Need some kid-friendly ways to serve super foods?

Babble.com featured an interesting slideshow of kid-friendly ways to serve 25 super foods. Click the link to see their show but I made a list of how we eat some of the super foods included.

Oatmeal – My mother always made it from the big box and rarely from the little packets. We were only allowed to use honey it in. My kids will eat oatmeal with no arguments but it has to have sugar in it.

Greek Yogurt – Walsh and Lilina will eat it but Rose won’t. They like the one where you have the side cup to dip into for the blueberry or honey.

Winter Squash – They will eat roasted with salt and olive oil.

Skin milk – They will drink plain or with stuff. Rose loves to make her own smoothies in the blender with fruit, yogurt and milk.

Salmon – They love it grilled or baked in parchment. The cheer for salmon.

Spinach – They will eat in salads but I have heard it’s less nutritious that way. (Is that true?) I have never served in cooked because I always hated it that way.

Eggs – They will eat all kinds of ways, but not hard boiled. I cannot get these kids to eat egg salad sandwiches.

Nuts — They eat all kinds. They love them.

Broccoli – Just steam it  and they are in. They don’t need cheese sauce or anything on it. The girls have a hard time getting enough because Walsh likes so much!

Tofu – My will eat in Chinese food and if it’s added into other things like fake hot dogs or fake corn dogs.

Sweet potatoes – Roasted or as fries. They aren’t really crazy about it baked or in puree form.

Blueberries — They will eat by the handful just raw and fresh.

I feel like I am late to the game on the coconut oil. Did you guys know this was in? Where have I been on this?

Babble says:

“Coconut and Coconut Oil

Long vilified in the anti-fat food fads of the eighties, the saturated fats in coconuts and coconut oils are back in fashion. The healthy fats in coconut oil has been linked with immune boosting properties, lower cholesterol, weight loss, mineral absorption, and blood sugar stabilization. All this is great news for parents, since naturally sweet and creamy coconut oil is simple to incorporate in a host of family meals.
Try these tasty coconut pancakes made with coconut flour, coconut palm sugar, and coconut oil!”

Which of these super foods will your kids eat and how? Are you up on this coconut thing?

30 comments Add your comment

Voice of Reason

January 23rd, 2013
1:05 pm

How does a regular food become a super food? Does it have to pass by the sun at a certain angle before landing on earth or does it just have to be exposed to Gamma radiation? Or was it the offspring of super food parents?

I wish we could post pictures here…mine would be a picture of broccoli wearing a cape peering out of a phone booth. I hear the broccoli is able to leap tall buildings in a single bound and is faster than a speeding bullet.

Mayhem

January 23rd, 2013
1:15 pm

I’ve never had a problem with my kids eating healthy. That’s the only way I ever cooked.

Spinach is BIG in our house…..LOTS of spinach. I use it in salads, I sautee it with garlic and olive oil for a side dish, and it’s always in our lasagna/pasta dishes.

We eat a lot of fresh fruits and veggies. Nothing from a can. Fresh or frozen.

It’s a big hit now for smoothies in the mornings. I keep a bag of frozen blackberries, a bag of frozen strawberries, couple of containers of blueberries, and plenty of bananas around. Take a handful of frozen fruit, 1 banana (peeled of course), some yogurt, a dash of honey, and 4 ice cubes…..MMMMMM. that’s been my breakfast for at least a month now……

Now for fish, we are not big fish eaters. I personally don’t like most fish, with the exception of mild white fish. Talipia is served a lot, but salmon is not. I love mahi too, and cod.

Chaos

January 23rd, 2013
1:21 pm

Mayhem likes it when we play hide the salami.

HB

January 23rd, 2013
1:25 pm

I don’t think spinach is less nutritious raw, you just don’t tend to eat nearly as much of it as when it’s cooked. A whole bag of raw will steam down to only about a cup, so a bowl of salad is far less than a normal helping of cooked on the side of your plate.

