4 sneaky ways to boost your children’s nutrient intake
By Louise Belle BHSc (Nut Med)
Our bodies require an abundance of nutrients on a daily basis, in order to perform all of their important functions. Children in particular have increased requirements to support their growth and development. Unfortunately, due to soil depletion, food processing and eating ready-made food we could be failing to hit the mark when it comes to supporting our children’s nutritional needs. If your child is a picky eater then it’s even more vital to sneak in extra nutrients where possible. Luckily, there are easy ways that you can increase the nutrient value of foods you’re already making without too much effort.
1. Sprinkle seeds on everything
Chia seeds and hemp seeds are the best for this as they are super small and you can barely taste them, making them perfect for sneaking in your children’s food without them noticing. Chia and hemp seeds are wonderful sources of fibre, omega 3, protein and trace minerals to give you a good boost. You can sprinkle them on soups, stir-fries, veggies, cereal or anything else you can think of.
2. Add a drizzle of olive oil
Olive oil is a wonderful source of ‘good’ fat, which is important for brain function, skin health and reducing inflammation in the body. Fat is also filling and helps to balance blood sugar levels. Drizzle some olive oil on salads, roast veggies or over a stew. Extra virgin olive oil, flaxseed oil, avocado oil or macadamia oil are the best ones to use.
3. Throw in some superfoods
Supplementing with a Superfood Powder is a great way to boost overall vitamin, mineral and antioxidant intake. You can mix it through cereal, porridge, chia pudding, smoothies, or simply have it by itself mixed in with water. Goji berries, Inca berries, nuts, seeds and cacao nibs are other great superfoods you can easily throw in.
4. Sneak in some extra veggies
If you have a blender, you can sneak veggies into many different meals without even realising! Take your favourite napolitana sauce for example, you could blend cauliflower, zucchini, broccoli, pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot or eggplant through the sauce to boost the nutritional value. This is a great way to get your kids to eat veggies that they wouldn’t usually reach for. If you can’t be bothered blending, you can also grate them into your soups, stews and sauces and cook them through.
Giving your children vegetable juice is a great way to get concentrated vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes into their systems, with fruits and vegetables that they may not eat otherwise. Juices should not replace wholefoods, but they are a great addition to a healthy diet. Although it may seem annoying or inconvenient to juice, you can make up large batches all at once and freeze them in jars. The book Raw Juices Can Save Your Life has many fantastic juice recipes.