Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Superfoods For Kids

With the school holidays, well under way many parents have the added task of feeding the children more frequently. With the appalling statistics of overweight and obese children – 20% of children in Northern Ireland are overweight or obese before they start primary school – it has never been more important to feed your children well. It is easier than you think when you use my Superfoods for Kids guide.

Weight for weight children need more of some nutrients than adults but where they get them from is the key to good health. For example the daily calorie requirements range from 550 per day at 3 months, 900 at 10 months, 1200 up to 3 years and 2700 between 15 and 18 for boys, though girls need slightly less. So, a 3 month old boy whose weight is around 10% of an average adult man needs roughly 25% of the calories that the adult needs each day. A 3 year old will need nearly half the calories of an adult but is only a fifth of the weight.

Kids have small stomachs and they can’t eat enough bulky food like muesli, pasta or rice. They need foods that give more calories from less bulk. Potatoes provide a nutritious carrier for healthy, high calorie foods. Full fat bio yoghurt ,(never use low fat, semi-skimmed or skimmed varieties off milk or yoghurt for under-fives) has calories and extra calcium for bones. One specific group of nutrients they need more of than adults is the omega 3 essential fatty acids, vital for brain, growth and development.

The easy way to get more calories into youngsters is to feed them high fat, high sugar junk but we already know that the seeds of heart disease are sown in earliest childhood – if not in the womb – and that adult diabetes is now turning up in 8 and 9 year old children. The only answer is Superfood as this is the way to meet the essential nutritional demands of children. Other nutrients which children need proportionately much more of include protein – 20gms for a 5 year old but only 45gms for an adult; vitamin D - 8.5mcg up to 6 months, only 10mcg for an adult; calcium – 550mg at seven and 700 as an adult.

Root vegetables, greens, peas and beans are vital. Oily fish is essential but you can substitute soy and other vegetable protein for meat and poultry. In spite of some extreme popular ideas, eggs and dairy products are real Superfoods for children and every single type of fruit, especially all the berries, are the richest sources of protective antioxidants and vitamin C.
The coloured root vegetables provide vitamins A and E and potatoes are rich in vitamin C. The friendly bugs in live yoghurt and Yakult are important for immunity, digestion and B vitamins. Fish is a great source of protein without harmful saturated fats and the oily fish are the only rich source of vitamin D and the essential fatty acids needed during pregnancy, breastfeeding, infancy and childhood.

Recipes

Broccoli, Green Bean, Peas and Sweet Potato Puree
By six months you can introduce these vegetables but this recipe goes well with meat, fish or poultry for everyone else too.
Cut sweet potato in chunks and boil in unsalted water for 10 minutes.

Add a few chopped French beans, some chopped broccoli florets and 2 tablespoons frozen peas.

Cook for another five minutes, strain and purée.

Fish Thumbs
My wife used to cook these with the children at our village summer play scheme when we lived in the UK. They love getting their hands in the mixture and rolling out the shapes and when they’ve done it, they eat it.

Simply mix together equal quantities of tinned salmon and mashed potato, finely chopped spring onion and finely chopped parsley.
Add a little milk if mixture is too thick.

Form the mixture into thumb sized rolls, sprinkle with fine oatmeal and shallow fry in rapeseed oil till crisp and golden – 2-3 minutes.

Healthy Apple Crumble
Use any fruit available – rhubarb, gooseberries, pears, apricots, etc.

Heat the oven, butter a baking dish. Wash, peel and core the apples and put them in the dish.

Sprinkle with 2 teaspoons of soft brown sugar.

Mix together equal quantities of ground almonds and porridge oats, cover the fruit, dot with a little butter, drizzle with honey, bake for 45 minutes.

 

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