Inflammation is a natural process that our bodies require in order to function properly. It’s perfectly normal, and necessary for our immune system to flare up when we’re under attack by a virus or a bacterial infection, and inflammation is a normal immune response to vigorous workouts.
However, those are samples of acute inflammation, while the chronic, perpetual kind is the one we need to nip in the bud. It’s this chronic sort that wreaks havoc on our and our kids’ health and is considered one of the key culprits of numerous diseases, from diabetes, Alzheimer’s, to heart disease, to name a few. By teaching your kids to eat well, you’ll help them develop healthy habits that will protect their health and wellbeing for the rest of their lives. Among many foods, the following ten are favorites among nutritionists and experts when it comes to tackling inflammation.
In all likelihood, this will not be a difficult task to inspire your little ones to munch on strawberries, especially if you dip them in a bit of dark chocolate. Fun fact: strawberries are not fruit, but a kind of a rose, so perhaps this might make them even more interesting for your youngsters. Packed with vitamin C and K, and they are a great source of antioxidants, which are vital in fighting inflammation.
Definitely not as tasty as the previous entry, garlic is a tough sell for youngsters, even though it’s loaded with compounds that have proven medical properties, one of which is warding off inflammation. Add it to their omelet, a green smoothie, or your spaghetti sauce, if they won’t eat it raw with an occasional meal.
Or any other fish that’s rich in healthy fats such as omega-3 fatty acids, which are an excellent addition to any diet that focuses on reducing and preventing inflammation. A perfect way to introduce them into your kids’ diet is to make salmon cakes or fish sticks, they’ll love them!
A sumptuous, earthy spice used in many Indian dishes, turmeric contains an anti-inflammatory ingredient called curcumin, which is a marvelous choice to spice up your kids’ morning omelet as well as smoothies. It’s known for its healing properties and used both in the form of a spice and as a healthy supplement. It might be a taste they’ll need to get used to, but their health will be all the better for it!
5. Whole grains
As wonderful sources of fiber, whole grains such as rice, oats, and quinoa are easy to prepare, incredibly versatile, and they keep your kids’ bellies full for longer. Their fiber and mineral content makes them a great choice for healing inflammation, so don’t be shy when it comes to enriching your youngsters’ meals with whole grains. Oatmeal is a great start as a breakfast loaded with healthy ingredients.
A winter favorite and a perfect spice for desserts for your little ones, cinnamon is actually rich in inflammation-fighting molecules. Pick the Ceylon variety for its healing properties, add it to your apple desserts, and let this delicious spice improve their immune systems one tasty treat at a time.
Packed with protein, fiber, as well as various minerals, beans are a true power-house of anti-inflammatory ingredients for your little ones. They are surprisingly versatile, you can use them to cook hearty lunches with meat, or prep delicious, yet healthy desserts such as brownies. Talk about all the ways you can infuse this healthful ingredient into their diets!
Kids may not be crazy about broccoli or kale, but all green veggies are their best allies when it comes to preventing and treating inflammation. Brimming with vitamins and antioxidants, green vegetables are your absolute best choice, and you can infuse your smoothies with spinach, for instance, without your little ones figuring it out. However, try to vary between steamed veggies, mashes, and smoothies, to hopefully let your kids develop a taste for these greens.
The old saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away rings true when it comes to inflammation, so you can use it as a healthy, yet sweet treat for your kids that will double as an anti-inflammatory agent. However, make sure to serve your kids apples with skin, as it contains the highest portion of the fiber of the entire fruit. Pair it with some cinnamon, and you have a dream team that will keep your kids healthy and their immune systems strong!
Another great veggie choice that comes with a slew of ways to be prepared, tomatoes are tasty, juicy, and easy to serve in salads, cooked in sauces, and added to meaty meals. In addition to fiber and vitamins, tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant which is a known inflammation-buster. Add it to your kid’s pizza, or a summer salad, and they’ll reap the health rewards in no time.
While it may be a challenge to get your kids to eat absolutely every healthy grocery on the list, your goal should be to teach them to eat diverse foods. Show them how they can make delicious, yet healthy treats, and replace processed sweets with these home-made nutritious goodies, and they’ll be on the right track to develop strong, healthy habits for the rest of their lives.