Ann

January 23rd, 2013
1:27 pm

Here’s what we are doing with oatmeal these days – the steel cut kind, and my seven year old loves it. We add either fresh banana or blueberries (which adds a sweet flavor, if the blueberries are not too tart), and pecans or walnuts. We put quite a few nuts in there, which gives it a nice textural crunch (sometimes the nuts are in small pieces, but typically just broken up into larger chunks). If you use bananas, it adds plenty of sweet flavor and I don’t think they would miss the sugar. We do not add anything else and it is great this way. It sounds like your kids like both nuts and blueberries, so that might work.

My son was never introduced at home to oatmeal sweetened with sugar, except one or two times at a hotel breakfast, so he did not get accustomed to that. The best way to avoid sugary products with young kids is to stick with the non-sugary stuff as long as possible. Once you open that pandora’s box, it can be challenging to scale back. At our home, this means that we did not introduce chocolate milk (except for a field trip outing) or sweetened yogurt. He loves plain yogurt. He does have other low sugar sweet treats during the week, but it is at least minimized by keeping breakfast cereals/meals and other healthy snacks free of added sugar.

jarvis

January 23rd, 2013
1:29 pm

I love fish, and used to like Salmon, but I started to dislike it a couple of years ago. I now can’t stand it cooked. Sushi is really the only way I can stomach it anymore.

Mayhem

January 23rd, 2013
1:36 pm

@Chaos – knock if off. It was cute the first two times, but now it isn’t anymore. Please stop.

Techmom

January 23rd, 2013
1:40 pm

Jarvis- I’m with you on the salmon. I like it smoked, in a spread or in sushi rolls but a salmon steak is just not edible to me. I’ll eat just about any white fish though.

Ann

January 23rd, 2013
1:44 pm

Make sure you get a high quality coconut oil, such as expeller pressed. With some cheaper oils, solvents are used to separate the oil.

Juicing is a great way to work in spinach and kale, if your kids do not like to eat it separately, as you can add in carrots and pears or apples for sweetener. We have had two juicers the past ten years. The first one was hard to clean, as you could not put the parts in the dishwasher. Our newer one is great. Clean up is fast, as you can put all of the parts in the dishwasher. It also operates at a very low speed, which doesn’t generate the heat that can kill the nutrients. The cost was around $300. We use it several times a week, and it has been well worth it.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 23rd, 2013
3:08 pm

ann — what’s the brand on the one you like??

A

January 23rd, 2013
3:10 pm

I’d also love to know which juicer @Ann is using since I’m looking to get one myself. I love spinach (cooked and raw), but think it would be easier to just throw a bunch of stuff in a juicer and drink up.

Mayhem

January 23rd, 2013
3:34 pm

A blender works just as well as a juicer…..and it’s less expensive.

Dennis

January 23rd, 2013
3:37 pm

My 6 year old loves the Kale I cook – usually with some onion, cream and a little bit of Parmesan. A lot of flavor, and the greens are cooked down to be easy to eat.

Vegetables need to always be served with some fat – it helps absorption of vitamins. Butter or olive oil help give some flavor and enhance the mouth feel of the food.

I’m not buying oatmeal, skim milk or tofu as highly nutritious foods. Skim milk gets a nutritional profile only slightly better than fruit juice. Oatmeal = calorically dense but slim on nutrients.

Mayhem

January 23rd, 2013
3:53 pm

@Dennis I’ve been putting kale in scrambled eggs….so delicious!!!

justmy2cents

January 23rd, 2013
5:59 pm

We have an Omega (8006??) masticating juicer. We had a Breville but it sucked to clean and the nutrients deteriorate after 30 minutes with that type. We can keep the juice for 3 days with the slower RPM auger. We juice tons of veggies and keep it in the fridge for everyone. You definitely have to figure out what suits your palate. As far as the list above- my hubby and 1 daughter won’t touch salmon, the other daughter and I will eat salmon as sushi. Tofu- I get the look of death and nobody will touch it.

Ann

January 23rd, 2013
6:20 pm

The juicer I have now is an Omega 8006. It is a low speed or masticating style juicer. It has a plastic auger that crushes the vegetables and fruit as it spins very slowly. This protects more of the nutrients. You still have your juice within a few minutes. It just spins a lot more slowly than other styles of juicers. I would highly recommend an Omega. And this particular model has an auger that holds up longer than the other ones, as it is made with a stronger plastic. I did a lot of research and reading of reviews. There are some You Tube videos that demonstrate how it works. It doesn’t take up much counter space and sells for about $299.

