Broccoli. Food fact: It’s high in fiber, antioxidants, vitamin K, and carotenoids, which are powerful brain protectors. Tempt your kids’ taste buds: Sneak in the veggies in dishes like beef stir-fry, or serve it steamed with a little salt and butter. “My four-year-old daughter, Krystal, and I cut the veggies into fun shapes; we pretend that she has a broccoli garden and the carrots are flowers,” shares Anna Narciso-David, entrepreneur and mom of two.
Eggs. Food fact: Eggs (especially the yolks), contain choline, which is essential for a child’s memory development. “Children can easily metabolize the cholesterol in eggs, so an egg a day, three to five times a week, is safe for their diet,” assures pediatrician, Dr. RV Dela Cruz. Tempt their taste buds: While the typical fluffy cheese omelet would do, you can serve it in different ways. For example, prepare scrambled eggs and fold them into your child’s favorite lunch burrito.
Oats. Food fact: These low-glycemic-index breakfast foods are a rich source of vitamins E, B complex, and zinc. Research shows that kids who eat oatmeal are able to concentrate better and pay attention in school. Tempt their taste buds: Add color and vitamins to their diet by topping the oatmeal with fresh berries, bananas, or their favorite fruit. If the oatmeal is too bland for their taste, a little cinnamon and brown sugar or honey go a long way.
Peanut butter. Food fact: It’s packed with vitamin E that helps protect nerve membranes, and thiamine, which aids in the functioning of the nervous system. Tempt their taste buds: Thankfully, kids don’t need much prodding when it comes to peanut butter. Serve it with jelly as a sandwich, or as a dip for fruits and veggies.
Berries. Food fact: These are well-known to improve memory, thanks to the vitamin C and other antioxidants. The Omega 3 fatty acids present in berry seeds aid in healthy brain function. Tempt their taste buds: Blend them with plain, low-fat yogurt for a sweet, fruity smoothie. “Blend the strawberries with a little honey and pour into popsicle molds. On a hot day, pull them out of the freezer for a refreshing snack,” says mom Michelle Alingarog.
Leafy greens. Food fact: These contain iron that helps restore cognitive function, and antioxidants that rid the body of free radicals and protect the neurons from damage. Tempt their taste buds: Blend other leafy greens such as spinach or malunggay with pesto, and spoon it over chicken breast or pasta. “Keep pesto stored in a jar in the fridge, and use it for pastas as a dip or salad dressing,” suggests Johanna Garcia, chef and founder of Real Girl Toy Kitchen. Check out this salad recipe for kids who refuse to eat "icky greens."
Originally published in Working Mom’s June 2015 issue, full article by Kristel Dacumos-Lagorza, photograph courtesy of unsplash.com. Follow Working Mom on Instagram and like their official Facebook page.