Super Moms, Make Meal Times SUPER with these Super Alternatives

Of the many things we worry about as parents (did he get the nutrients? Is he well-rested? Is he getting too much screen time? Is he learning? Did he hit another toddler LOL?), making sure they get all the right nutrition is paramount.

It starts with breastfeeding; we question whether they are getting enough, or if we give enough, and some even came to the point of giving up because they feel like their little one can get "more" from the alternatives. Fast forward to their toddler years, on to the "no stage".

If you're a mom, you would know very well that providing a balanced diet for a young child is an everyday challenge. Especially to those moms whose toddler seem to like NOs better than their food.

From the nutrition workshop held by Healthy Options Philippines, Amanda Barnes, a registered dietitian, stressed the importance of adequate nourishment and healthy eating habits to maximize our kids' development. She discussed the vitamins and minerals that are crucial to the little one's development which include Carbohydrates, Protein, Vitamin A, B C, D, E, K, Folate, Calcium, and Iron.

And these are found in foods not so appealing to kids!

Of course we can't raise the white flag and say YES to their NOs just like that. We are mothers!! But it's not everyday we are fully equipped and ready for motherhood battles and things do get in the way sometimes, right?

So let's make #momlife a tad easier and less complicated on this part. We can still give them the essential vitamins and minerals they need to grow develop and explore without stressing too much about making them eat their fruits and veggies. The best part? They won't even know they're eating it!

1. Quinoa

(pronounced KEEN-wah)

As obviously stated on the photo, it's a good source of vitamins and minerals that are needed for our little ones to develop and grow. It is a very versatile dish. You can eat it in place of rice, as a side, or even in milk porridge.

My son is picky with texture. He prefers rice and soup plus fried, crunchy food all the time so we thought of replacing his rice with quinoa.

Quinoa rice + soup sounds super already

with the heaping protein, vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and fiber content.

By the time your baby is around 8 months old, his or her digestive system would be strong enough to digest quinoa.

2. Nutritional Yeast

I know, neither the word “nutritional” nor “yeast” sounds appetizing. But that profile makes me sprinkle it on just about any food we eat. And don't worry, it tastes as delicious as it is nutritious. It has a faint cheese taste that you can relish on dishes just as you would with cheese.

Sprinkle on pasta, on mash potato, use it to flavor a soup, and get a good portion of all B vitamins, including B12 and B9 (folate). Now go get your stash!

3. Oats

The most popular healthy ingredient. You can find a myriad of articles that will tell you why you should eat oats everyday and how good it is to our bodies. As for younger kids, we have just found an excellent source of essential nutrients such as fiber, iron, proteins, and vitamins which they need for optimal growth and development. In addition, it can be one of the first solid foods for the baby.

Here's a hack I'll share, we don't use white flour in our home. Gluten-free flour, whole wheat flour, even the world's healthiest flour is not an option. We go by milling Bob's Red Mill rolled oats, and get a coarse flour that is packed with fiber for baking cookies, breading chicken, (olive oil) fried veggies, or (olive oil) frying the batter as is. Yes, Atlas can't get enough of the crisp and crunch of the nutrient dense chips-like fried batter. Try it with your kids, just season with himalayan pink salt, nutritional yeast and fry it to perfection.

4. Flaxmeal

So this is how amazingly an adult body benefits from consuming flax.

Imagine how good the amazing components in flax can do to the little ones. Of the heavy nutritional content (Omega 3, Copper, B Vitamins, Magnesium, Potassium, Manganese, Phosphorous, Iron, Antioxidants), flax is rich in fiber which makes it a good natural supplement to help prevent constipation to kids.

Note: Flax is safe for babies around 7-8 months old

You may add up to 3 teaspoons of flax, spread throughout several “meals” during a day.

5. Himalayan Pink Salt

Before anything else, the only recommended salt intake for toddlers is not more than 2g or half teaspoon for the entire day.

I personally think it is one of the things we should splurge on in the kitchen. It's a basic commodity we use to cook our food. Might as well use the superior kind so that if the little ones eat our food, they get the necessary (about 84) mineral ions from the himalayan pink salt and none of the chemical derivatives from the table salt. That way, our entire household gets an upgrade with the nutrients too.

6. Malunggay Flakes

With over 90 essential nutrition compounds, Moringa oleifera aka malunggay may be the most nutrient-dense plant ever studied. It is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Along with that, the powder is a brilliant source of protein, vitamins, amino acids, flavonoids, fibers, minerals, chlorophyll, beta carotene and phenols which promote beneficial effects to health including cardiovascular, neurological, prostate, vision health, proper digestion, energy and a normal healthy immune system support.

All that with just a single serving. Amazing, isn't it? Just sprinkle on soup, mix in quinoa rice, mix in oat crisps, and what have you, the possibilities with moringga flakes are endless! And nope, a teaspoon doesn't alter the taste of the dish.

Right nutrition is the main prerequisite to good health and healthy growth and development and it all goes down to healthy eating habits.

Upgrading to these superfoods not only enhances the flavor of any dish but also makes feeding time less of a challenge. All these while providing the powerhouse of nutrients needed for the little ones' necessary growth.

We recommend that you consider organic and get your supply from a reputable source that rally against GMO (genetically modified organisms). This is especially important as GMO, pests or pesticides contamination can be equally harmful to your baby.

This might cost a few extra pence, but that small difference entails providing a boost of key nutrients and highly desirable health benefits for the entire family.

#winninginlife YAS, that's us, moms.

Where to get these superfoods:

1. Quinoa

Bob's Red Mill / Healthy Options

GoGo Quinoa / SnR

2. Nutritional Yeast

Bragg / Healthy Options

3. Oats

Bob's Red Mill Old Fashioned Oats / Healthy Options

4. FlaxSeed Meal

Bob's Red Mill Flaxseed Meal / Healthy Options

5. Himalayan Pink Salt

Aloha Bay / Healthy Options

6. Moringga Flakes

Ambrosia Natural Foods / The Green Company

17-D DPL Building M. Paterno St. , Brgy. Pasadena Manila / Ace Hotel Suites, Pasig

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