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Pizzas, burgers, French fries – these are the kind of foods your kids enjoy and eat readily. Yummy as they are, they are loaded with fats and carbohydrates, and have little else to offer. And being well aware of that, you try to sneak in healthier foods like green vegetables and whole grains. But it’s an uphill climb, what with your child refusing to eat them. For no child cares about the nutrition value of their meals; all they care about is that it should be yummy! What if we told you that there are certain foods whose goodness you are missing out on – foods that are as healthy as they are delicious and actually make your kids stronger and more resilient?
So can you guess what it is you have been missing out on? Antioxidants.
What exactly are antioxidants and how do they benefit us?
In our increasingly polluted world, our bodies have to fight hard against infections and diseases. Did you know there’s a secret and all-natural weapon to fight these and improve immunity? Yes, that secret weapon is known as antioxidants. Simply put, antioxidants are nutrients like vitamins A, C and E found in certain fruits, vegetables and legumes. Let’s take a look.
1. Sweet potato
Loaded with vitamin A, the sweet potato is the healthier and sweeter version of the regular potato. The high percentage of beta-carotene content—which, by the way, is more than that in green leafy vegetables— makes it an extremely rich antioxidant.
How to get your child to eat them: Sweet potatoes taste best roasted and even fried like regular French fries.
Prunes or dried plums are one of the best sources of antioxidants. Rich in soluble and insoluble fibre, vitamin A, iron, and even essential minerals like potassium, magnesium and copper, prunes have totally earned their superfood status. Low fat, low salt, low calories, and still lip smacking…what’s not to love?
How to get your child to eat them: Puree some Del Monte prunes and add them to plain yogurt for a sweet new flavor of yogurt your child won’t be able to resist. These prunes are of premium quality and dried from the freshest plums. You can also try some of the creative (and yummy!) recipes with prunes available on the Del Monte India Facebook page. These recipes may just become the next family favourite!
3. Red capsicum
Sweet and crispy, red capsicum is far healthier than its green and yellow counterparts. Low in calories, it has two times more vitamin C and A. Not to mention its vibrant red color makes it far more appetizing!
How to get your child to eat them: No, you do not need to order a pizza to get your child to eat red bell pepper. Simply roast and puree them and serve hot…it tastes just like tomato soup.
Who would have thought that this yummy treat is good for your little ones? With all the debate surrounding whether raisins are healthy or not, truth is that raisins are healthy and should certainly be a part of your child’s daily diet. The dried form of grapes, these little fellows have three times more antioxidants than grapes. And since they are easy to carry wherever you go and adored by kids of all ages, this is one food item you must certainly not forego.
How to get your child to eat them: Pack it as a snack in their tiffin – and don’t expect the tiffin to return home empty.
5. Cocoa Powder
This one is something that will make your kids love you even more! Packed with minerals like calcium, magnesium and sodium, cocoa is better than chocolate in more ways than one.
How to get your child to eat it: Add a spoonful of cocoa and a dash of sugar to your child’s daily glass of milk – and watch him gulp it down in minutes.
Including these items in your child’s daily meals will ensure he gets his quota of antioxidants. This will help him stay stronger against infection and disease and allow him to make the most of the glorious days of childhood. So moms, go ahead and treat your child to a serving of yummy prunes and a glass of cocoa right away!