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nutritous winter foods

With the arrival of winter, many people tend to think that all fruits and vegetables are naturally out of season. While many of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy are in fact out of season in the winter months, there are plenty of healthy, kid-friendly options available throughout the winter that your family will love. So, put away that frozen pizza and throw on your apron. We’ve prepared a list of kid-friendly foods that you can serve up all winter long.

Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits are one of the best things to feed your children, especially in the winter months. Citrus fruits include oranges, grapefruits, and clementines and are packed with vitamin C, which helps boost your child’s immune system, keeping them healthy all season long. Clementines, in particular, are a favorite among children because they are small, usually seedless, and much sweeter than other citrus fruits. These small fruits are perfect to pack into your child’s lunchbox or for their school snack time. You can also add some excitement by including clementine wedges in a salad at dinnertime, which may persuade your child to eat more vegetables. For a quick and easy clementine salad recipe, click here.

Cauliflower

One of the best things to feed your child this winter is cauliflower. While you may think cauliflower looks drab, it’s actually packed with nutrients that are vital to your child’s growth and development. Cauliflower is full of vitamin C and K which help boost your child’s immune system and contribute to proper bone development. It’s also rich in folate, a B vitamin that is critical for growth and development, and fiber, which promotes stable energy levels and healthy digestion. Click here for some awesome cauliflower recipes that your kids will love.

Salmon

Salmon is a great food to feed your family this winter for numerous reasons. To start, it’s a fantastic source of protein that does not contain excess fat. It’s also packed with vital amino acids such as tryptophan, tyrosine, and glutamine. These amino acids found in the proteins of salmon produce the neurotransmitters in our brains which contribute to mood regulation, helping your family beat the cold-weather blues. It’s also known that fish and salmon, in particular, are an excellent heart-healthy source of protein.

Salmon is a great fish for children to enjoy because of its mild, less-fishy flavor and many health benefits. Some kids will eat salmon broiled or grilled — but for those that are a little pickier, there are tons of creative ways you can prepare salmon for your family.

Dark Leafy Greens

Because children tend to have negative predispositions about anything green on their dinner plate, this one may be tricky. Dark, leafy greens such as kale, chard, and collards all thrive in the chill of winter, often surviving through the first frost. These vibrant greens grace the produce section in the winter when other produce options are scarce. Dark, leafy greens are a great source of vitamins A, C, and K. They are also a great source of iron which is key for children, particularly if your child suffers from an iron deficiency anemia.

Preparing leafy greens for your children can be a challenge. If you prepare them using a kid-friendly recipe, your child may very well love them. If your child is a bit more resistant, you can look into sneaking these greens into their foods to make sure they are obtaining necessary nutrients this winter.

Winter Squash

The best part about winter squash is that there are so many different kinds to choose from. Whether your family favors butternut, acorn, delicata or spaghetti squash, you’re sure to find at least one type of squash that the whole family will enjoy this winter. Squash is great for children because it’s rich in vitamin A and carotenoids, which have been shown to benefit heart health and immunity while also promoting healthy skin. These winter veggies are also full of fiber, helping promote healthy digestion.

Most squash varieties are naturally sweet so kids tend to love them. For an added boost, there are tons of kid-friendly recipes that will guarantee that your child enjoys squash all winter long. Take a look at some recipe ideas here.

Pomegranates

To really shake things up this winter, consider pomegranates as a new snack for your children. These delicious, gem-filled fruits are in season all winter long and contain vital antioxidants to help maintain a healthy heart. Pomegranates are a favorite among children simply because of their beautiful appearance and berry-like flavor. With pomegranates, you can prepare “fun” foods that your children will enjoy eating. If you’re interested in serving up pomegranates this winter, check out these kid-friendly recipes!

Whether you’ve got a picky eater on your hands or not, increasing the number of veggies on your child’s plate is always a good idea. For more information about your child’s specific dietary needs, contact Glen Allen Pediatrics today by dialing (804) 282-4210. As a small practice, the doctors, nurses, and staff at Glen Allen Pediatrics will get to know you and your child, providing continued, quality care that is customized to your child’s needs.

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