Parents are endlessly trying to get their kids to eat nutritious meals — but they have a hard time coming up with “healthy” meals that kids love.
If you have been reading my blog for long, you know I am a staunch advocate of nutritious meals made up of traditional foods that our ancestors have been eating for thousands of years. Cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, allergies, are all very modern epidemics. One hundred years ago, people mainly died of infectious diseases like tuberculosis and polio. These diseases were largely eradicated with the advent of modern sanitation and hygiene practices. The majority of people back then were not dying of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes.
Nutrition is especially important for growing children. You are building the foundation of health that will last them a lifetime. Or, you’ll face the frightening reality that says the current generation of children may not outlive their parents’ generation (from a report in The New England Journal of Medicine).
Nutritious meals don’t have to taste bad. They can be delicious and kid-friendly. My 6-year-old daughter begs for King Crab, coconut oil French fries, and Mariscada (Portuguese shellfish soup).
“OK,” you say, scanning the list below, “my kid is not going to eat bone marrow or natto!”
I agree, there are a few in this list that are a tad more challenging for Junior. But this just requires a little more exposure.
Ask any adult who grew up in Mexico 25-50 years ago what their favorite foods are and they’ll smile and start waxing on about Tacos de Lengua (beef tongue) and Oxtail Soup and Higado Encebollado: Mexican Liver & Onions. (For more on this, read my article, Paula of Guadalajara, A Testament to Dr. Weston Price.)
Start serving these meals to your little ones today and they will learn to love them, too. Don’t be discouraged if they don’t love them right away — just keep at it. According to Jeffrey Steingarten in his brilliant and hilarious book, The Man Who Ate Everything, it takes 8-10 interactions with a food to reverse a food aversion.
Scientists tell us that aversions fade away when we eat moderate doses of the hated foods at moderate intervals, especially if the food is complex and new to us. (Don’t try this with allergies, but don’t cheat either: few of us have genuine food allergies.) Exposure works by overcoming our innate neophobia, the omnivore’s fear of new foods that balances the biological urge to explore for them. Did you know that babies who are breast-fed will later have less trouble with novel foods than those who are given formula? The variety of flavors that make their way into breast milk from the mother’s diet prepares the infant for the culinary surprises that lie ahead. Most parents give up trying novel foods on their weanlings after two or three attempts and then complain to the pediatrician; this may be the most common cause of fussy eaters and finicky adults — of omnivores manqués. Most babies will accept nearly anything after eight or ten tries. — Jeffrey Steingarten, The Man Who Ate Everything.
Without further ado, here’s my list of our top 10 meals that your kids will love.
Top 10 Nutritious Meals Your Kids Will Love
1. Fried Clams
Fried Clams – Fried clams are delicious. They taste a lot like fried calamari. Most chicken-nugget-and-french-fry-loving toddlers will devour them with no complaints. My daughter licked her plate of clams clean.
Clams also be the world’s best source of iron. If you are looking for ways to get more iron into your family members, this recipe is your ticket. And my clams are fried in super healthy, vitamin-rich fat: beef tallow, lard, or expeller pressed coconut oil.
2. Deviled Eggs with Salmon Roe
Deviled Eggs with Salmon Roe – Eggs, particularly if they are from pastured chickens, are rich in vitamins A, D & K2. Salmon roe is also rich in these fat-soluble activators, as well as cholesterol, which kids need for their growing brains.
3. Healthy Nachos with Homemade Tortilla Chips
Healthy Nachos with Homemade Tortilla Chips – Who doesn’t love nachos? If they’re made the right way — from scratch with organic corn chips fried in coconut oil or other healthy fat, and layered with beans, cheese and meat — they are super healthy. Top them with full-fat sour cream (grass-fed if possible) and homemade guacamole.
4. Coconut Oil French Fries
Coconut Oil French Fries – I don’t know any kid who doesn’t love French fries. If you’re looking for a way to get more healthy fats like coconut oil into your kids, this one is a winner.
5. Easy Mac & Cheese
Easy Mac & Cheese – Mac and cheese is a perennial kids’ favorite — but you don’t want to make the stuff out of the box. This mac and cheese is made with brown rice or whole wheat noodles, grass-fed butter, cream and cheese. Full of fat-soluble vitamins!
6. King Crab Legs with Drawn Butter
King Crab Legs with Drawn Butter – My daughter’s favorite food in the whole world is king crab with butter. It’s very easy to prepare at home.
Mariscada – We love mariscada, a very easy to prepare Portuguese shellfish stew that is extremely nutritious.
8. BBQ Natto with Shrimp
BBQ Natto with Shrimp – If you haven’t tried natto, you’re in for a treat. It’s extremely high in vitamin K2, and the shrimp is high in vitamin D.
9.Roasted Bone Marrow
Roasted Bone Marrow – Another food rich in vitamin K2, bone marrow is yummy and very easy to make.
10. Grass-fed Chili Cheese Dogs
Grass-fed Chili Cheese Dogs – I love chili dogs, don’t you? This meal is easy and delicious — and very nutrient-dense.