Food Swaps For Your Family’s Healthiest Season Yet
Having been raised in the clean-your-plate era, we are so glad to see parents respecting their children’s food aversion, texture sensitivities, and preferences so much more! While it can sometimes feel like a battle getting enough healthy, hearty foods onto your child’s plate (and then into their bodies!), the good news is that it’s probably not that big of a deal.
It doesn’t take a ton of vitamin-rich foods to hit your child’s optimum levels, and if they’re taking a daily multivitamin, they’re likely set. If you are concerned, however, this week, we have your solution! Wonder Bunch has put together a few easy swaps to help meet your family’s health goals with delicious, no-fight foods they’ll love!
If they won’t eat: Peppers, Brussel Sprouts, and Broccoli
Doctors can talk themselves blue in the face discussing the importance of vitamin C. This vital vitamin is packed with positive impact! Getting your daily dose improves your immunity, protects from free radicals, aids in tissue repair and bone growth, and is essential for helping your body absorb and utilize iron. In fact, when your child is diagnosed with low ferratin levels, the first suggestion isn’t to add an iron supplement, but to add vitamin c to help them absorb the iron they’re already taking in. So what happens when your child detests the high-C foods doctors recommend most?
The great news is that vitamin C can be found in a number of foods even sensory-sensitive eaters can stomach! Try upping your daily dose of any of the following:
Strawberries – 89 Mg per cup
Oranges – 70 mg per medium sized orange
Kiwi – 71 mg per medium kiwi
Acerola Cherries – half a cup contains 822 mg, or a whopping 913% of your daily recommended dose!
If they won’t eat: Carrots
The Beta Carotene in carrots is a real heavy hitter for your little one’s growing body. If carrots are absolutely not going to find their way onto your child’s plate, there are plenty of options!
Sweet Potatoes – 107% of your daily dose per serving
Spinach and other dark leafy greens – 105% of your daily dose
Cantaloupe – 33% of your daily dose per cup
If they won’t eat: Asparagus
Let’s face it, this one might be a bit of an acquired taste! And if asparagus just isn’t for your family, they might be missing out on some vital folate. Folate, or vitamin B9, is essential for cell division and growth. It’s important to hit your daily recommended dose when pregnant for proper development, but it’s just as important for growth after that little one starts deciding what they will and will not eat. Easy folate subs include:
Lentils – 90% of your daily dose per cup
Pinto beans – 89% of your dose per cup
Avocado – 41% of your daily dose per medium avocado
Black beans – 64% per cup
If they won’t eat: Liver
Low iron is a common problem in little bodies, but iron supplements can be very hard on the digestive system. If you were ever force-fed liver and onions as a child, you know that it’s a losing battle. The good news is that it’s an unnecessary battle, as well! As we stated above, often an iron deficiency has more to do with difficulty absorbing and utilizing iron than actual iron consumption. For that, you’ll want to increase your family’s Vitamin C intake, as well as beta-carotene.
You can also increase your iron exposure through using a cast-iron skillet to cook their favorite foods, or include any of the iron rich following foods:
Spinach – 9.21 mg per serving
Chickpea – 8.62 mg per cup
Beef – 2.2 mg per 3 oz
Brown rice – 1.8 mg per 100 grams
Whether your children avoid certain foods because they don’t like the taste or the texture, we hope you were able to find something on this list that they are going to love! A happy, healthy dinner table where everyone feels heard and welcome can be the home of some of your family’s favorite memories. Bon appétit!