Get More Antioxidants in Your Child's Diet
By Sara Butler
Everyone needs antioxidants, including children. For parents, making sure their children get all they need nutritionally is a big concern and can feel overwhelming, but when it comes to antioxidants those aren't as hard to include as you might think. Here are some tips to help you make sure your children get enough antioxidants in their daily diet.
Antioxidants: What Are They?
Antioxidants are substances that help to neutralize the free radicals that bombard your body's cells daily. Too many free radicals have been linked to inflammation and damage to healthy cells, possibly contributing to chronic illness. If you can include antioxidants in your daily diet, then it can help to protect healthy cells. Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin C, and selenium are all antioxidants and important as a fixture in your child's diet.
Great Sources of Antioxidants
Antioxidants are not difficult to find in the healthy foods you give your child each day. In fact, many kid-friendly foods are full of antioxidants, so it's not that hard to find something your child likes! The best sources for antioxidants in the diet include:
- Leafy greens - Kale, arugula, Swiss chard, and spinach are all great greens to introduce to your child. They may not like to eat them raw, but cooking them down makes them easier to eat and a little sweeter, so try adding them to other dishes.
- Berries - Kids love berries and they happen to be a great source of antioxidants. Give your child cherries, cranberries, blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries to help them get what they need.
- Tomatoes - Tomatoes and tomato products are rich in antioxidants too. If your child isn't a big fan of tomatoes plain, then they probably will eat tomato sauce on spaghetti or pizza. Tomato soup with grilled cheese is also quite popular!
- Whole grains - Oats, brown rice, and barley are all great sources of antioxidants. In fact, eating these things regularly can help reduce the risk of diabetes, cancer, and cardiovascular disease. Your child may not need to worry about that yet, but giving them a taste for healthy whole grains now can set them up for nutritional success later in life.
You don't have to sneak vegetables into foods in order to make sure your child is getting the antioxidants they need. Instead, show your child the wonderful world of fruit smoothies and get them involved with making them. You can also create your own trail mix with whole grain cereal and dried fruit.
Antioxidants are important for everyone, including kids. So make sure yours are getting enough.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Buford, Ga.