Healthy Carb & Protein Choices for Your Kids

 

by Lauren Follett, BA, RHN, Registered Nutritionist

As you may have read from my last post, it’s really important to make sure your kids have enough healthy fats in their diet. Fats are just one of the three macronutrients that make up a balanced diet. Carbohydrates and protein round out the trio.

Whole grains, legumes, root vegetables and squash should be the type of carbs that you give your kids the majority of the time. They’re high in fibre, and important minerals like zinc, magnesium and iron. A few healthy carb options:

  •  Brown rice, lentil, quinoa or whole-wheat pasta.
  •  Sprouted bread (Silver Hills is a great brand) with grass-fed butter, coconut oil or natural nut butters. (Sprouted bread is made with whole grains and is rich in enzymes, making it easier to digest than other types of bread.)
  • Sweet potato mash with coconut oil.
  • Baked spaghetti or acorn squash with grass-fed butter.
  • Lentils and beans in a soup or homemade hummus. (Consider adding cucumber, spinach or broccoli to your next batch of chickpea hummus for added fibre and nutrients!)
  • Expand your horizons with ancient grains like amaranth, millet and freekeh.

Protein should be incorporated at every meal, but that doesn’t necessarily have to be chicken. There are lots of other options for protein—and I’m not talking about hot dogs, lunch meats or bacon. All of those processed meat products include loads of sodium, and nitrites, which are cancer-causing preservatives.

 

  • Falafels (homemade chickpea patties. Veggie Patch is a good brand if you’re in a pinch).
  • Mixed bean salad with a healthy homemade dressing. (Add avocado, almond butter or tahini to a dressing to make it creamy)
  •  Frittata or scrambled eggs.
  • Quinoa cakes (quinoa is a complete protein and gluten-free)
  • Salmon or tuna cakes (combine canned salmon with whole-wheat bread crumbs, eggs and spices)

Stayed tuned for my next post where I’ll talk about strategies to get your kids to eat more vegetables!

 

 

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