Providing multiple meals a day to children, while keeping yourself — or them — from getting bored with the same old thing can be tricky. Try using the popular list of "super foods" (with cancer-fighting ingredients and other powerful nutrients) and recent food trends to spice up the cooking in the kitchen, all while making sure you and yours get the healthy foods they need.
Include these foods that may help fight cancer as a part of your child's regular diet:
Research on the lycopene found in tomato fruit has shown it to be a powerful ingredient in the battle against cancer cells.
- Serve pasta with healthy pasta sauce on a regular basis instead of macaroni and cheese. Don't forget to include fresh garlic, also a healthy ingredient. If your children aren't used to it and balk at the taste, mince or finely chop just one clove and sauté it in a pan with olive oil before adding to homemade or store-bought sauce.
- Pizza bread: Use tomato sauce or tomato paste on whole grain French bread along with a few veggies and a bit of cheese.
- Use a mild salsa with baked tortilla chips, mix with scrambled eggs, or put on a tortilla with grilled chicken.
- Spread a thin layer of tomato paste on grilled cheese sandwiches instead of mayonnaise.
Walnuts, and several other kinds of nuts, have shown to have a number of healthy benefits. Rather than regular snacks of crackers and cookies, make a mix with walnuts, dried fruit, and a little bit of dark chocolate. You can also:
- Add them to breakfast muffin recipes.
- Add them to cookie recipes.
- Include them in rice dishes.
Berries contain large amounts of antioxidants that may be effective in helping prevent heart disease, cancer, and Alzheimer's.
- Easily use frozen berries from the grocery store to make a terrific berry sauce. Pour it over French toast, pancakes, and real cakes as a delicious and nutritious alternative to syrups and frostings.
- Sprinkle your child's cereal with fresh, thawed, or dried berries.
- Drop them in your pancake batter for delicious flavor and added sweetness without added sugar.
Use recent food trends to help add nutrition in your family's diet.
We all have our taste preferences, but do not be afraid to introduce new foods on a regular basis, and don't stop serving a food just because it isn't popular with a child. If it is all you're fixing for supper, they are likely get hungry enough to eat. Of course, this works best if you are serving different foods from a young age and avoiding regular meals of processed and fast foods.
Use Basic Ingredients
It is not so much a trend as it is getting back to using whole foods. Use basic ingredients when cooking and choose foods with basic ingredients when buying from the grocery store. Simply put, this means choosing foods with less ingredients — all of which you recognize and can pronounce. For example, whole grain bread may include whole wheat, yeast, sugar, water, and salt. It should not include corn syrup, chemical sweeteners, or a boat load of additives and preservatives.
(Note: To help prevent bread spoilage, store bread in the refrigerator, or seal in freezer bags and toss it in the freezer.)
If you do not grow your own produce, your best bet for maximizing on the health benefits in fruits and vegetables is to purchase these foods fresh. Shop at a local farmer's market or grocery store that stocks produce from local farms.