By Jaclyn Harwell, Contributing Writer
It’s no secret that kids can be picky. As mindful mamas, we try to get nutrition in them where we can, but you just can’t make a kid eat what he doesn’t want to eat, amiright? Fortunately, there are ways you can sneak in some superfoods in order to meet their optimal nutritional needs.
5 Superfoods You Can Easily Sneak Into Your Kid’s Diet
While I prefer to teach my kids to enjoy nutritious foods, let’s be honest: there are just some foods they may never like (especially those I don’t particularly like, like liver!). I’m going to show you how to sneak in some of these nutritional powerhouses in ways that your kids won’t mind or even suspect.
Let’s be honest. No one really likes liver. At least, not many people. But, boy, does it pack a major nutritional punch! As one of the most super superfoods, liver is an excellent source of vitamin A, plus contains b vitamins like folic acid, iron, and a host of other nutrients.
Getting my kids to eat liver… that’s a whole different story. Luckily, I have some ways of sneaking it into their diet, and they are none the wiser! Here are some recipes to help you do just that:
I also keep pureed liver in the freezer to throw into other meals. To do this, follow these directions:
- Thaw liver, if frozen, then rinse clean.
- Soak in cold water with a dash of apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to mellow the taste.
- Using a high-powered blender (like a Vitamix) or food processor, puree the liver.
- Pour liver puree into silicone molds or ice cube trays and freeze.
- Remove from molds and put chunks of frozen liver puree in a baggie and leave in the freezer.
- Throw a chunk or two into meals with ground meat.
I do this with meals that have a lot of flavor like spaghetti and chili, because my family never notices my sneaky addition.
When we did the GAPS diet, my kids thought they were going to die if they had to eat one. more. bowl. of. soup. They can be a little dramatic. But- soup made with homemade meat stock is a good source of gelatin and a staple in the diet.
You don’t have to eat bowl after bowl of soup to get plenty of gut-healing gelatin in your diet though. And there are LOTS of kid-friendly recipes you can make with it.
Gelatin is packed full of amino acids and protein and helps to rebuild the gut lining, which is why it is emphasized on gut-healing diets. Even if you aren’t doing any special diet, gelatin is one of those superfoods you should try to get into your kiddos. Use one of the following recipes:
Plus, here are ten more ways to use gelatin!
Fermented foods, like sauerkraut and kimchi, are revered by traditional cultures for good reason: they are full of good bacteria which help the gut stay populated and balanced, promoting a stronger immune system and better overall health. These superfoods should be incorporated into every meal, if possible.
Here are some great foods to start with to get your kids these amazing beneficial bacteria, while they think they’re just enjoying yummy foods!
These ones are a no-brainer; most kids love pickles! But make sure they are traditionally fermented like Bubbies, or make them homemade.
Not all kids like sauerkraut, but hear me out! In my experience, my kids won’t touch the store-bought stuff, but if I make a good batch of homemade garlic dill kraut, all four of my boys will eat it!
If tangy foods aren’t on the menu just yet, you can try this fermented tea beverage, which most kids go gaga for! It’s like a real food soda, and you can find kombucha at many main-stream stores these days, as it’s become really popular. It’s very easy (and much easier on your pocketbook!) to make it yourself.
Most kids will eat yogurt, especially if you lightly sweeten it with maple syrup and load it up with some fruit! Avoid store-bought options that have added sugar or artificial colors and flavors. If you can’t make it yourself, look for grassfed, full fat, plain yogurt at the store.
It’s easy to get good fats into kiddos when you use good fats in your cooking. These include butter, ghee, olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, palm oil, and more.
Aside from cooking with these oils, you can encourage additional consumption of good fats (which are especially crucial for growing kids, as our brains are made primarily of fat– so it’s just what growing brains need!) by making them extra kid-friendly.
My kids even love “fat bombs,” which we make with equal parts grassfed butter and raw honey and eat by the spoonful.
I also mix nut butter with coconut oil and raw honey for a delicious snack, which is both satiating and enjoyable. (Sometimes I add a handful of high-quality chocolate chips for an extra treat!)
This one should be pretty easy, but I hear lots of parents say they just can’t get their kids to eat vegetables. My response is often that children adapt quickly and will eventually eat what you put in front of them.
But what about picky kids who are a little more stubborn? You can sneak vegetables in lots of places!
Chili is a good place to load up on veggies, as well as spaghetti sauce or omelets.
Soups and casseroles are good places to hide vegetables as well, especially if they have cheese like this casserole.
I often top vegetables with plenty of butter or cheese, and this is pretty effective for getting my kids to eat them! Just get creative, and you can get veggies into your kiddo’s diet more often than you think.