Little bodies rely on nutrients from the food they eat for healthy growth and development. If they don’t receive these nutrients it runs the risk of them becoming nutritionally deficient, especially if their diets are high in processed foods or if they have digestive issues. Yet kids tend to be fussy when it comes to what they eat. Fiona Tuck, Boost Juice Nutrition and Skin Expert, shares with us her nutrition tips for fussy little eaters.
Smoothies and juices are the perfect option for the kids who find meal time a challenge. Fresh plant based drinks allow for maximum nutrient absorption due to their ease of delivery and supply a plethora of health promoting concentrated nutrients such as antioxidants, bioflavonoids, polyphenols, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamins and minerals to help to keep bodies healthy and moods happy. So – how do we ensure children are getting their daily dose of nutrition in order to grow up strong and healthy?
1. Good fats
Look for foods filled with good fats to help little ones stay strong and healthy. Ingredients such as whole milk, yoghurt, coconut milk, avocado and seeds are a great addition to any smoothie or juice and are a great way to ensure kids get enough good fats into their diet. Using milk blended with fruit such as bananas and berries for a delicious healthy alternative to the highly processed milk shakes that kids love.
Children also need fat for healthy skin, brain health and a happy mood. A diet that includes a variety of nutrients and healthy fat helps to keep little tummies fuller for longer and keeps the kids sustained all day long!
2. Take care of their tiny tummies
Having a healthy functioning digestive system is paramount when it comes to kids absorbing their nutrients effectively. They may have a healthy diet but if their digestive system is not working well, the cells of their small intestine cannot absorb the necessary nutrients which are vital for the biochemical processes within the body.
• Include prebiotic rich foods to support a healthy functioning gut. Prebiotic rich foods such as kale, berries, bananas and apples contain fibrous carbohydrates that help to nourish and flourish the good gut bacteria.
• Include fresh mint in juices to soothe and aid digestion.
• Include omega 3 essential fats such as those found in chia seeds and flaxseed. These tiny seeds are the perfect addition to a smoothie to strengthen the tummy lining and reduce inflammation.
Even when you are out and about you can ask to add a little bit of mint, chia seeds or banana without affecting the flavour of the smoothies too much, making it even easier to keep that little tummy healthy.
3. Mix it up
If smoothies are a popular choice for your little one, make sure you are including a variety of different ingredients every day (not just sticking with the one favourite) to ensure your child is getting enough nutrients. Try creating a roster of smoothies which have a range of different nutritional benefits and ask the kids to pick a new one each day.
4. Brighten up their day
Bright coloured berries are the perfect addition to a smoothie. Full of antioxidants, fibre and nutrients these colourful gems help to keep the immune and digestive systems healthy, giving your child the best healthy start in life. The berries will add a sweet kick and a beautiful vibrant colour to make the smoothies a delicious tasty treat to get the kids excited!
Or pop some spinch into their favourite banana smoothie – they won’t even notice but their bellies sure will.
5. Make it fun!
Once the kids love juices and smoothies (and you no longer feel the need to hide the ingredients) slowly get them involved with making them. Nutritional education is incredibly important and teaching kids from a young age all about fruits, vegetables and a balanced diet will set the foundation for a healthy and happy life. Let them pick some ingredients, mix, match and discover.