Brain Food for Picky Kids - Delphi Boston Delphi Boston

Brain Food for Picky Kids

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October is a very popular month for honoring food. It’s National Pizza Month, National Vegetarian Month and National Cookie Month. So what better time to ensure your children have a nutritious diet that helps their performance at school? If your kids are pickier eaters, it can be difficult to include all the necessary vitamins and minerals they need. Cooking brain food for picky kids takes a little bit of extra planning and creativity but can be manageable as long as you know which kinds of food to emphasize.

Lean Beef

Iron deficiency is a huge health problem for a lot of kids and can affect their ability to pay attention. Luckily, lean beef is one of the best sources of iron. Most kids will jump at the chance to have hamburgers or sloppy joes for dinner. You can also add ground lean beef into a wide variety of meals like spaghetti sauce or tacos.

Fish

Salmon, tuna and sardines are all high in the very important omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, which can protect against cognitive decline. Depending on how picky your child is, there’s many different ways to serve fish to accommodate them. Grilling a piece of salmon and heavily favoring the seasonings is usually a hit, but you can also roast or bake fish. You can also add it to their favorite salads or sandwiches if the thought of fish as an entrée isn’t appealing.

Eggs

They don’t call it the incredible, edible egg for nothing! We all know eggs are high in protein but they are also full of choline, omega 3s and zinc to help with concentration. Eggs can be boiled, fried and scrambled. Everyone has their favorite egg style, so feel free to experiment until you find the best for your children. To keep them full and energized until the next meal, serve eggs with a complex carb.

Nuts and seeds

There are so many benefits to nuts and seeds. With a small handful, you can get essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and a substantial serving of protein. Because there are so many different types of nuts and seeds, there is really no way to go wrong with a picky eater. Try a new spread like hazelnut butter to liven up the traditional peanut butter sandwich.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is like the superhero cousin of traditional yogurt; it packs more protein and healthy fats. You can do almost anything with Greek yogurt. Try mixing it with granola for part of a nutritious breakfast. You could add sliced peaches or berries for a nice snack or dark chocolate chips for a healthy dessert.

Whole Wheat Bread

We all know whole wheat bread is far superior to white bread. The fiber and folate provided are amazing for your children’s metabolism and help keep them at a healthy weight. Whole wheat is often unappealing to most kids so ease the Wonder Bread enthusiasts into it by enhancing their ordinary lunch sandwiches. Putting extra jelly on their PB&J will be such a treat they won’t mind the change in bread.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is high in protein and fiber, and a great source of whole grains. It’s good for your children’s hearts and brains. Sometimes, though, it’s not as appetizing as a bowl of Fruit Loops. To liven up this bowl of pure brain food for picky kids, don’t resort to the presweetened packets. Instead, add your own embellishments. For some crunchy texture changes, pour in some walnuts. Cinnamon is a fantastic way to sweeten up the normally bland cereal.

Dark Green Leafs

Let’s be honest, it’s a struggle to encourage most children to eat anything that’s dark, green and leafy. Spinach and kale are not usually big hits. However, they are some of the healthiest foods you could serve, chock-full of just about every essential vitamin! This is where you have to get a little creative. Add a serving of kale or spinach into a delicious fruit smoothie and add a spoonful of peanut butter to cover any “green” flavor. You can also put both in soups where they won’t be the main focus of the meal. Or surprise your kids with a snack of baked kale chips!

Fruit

Fruits are the instant kid-friendly classic. They’re sweet enough to satisfy any kid’s sweet tooth and full of antioxidants to please any parent. Most of the nutrients are in the skin, so make sure to wash each piece really well before serving. Because so many different types of fruit have so much to offer, don’t be afraid to switch up what you put in their lunches! Between apples, plums, oranges, and blueberries, the more variety kids eat, they more vitamins they consume.

Every parent wants to serve balanced, nutritious meals for their kids. But when some children are pickier eaters, it can be a struggle to include all the necessary vitamins and fatty acids they need in their diet to do well at school.
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