Nuts and seeds gave early people a nutritional boost that they can give you, too! Integrating more nuts and seeds into your childrens’ diets will give them more than just a handy travel food. They are loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, healthy fats, and plenty of disease prevention.
Seeds are often overlooked as a great source of nutrition, but, in fact, they too offer rewards for your body. Here are just a few selections of seeds that are easy to buy in stores or online.
Flax Seeds: Flax seeds are rich in monounsaturated fats and are an excellent source of the best one—omega-3 essential fatty acids. They can help your body up the good cholesterol and lower the bad cholesterol. Flax seeds are a good source of minerals, Vitamin E, and B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. Sprinkle some on kids’ cereals and into the casseroles that you make.
Pumpkin Seeds: These seeds are rich in fiber, vitamins, and health-promoting antioxidants. Pumpkin Seeds are high in calories, which kids can handle (and need) and good quality proteins. They are an excellent source of B-complex vitamins and essential minerals. Interestingly, they also offer amino acids tryptophan and glutamate. Tryptophan is converted to seratonin in the brain, the calming neurotransmitter. Glutamate is required to make GABA, the neurochemical that helps reduce anxiety and nervous irritability. Sounds like it might help keep kids calm!
Sesame Seeds: Sesame Seeds are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids, good quality proteins, many essential minerals, such as calcium, iron, manganese, zinc, magnesium, selenium and copper, anti-oxidants, high quality vitamins and minerals, and energy!
Sunflower Seeds: Rich in the poly-unsaturated fatty acid, linoleic acid, sunflower seeds also pack healthy amounts of good quality proteins with amino acids such as tryptophan that are essential for children’s growth. They offer natural anti-oxidants, Vitamin E, B-complex vitamins, and folic acid.
How to Use Seeds in Kids’ Meals
Sprinkle any of these seeds on salads, on breakfast cereals, and on cooked vegetables.
Mix them into pancakes, breads that you make, pastas, and brownies. Buy seeded breads and baguettes if you can find them.
Mix them into trail mixes for really healthy and filling kids’ snacks.
Mix them into granola bars to send to school with your children.
Mix them into bean salads, casseroles, and tuna salads, then use your imagination to sneak them into a child’s diet in many other ways.