Food Focus: Two Beneficial “B’s” for Kids

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By: Merilee Kern

Working your way through the alphabet is one fun way to assure you kids are exposed to the variety of vitamin and mineral-packed fruits and available readily available in your supermarket’s fresh produce section. Early on, kids learn that the letter, “A,” is for “apple,” but don’t stop there! Continue to work your way through the alphabet for a creative, alphabet-inspired menu. Here are two good “B’s” to give your grocery shopping list a jump start:

Why insist your little sprout eat their broccoli? Let us count the ways…

  • Broccoli is known as the “Crown Jewel of Nutrition” for its vitamin-rich, high in fiber, and low-in-calorie properties.
  • Not only does broccoli give you the best vegetable nutrition available, but it also gives you many ways to lead a healthier, longer life.
  • Broccoli helps fight obesity by being a low-fat, low-calorie, and highly nutritious vegetable option to any healthy meal plan.
  • Eating lots of broccoli fills you up with the bulk of high-fiber without adding extra calories.
  • Broccoli also plays a preventive role in many of the other chronic diseases that come with being obese: diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease.
  • In the United States, obesity is a growing concern for adults and especially children, which is why a healthy well-rounded diet with an exercise program is so critical to follow.

Go bananas for bananas!

Bananas contain three natural sugars – sucrose, fructose, and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained, and substantial boost of energy.

  • Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout.
  • A banana (with milk) constitutes almost a complete balanced diet with potassium, vitamins, and fiber.
  • Bananas are famous for containing potassium, an essential electrolyte that helps improve carbohydrate metabolism by helping the muscles act efficiently.
  • Bananas are rich in folate that helps improve concentration and memory.
  • Bananas give you 17% of your Daily Value of Vitamin C, an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals (harmful waste products) in your body and helps produce collagen, the building block of the connective tissues, such as tendons and cartilage, that keep your knees strong.
  • The average American eats 25 pounds of bananas a year!

Want more alphabet-driven fresh food ideas? Consider these:

A – apples, arugula, asparagus, artichoke, avocado
C – carrots, celery, cherries, cauliflower
D – daikon radish, dip (for fresh veggies)
E – eggplant, edemame, endive
F – figs, fava beans
G – grapes, grapefruit, guava, garlic, ginger
H – honeydew melon
I – iceberg lettuce
J – jicama, jam (all fruit)
K – kale, kiwi, kiwano melon
L – lemons, lettuce (try different kinds)
M – mushrooms, melon, mangos
N – nectarines, nuts
O – oranges, onions, oyster mushrooms, okra
P – peas, peppers, pineapple, pears, peaches
Q – quince
R – raisins, raspberries, radishes, romaine lettuce
S – spinach, squash, sprouts, strawberries, sunflower seeds
T – tangerine, tropical fruit, turnips, tomatillos, turnip greens
U – ugli fruit
V – vine ripe tomatoes
W – watermelon, walnuts, watercress, woodear mushrooms
X –xylitol – a natural sugar found in plums, strawberries, and raspberries
Y – yams, yukon gold potatoes
Z – zucchini

 

Merilee Kern

Merilee Kern

Children’s health advocate, health industry veteran, and two-time fitness champion, Merilee Kern, is the author of the award-winning, ground-breaking illustrated fictional children’s book, “Making Healthy Choices – A Story to Inspire Fit, Weight-Wise Kids” and the related “Kids Making Healthy Choices” APP for kids, caregivers and educators downloadable on iTunes. She may be reached online at: www.KidsMakingHealthyChoices.com.
Merilee Kern

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