by the name of choline that helps boost brain development. Anyone for over easy?

Get the recipe here: Frittata with Ricotta, Roasted Red Peppers, Baby Spinach and Herbs

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipes

Chia

If your reference point for these teeny seeds is the novelty animals, then meet your new superfood. Touted as a great source of protein and omega-3 and 6, these black or white seeds are like super-canteens, holding 10 times their weight in water, which helps you stay hydrated.

Try tossing two tablespoons into baking, or on your morning yogurt or oatmeal.

Get the recipe here: Omega-Rich Strawberry Jam

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: MoHotta18/Flickr

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Water

Almost every function of the body requires water to work effectively. Your family can get water from milk, vegetables and fruits, but take it easy on the juice and fizzy drinks. The sugar in even the purest fruit juice should make it a “sometimes,” not an “always,” drink. Save that title for water.

Get the recipe here: Raspberry and Cranberry Lemonade

Super food: 20 kid-friendly recipesPhoto: Marshall Astor/Flickr

More healthy meal choices

This article was originally published on Oct 15, 2013

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