My old juicer (a different model) had metal blades and was good with fruits, but would clog up easily with leafy greens. The Omega is working great for both veggies, including greens, and fruits. We have not had any issues, so far, after having it for about 6 months. You can do other things with it besides juice, but so far, we are just juicing with it.

There are articles on the web that talk about the different styles of juicers and how the motor speed and heat can affect the nutrients. So, that is one of the main reasons I bought this model. The price was reasonable and it is easy to clean.

Also, since there are no sharp blades on this juicer, I am comfortable with my child setting it up and operating it, as well.

Ann

January 23rd, 2013
7:03 pm

Regarding the coconut oil, currently I am using the Whole Foods store brand, the 365 Organic Virgin Coconut Oil (Unrefined, Expeller Pressed). I have also used Spectrum Organic (they have both a refined and unrefined version). We alternate between using coconut oil and olive oil with stir frys. I have not tried baking yet with the coconut oil, but I would think it would be a good option for that.

For those who haven’t used coconut oil, it looks like a solid material (kind of like Crisco) in the jar when you buy it, but it becomes a liquid when it heats up or if your house is particularly hot.

It should have an aroma like fresh coconut. If it doesn’t, the jar you have is highly refined and not of good quality. You have to experiment with coconut oil with various dishes to determine if you like how the flavor matches up with the dish. I find the flavor in a stir fry to be fairly mild and not overwhelming, although during the cooking process, when you are first melting it, it creates more of an aroma.

Ann

January 23rd, 2013
7:46 pm

@ Denise – I agree with you about the tofu, but oatmeal is absolutely a super food, especially for women. All the benefits of oatmeal are not commonly understood. We see the heart label on the package, but don’t know why. Since heart disease is the number one killer of women, it is especially important to know how it helps. First, the fiber in oatmeal is a soluble type that soaks up bad cholesterol. It’s a special type of fiber that keeps your body from absorbing as much bad cholesterol. So, not only does the oatmeal itself “not contain” cholesterol, but it gets rid of the bad cholesterol in your body from other foods. There are only a few known foods that can do this.

Also, oatmeal stays with you longer and makes you feel more full for a longer period, which reduces your cravings for other carbohydrates. This can help you lose weight. This also gives you energy for a longer period and you don’t have the blood sugar crash that you may have with other foods. Because it stabilizes blood sugar, it is also known to help with anxiety and mood swings. The benefits go “on and on”, as it contains protein, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, thiamin, healthy fats, along with some other nutrients.

Tofu and soy benefits are more complicated. We use tofu occasionally, but in moderation. It is known to mimic estrogen, which can lead to unwanted effects. For awhile, there was some speculation about why the Japanese population had less breast cancer and that perhaps it was tofu. Some people began to consume more tofu; however, the tofu/soy often eaten here in the U.S. is not necessarily the same types eaten in Japan, which are more of the fermented varieties.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 23rd, 2013
7:54 pm

Ann – thanks for all the good info and recommendations!

Super foods

January 24th, 2013
1:46 am

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homeschooler

January 24th, 2013
8:24 am

I make salmon patties with oatmeal instead of bread crumbs or crackers. I usually fry them in just a small amount of olive oil or spray them with olive oil and cook them in the George Forman grill. My kids love them. (they do always say that Nanny’s are better which are made with saltines and deep fried in vegetable oil.) I think I might try to cook them in coconut oil. Seems they would be really good that way.

I just bought black rice at Costco. Had never heard of it. Supposedly it is loaded with antioxidants. As much as blueberries. My husband and I loved it. It really tastes just like brown rice but my kids couldn’t get past the look of it. I think next time I’ll mix some in with brown rice and see if they eat it.

catlady

January 24th, 2013
10:53 am

Theresa, not sure if you are where you can (most folks can at least have pots of stuff) but you may find that anything you can grow, your kids will like. Didn’t work for me on Brussels sprouts or eggplant, but have learned to like virtually anything else if I can grow it myself. My kids, also. For example, the canned spinach they used to serve at school was awful, but steaming it yourself is great!

