NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — If you’re a parent, getting your young ones to eat healthy is so important, and there are certain “superfoods” that are beneficial to keeping your kids healthy, smart, and motivated.
Joining us Sunday on Good morning Connecticut, sports and culinary nutritionist, Dana White is here to share how to balance your child’s diet and implement these “superfoods”.
Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer, and nutrition and fitness consultant. She specializes in culinary nutrition, recipe development and sports nutrition. Dana is the sports dietitian and assistant clinical faculty in the department of Athletic Training and Sports Medicine at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. She is a member of the NATA-SCAN Alliance Committee and conducts workshops and cooking demonstrations for fitness organizations, corporate settings and schools.
“Superfood” is really an abused term. Some less reliable sources on nutrition lead people to believe that any food dubbed “super” is magical and one bite will cure anything. My definition is much different. For a food to reach super status, it must be delicious, beautiful, unprocessed, and bursting with nutrients. Bananas and brown rice are obvious super choices, but exposing tiny palates to more unique foods like quinoa and bison also offers a plethora of good nutrition plus some exciting flavors and textures to explore. My list of fifty foods represents a well-rounded group that is affordable, easy to find, and filled with the nutrients that growing bodies need. Incorporating these whole foods into meals and snacks will help promote growth, energy, strength, and brain power.
Family rules in terms of nutrition and meal time are important. As a mother of two, White says her overall goal is to keep mealtime fun, an experience that everyone looks forward to. Her girls are 3 and 5 years old so they love to assert their independence everywhere, including the kitchen. White encourages them to continue to enjoy the foods they love but also challenge them to try new things. They eat as a family as often as possible and the kids always help with some aspect of the meal prep whether it’s sprinkling cheese or setting the table.
White says parents should try to:
- Lead by example
- Offer a combination of foods
- Have a discussion about where food comes from
- Get to the farmers’ marker or plant a garden
- Make mealtime fun—eat, talk, share
- Prepare meals together
In contrast, parents should try not to:
- Freak out!
- Get noticeably frustrated.
- Fight over meals.
- Use dessert or other food as a reward.
- Insist that your child eat everything on their plate.
To watch the full interview, click on the video above. If you’d like more information on superfoods and young children, or any nutritional information, visit Dana White’s website at www.danawhitenutrition.com.