It’s a fact of life: Chips, cupcakes and lots of other not-so-nutritionally-noble foods are going to find their way into your child’s mouth. Heck, if left to their own devices, a lot of kids wouldn’t eat anything that didn’t come out of a pizza or pasta box. But that’s all the more reason to make sure the meals you serve up are packed with as much good stuff as possible. Parenting went to Rachel Beller, R.D., founder of the Beller Nutritional Institute in Beverly Hills, CA, a mom of four and an expert in eating for disease prevention, to get her top picks of true bite-for-bite nutritional powerhouses. Most important, they’re also foods kids might actually eat. Add them to this week’s shopping list!
Eggs offer protein, and they’re one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. Eating protein at breakfast helps kids feel satisfied longer (no mid-morning hunger pangs).
Research shows that kids who eat oatmeal are better able to concentrate and pay attention in school. Fiber-rich whole grains, like oatmeal, digest slowly, providing kids with a steady stream of energy.
Any fruit is good for your child, providing essential vitamins and minerals. Fruit also has fiber, which keeps kids regular. To reap the nutritional benefits, aim to eat a variety of fruits, like berries, melon, kiwifruit and oranges.