Raw is better

January 24th, 2013
11:56 am

Unless you are eating nuts RAW, not roasted, salted, smoked, or any other way, you are defeating much of their benefit. Roasting destroys all the healthy fats. If you or your kids are not big nut fans, try them raw (and ideally organic). You will be pleasantly surprised at how great they taste when the fats haven’t been ruined.

Raw is better

January 24th, 2013
12:07 pm

Not sure how skim milk showed up on anyone’s list of superfoods unless the dairy industry paid big money to get it there. The pasteurization process, homogenization process, all the antibiotics, rBGH, etc. all destroy any value that the milk originally had. The absolute best is to not drink milk at all (we are the only species that continues to consume milk – the food of infants – past a young age – and the only species to consume another species’ milk). But if you are to drink milk, the only superfood milk is completely RAW milk. Many people are no longer lactose intolerant when they consume raw dairy products because the required enzymes have not been destroyed by pasteurization. Additionally all the fats are untainted, and the lack of pasteurization to sterilize the milk means that raw milk dairy cows are kept healthy and disease free unlike their feed-lot cousins that produce conventional dairy products.

Sadly and criminally, the FDA and many states are now waging an all-out war on raw milk products on behalf of the pasteurized dairy industry. Apparently the competition from this rapidly growing segment of the industry is hurting their bottom line.

So here in the “free” USA, it is generally illegal to purchase raw milk, while in Switzerland they are installing vending machines to dispense raw milk all over the country. The industry is booming and the Swiss are getting healthier because they are consuming raw milk of its dead cousin.

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

January 24th, 2013
12:15 pm

Hey Guys — I just got a new one up on women/moms in combat roles — sorry — i was pooped last night!! Check it out!

http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2013/01/24/should-womenmothers-accept-combat-roles-in-the-military/

FCM

January 24th, 2013
2:16 pm

Coconut Oil – I use the one from Trader Joes.

My children eat way healthier than I do actually. Don’t have trouble with them and eating “super” foods.

@ VOR I loved your 1:05PM post.

@ Raw rBGH is not in Publix or Kroger brand milks. I do not do Organic often…but Dairy and meat I do watch for hormone use.

catlady

January 24th, 2013
3:05 pm

Let me give a shout out to Mountain Fresh Creamery of Claremont near Gainesville. Their milk is very good. It is pasturized, but not homogenized, and it tastes terrific.

When we first moved to Georgia we had an old mountain woman and her moonshiner brother who sold us raw milk and home-made butter. It was great. Now we have a person who sells raw milk (for pets only, cough cough). My neighbor and I each got a gallon 3 years ago. We both ended up very sick. My neighbor only suffered a couple of weeks, but I lost 15 pounds over 7 weeks until I was put on antibiotics for an ear infection. Then, the “other problem” cleared up. I almost missed my younger daughter’s wedding because I was almost too sick to stand up. I think I am no longer a candidate for raw milk.

catlady

January 24th, 2013
3:08 pm

Look up that Creamery on the web, and you may find places nearby that carry their milk. You may be surprised how good non-homogenized tastes–just remember to shake!

Ann

January 24th, 2013
11:12 pm

Another good source for non-homogenized milk is Johnston’s family farm. Their milk is delicious and is minimally processed. They pasteurize at lower temps than typical (their goal is to pasteurize at the lowest level, but still within the guidelines). This lower temp pasteurization retains more of the nutrients. You can get their milk at various stores/locations around Georgia. Calyroad Cheese Shop in Sandy Springs also uses Johnston milk in some of their cheeses. http://www.johnstonfamilyfarm.com

cobbmom

January 25th, 2013
2:44 pm

We eat very similiar to Mayhem, I don’t personally like fish but my husband and kids do so I make it for them. They love salmon marinated in soy and ginger and grilled. I put kale, spinach ect. in soups and stews and also sautee it with garlic and olive oil. Coconut oil in stir fry is fabulous! I shop the sales for fresh and frozen fruits and veggies and we get a basket from the local farmers market each week. My dad has taken up hunting since retiring so he keeps me stocked on venison and grass fed beef from his farm.