Most kids know that man should not live on lollypops alone. They know that cauliflower is healthier than ice cream and salads are smarter than French fries. But do they know the super foods? According to Nutrition Action Healthletter, not all foods are created equal. Here are eight that parents should urge their kids to try:
- Sweet potatoes: A nutritional All-Star – one of the best vegetables you can eat. They're loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Mix in unsweetened applesauce of crushed pineapple for extra moisture and sweetness.
- Grape tomatoes: They may be small, but they pack a wallop. And their bite-sized shape makes them perfect for snacking, dipping, or salads. They're also packed with vitamins C and A and a little bit of photochemical.
- Fat Free or 1% Milk: Forego the 2% please. These guys are an excellent source of calcium, vitamins, and protein, with little or no artery clogging fat and cholesterol.
- Blueberries: Fresh or frozen, they're rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. Toss them in cereal, stir them into yogurt, or sprinkle them onto low-fat ice cream.
- Wild Salmon: The omega-3 fats can help reduce the risk of heart attacks. And salmon that is caught wild has less dioxin contaminant than farmed salmon.
- Crispbreads: Whole-grain rye crackers, like Wasa, Ry Krisp, and Ryvita, usually called crispbreads – are loaded with fiber and often fat free.
- Citrus fruits: Delicious and rich in vitamin C, folic acid, and fiber. Try clementines for the lunchbox – a tiny treat.
- Butternut squash: These days, it's easier than ever to eat these golden beauties – many stores sell them already peeled, seeded, and cut. Just throw them onto a cookie sheet or into a stir-fry. Or try them in risotto. Every one-half cup has 5 grams of fiber and payloads of vitamins A and C.
Portions of this article were reprinted with permission from the Nutrition Action Healthletter, Copyright 2006, by Center for Science in the Public Interest. www.cspinet.org