The Best Foods Your Kids Arenít Eating
Emily Lynne Ion
Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tara Parker-Pope of The New York Times recently compiled a fantastic blog entitled ďThe 11 Best Foods You Arenít EatingĒ. It appeared on The Timesís list of most-viewed stories for 2008, confirming my belief that people, and especially parents, are hungry (pun intended) for tips to improve their daily nutrition.

Tara adapted a list by Dr. Jonny Bowden of top health foods. Some of his recommendations were a bit obscure and not readily available in grocery stores, so she modified and expanded them to make them more actionable. I decided to put my own Healthy Child spin on it, making Dr. Bowdenís suggestions more appealing to a childís appetite.

Beets are a rich source of folate and the natural red pigments may indicate potent antioxidants. Beets have acquired a negative reputation because of the pickled, slippery form often found in jars. But raw, peeled beets tossed into a salad or lightly cooked with a bit of onion, olive oil and fresh herbs are surprisingly sweet. The color may even trick kids into thinking theyíre not eating vegetables! Donít forget the leaves and stems Ė theyíre packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
Getting Your Kids to Love It: Try this recipe for Beet Hummus from Serious Eats for a colorful and healthy after-school snack.

A staple in European and Asian diets, cabbage is loaded with nutrients like sulforaphane, a chemical said to fight free-radicals and boost cancer-fighting enzymes.
Getting Your Kids to Love it: Replace lettuce on your childís cheese, veggie, or salmon burger with cabbage for a crunchy, healthy alternative.

Swiss Chard is a Mediterranean vegetable with a salty, bitter taste. A member of the leafy green family, Swiss Chard is packed with carotenoids that protect aging eyes. How to get your children to eat a slightly bitter, dark green super-food? Better make it invisible.
Getting Your Kids to Love It: Health counselor Melissa Rosen suggests adding a few leaves of Swiss Chard to a smoothie, the green taste cleverly hidden by natureís sweeteners. Blend up strawberries, a banana, rice or soy milk with some hidden Swiss Chard.

Cinnamon helps control blood sugar because of its spicy active ingredients, which increases your cells ability to metabolize sugar by up to 20 times.
Getting Your Kids to Love It: Sprinkle cinnamon on oatmeal, hot chocolate or chai tea.

Though now touted as a super-food, pomegranate juice has only recently become widely available in the US. A staple of Middle Eastern diets for decades, pomegranate juice is said to lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to the heart.
Getting Your Kids to Love It: Easy! Pomegranate juice is naturally sweet, with a wonderful flavor. Make sure to avoid synthetic sweeteners or preservatives. The pure juice itself is quite expensive, so add a bit of water or combine with another juice to make it last longer.

Pumpkin has a hearty taste that reminds kids of a certain fun-filled holiday. The seeds are the most nutritious part because they are packed with magnesium. But the rest of the vegetable is low calorie but very high in fiber and Vitamin A.
Getting Your Kids to Love It: Celebrate Halloween year round by roasting the seeds as a snack, sprinkled on salad, or made into a yummy salad dressing. Heat up the rest of the pumpkin with a little butter, cinnamon and nutmeg for a warm afternoon snack.

Blueberries are packed with nutrients like protein, complex carbs, fiber, folate, antioxidants, vitamins, and more. Theyíre great for your body and very good for your brain as well. Frozen blueberries are available year-round and donít spoil.
Getting Your Kids to Love It: There are so many ways! Blend them with organic yogurt or chocolate soy milk and sprinkle with crushed almonds Janelle recently suggested making blueberry yogurt popsicles by blending blueberries, yogurt, and a touch of agave nectar or maple syrup.