Superfoods That Make Super Meals!

As a mom you get very creative with making healthy meals for your child while always being conscious of taste.  We know what’s best for them but often times we find ourselves catering to their dietary demands because we are desperate to get them to eat.  Speaking to many moms about issues regarding nutrition I know they are not alone in this struggle and it is often distressing because they want to give their child the very best.  Well struggle no more because I have a very exciting solution for you!  There are superfoods that can be simply added to meals to enhance the nutritional value without compromising taste.  This way your child’s meal can appear the same yet you know you’ve giving it a little nutritional enhancement to satisfy your need to give them the very best. 

  1. Nutritional yeast: It is a deactivated yeast chopped full of B vitamins and is a complete protein source! Not only is it nutritionally beneficial it tastes like cheese so it can be easily added to pasta dishes, chili or even sprinkled on top of popcorn. 
  2. Protein powder: Whether it be whey, hemp, rice, pea, soy or a blend of these protein powders they are a great way to get protein into your child.  Toddlers and children need lots of protein for healthy growth and development so just enhance their meals with a little protein powder.  Great ways to do this are by making fruit smoothies or adding it into your baked goods or even pancakes.  
  3. Extra virgin coconut oil: This is a delicious and healthy saturated fat.  Fats  have had a bad reputation, but it is important to understand that fats are extremely important for health. Extra virgin coconut oil is a medium chain triglyceride which is easily digested by babies even as young as 6-9 months old.  They are rich in Lauric acid which has antimicrobial effects and therefore can boost their immune system.  You can add this to any meal, use it as body lotion or cook your vegetables in it. 
  4.  Flax or chia seeds: High in fiber and essential fatty acids these seeds are a simple way to boost the nutritional value of any meal.  Always buy the whole seed and grind them right before use.  This way you liberate the fatty acids so they can be digested.  Buying ground flax seeds means that the omega 3’s have had a long time exposed to oxygen and are likely rancid.  Which goes against why you would use them as a omega fatty acid source in the first place.  Sprinkle them onto your breakfast cereal or oats, yogurt, smoothie or into your baked treats. 
  5. Hemp seeds A complete protein, source of Omega 3, 6 and 9, full of minerals and a great source of fiber. Eating them in raw form they also contain enzymes to aid in the digestion.  They have been shown to support the immune system and decrease inflammation.  Hemp seeds are a great salad topping, sprinkle them on your oatmeal or just raw on top of your infants pureed veggies.
  6. Fish oil: A very high source of omega 3 fatty acids and extremely important for neurological development in children.  Fish oil’s are a healthy source of fat and are extremely anti-inflammatory. Its a very easy thing to introduce at a young age so that they grow up used to the taste. There are a wide variety of flavours available such as lemon, orange, mango, strawberry, pomegranate and key lime made to taste great for children and adults alike.  They are a pleasant addition to smoothies or a salad dressing. 

Wishing you a very satisfying meal time, every time!

Dr. Michelle Peris, ND

Dr. Michelle Peris is a Naturopathic Doctor whose goal is to empower people to achieve optimal health and wellness. Dr. Michelle has a special interest in women’s and pediatric health care, including perinatal care. She has a strong background and natural ability in physical medicine and extensive experience in the treatment of hormonal imbalances, digestive health concerns such as celiac disease, and atopic conditions such as allergies, asthma and eczema. Treatment programs include nutrition and nutraceutical supplementation, botanical medicine, homeopathy, physical medicine, lifestyle counseling, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and acupuncture.

Dr. Michelle is registered with the Board of Directors of Drugless Therapy - Naturopathy
(BDDT-N) and an active member of the Ontario Association of Naturopathic Doctors
(OAND) and the Association of Perinatal Naturopathic Doctors (APND). She advanced
her education in TCM and acupuncture with an externship at The National Hospital for
Traditional Medicine in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Dr. Michelle is a mom of one and contributes articles to Oh Baby! Magazine, City Parent
and Balance My Life online magazine. She practices out of a clinic in Oakville, Ontario.

To be inspired to live your best life now through healthful choices, follow Dr. Michelle on
her blog – Dr. Mom, ND, Facebook and Twitter!


Manaka Niita said...

How does protein powder part of this food group super foods like spirulina and other types of super foods? I thought it is supplemental only?

Michelle Peris said...

Hi Manaka, Protein powder is not only a supplement it is a food source, it is derived from either dairy milk, soy, rice, pea, hemp, etc so it is a whole food found in a different form. Granted it is not a superfood such as goji, coconut or cocoa, but it is a superior source of protein. I should have stated that these foods are apart of my superfood nutrition list for parents to feed their children. Protein powder is a pretty basic food recommendation, but I have found clinically that not many people use them to enhance their diet or of their little picky eaters. Its a super food for me in this sense because it is such a great source of protein that can be added to meals to enhance there nutritional content. I hope this answers your question. :) Have a fabulous day!

James Mullen said...

I am a big fan of flax seeds but am not quite sure the most 'practical' way to eat them and get the most out of them. You stated that we should grind the seeds but then you recommended sprinkling them onto something. What is the best way to 'grind' the seeds and eat them?

Jamie Smellie said...

Hi James!
The best way to grind flax seeds is with a coffee grinder. You can pick up a cheap one for 10 bucks. I like to have one that I only use for flax seeds. It's best to grind the seeds directly before you eat them to prevent them from going rancid.
Hope that helps!

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