Being that it is National Nutrition Month, let's think about nutrition for the kids too. Being that they're still growing, we need to make sure they are getting all the essentials. eDiets has created a great list of the top 10 foods for kids. Don't have kids? This is still a great little lesson on nutritious foods!
- Oatmeal: A fabulous breakfast food, full of B vitamins, iron, zinc and calcium. Old-fashioned oatmeal offers quick energy for busy kids with its carb load and fiber count.
- Eggs: Eggs are a great source of protein and other nutrients, including the B vitamins, vitamin E and zinc. The American Heart Association's Guidelines have changed, and an egg a day (for adults) is now OK. For kids? Well, they haven’t said, so use your own good judgment.
- Nuts: Nut butters are great fast foods for kids. Kids need the fat (it's a good fat if it doesn't have hydrogenated oils mixed in it) and they need the protein. And while peanuts can be problematic and even life threatening to allergic kids, other nut butters may be OK. Check with your doctor first. Almond butter is a favorite of mine.
- Yogurt: Kick your child's milk consumption up a notch and include yogurt on the menu. A great source of calcium, yogurt is easier to digest than regular milk and the cultures (check the label to make sure they're in there!) are very beneficial to good colon health -- especially if your child has been on antibiotics. Watch the sugar content, though. A better idea is to buy plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with fresh fruit.
- Melons: Cantaloupe provides vitamin C, beta-carotene, bits and pieces of B vitamins and trace minerals and calcium. Melons are not to be missed when they're plentiful and in season.
- Broccoli: Kids like to call broccoli trees and sometimes you can get picky kids to eat trees rather than broccoli. Broccoli is one of the best vegetables for anyone, especially growing kids, because of its calcium content and other nutrients, such as potassium, beta-carotene and B vitamins.
- Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes contain 30mg beta-carotene per cup. It would take 23 cups of broccoli to get that same amount. And with 3 grams of fiber per serving, sweet potatoes deserve a place at the table.
- Protein: One size does not fit all when it comes to protein. The fact is growing kids need protein to keep growing. How you're going to give it to them can vary widely, according to your preferences. Good choices include legumes, beans (combined with a grain to make a complete protein), soy products like tofu, meat, fish and poultry.
- Whole Grains: The best nutrition is found in whole-grain foods. Brown rice and whole-wheat bread are a quantum leap over their white counterparts and offer necessary fiber, minerals and vitamins. Don't shortchange your kids with the white stuff.
- OJ: Kids drink too much juice. However, that doesn't mean they should never drink juice. Just don't give it to them in place of water. Orange juice is full of vitamin C, vitamin E, potassium, folate and zinc. You can buy calcium-fortified orange juice too -- it's great stuff in moderation.
There's five more foods so