Antioxidants help defend the body against harmful substances that can damage the body's cells. Power up your child's diet with foods rich in antioxidants, such as almonds, berries, citrus, carrots, spinach, tomatoes, and bell peppers.
- Bring orange wedges, 100% citrus juice, fruit, or nut granola bars to the next sports practice for a refreshing and energizing treat.
- Pack school lunches with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, or red bell pepper slices for a fiber- and antioxidant-rich lunch or snack.
- Add plenty of antioxidant-rich tomatoes or tomato sauce to pizza, spaghetti, meatloaf, soups, and stews.
Snack idea. Parfaits are beautiful to look at and fun to eat. Make one by layering low-fat yogurt, fresh or frozen blueberries, and toasted almonds into a tall glass.
Children's diets are often lacking in iron, a mineral that carries oxygen in the blood and helps keep kids energized. Boost the iron in your kids' diet with lean meats, eggs, fish, dark leafy greens, beans, dried fruits, and iron-fortified grains.
- Vitamin C increases the absorption of iron, so pair eggs with oranges or orange juice.
- Serve spinach salads at mealtime, topped with strawberries, dried cranberries, and/or slivered almonds and a light raspberry vinaigrette dressing. The fruit will help the body absorb the iron in the spinach, and kids will love the taste.
- When kids refuse a meal, offer iron-fortified cereal topped with low-fat milk or yogurt and fruit as a healthy meal substitute.
Snack idea. Wrap an iron-fortified whole wheat tortilla with sliced turkey, low-fat string cheese, and dried cranberries for a healthy snack.