The 101 Healthiest Foods for Kids
There isn’t a day that goes by in my pediatric nutrition practice that I don’t hear the question, “What are healthy foods to eat?”
If you read this blog or listen to my podcast, you know that I believe food and nutrients are important, along with feeding and development playing an equally important role.
But so many parents get caught up in food, wanting to know what is healthiest, how much to give, and how to downgrade what they consider unhealthy.
My pal, Sally, dietitian and blogger over at Real Mom Nutrition, just released a new book called The 101 Healthiest Foods for Kids and it helps parents with these exact concerns.
I thought I’d share my review of it with you, as well as a recipe from her book.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a book review! Lately, I’ve been having authors on my podcast to talk about a specific aspect of their book.
For example, I recently had Debbie Reber on the show, author of Differently Wired. She talked about reframing the way we school and think about children who have neurological differences.
Other recent authors on the podcast were Katie Hurley, author of No More Mean Girls and Toby Amidor, the author of Smart Meal Prep for Beginners.
If you haven’t listened to those episodes, I encourage you to do so!
The 101 Healthiest Foods for Kids
First off, The 101 Healthiest Foods for Kids is a sturdy book filled with photographs of food. All kinds of food.
You and your child could use this book as a teaching agent and page through the book, learning about different foods, talking about them, and using the book as a way to introduce a new food to your child because the photos are so beautiful.
I am also keenly aware of size, paper weight and the layout of books lately, as my co-author of Fearless Feeding and I have been revising our book into the 2nd edition.
And since we are the authors and have recently become the publishers (!) of Fearless Feeding, we are knee deep into formatting, editing and all the stuff our former publisher took care of the first time around.
Additionally, I have released my new book, Try New Food: Help New Eaters, Picky Eaters, and Extremely Picky Eaters Taste, Eat and Like New Food, as a workbook for parents.
(I’m super-excited about this workbook! It’s gonna blow the quick e-guide out of the water!)
So, yes, I am paying attention to all the book publishing details.
In The 101 Healthiest Foods for Kids, the layout and size are easy on the eyes. The print is large and easy to read.
Each page is sprinkled with tips, from “Good to Know” tips to “Try It” tips, which will help your child try new foods. Photos grace every page, as well.
What’s Inside the Book
Sally breaks down her list of 101 foods into 5 different categories:
Spices & Seasonings
Within each food category, she shares background nutrition information, the key nutrients of each food group, and the major roles each food category plays in your child’s overall health.
She covers this information for each of the 101 foods she includes in the book.
Why are These Healthy Foods?
You’ll get the “why it’s healthy” for each of her 101 foods. For example, Sally tells a story about wisdom teeth, pineapple and its anti-inflammatory properties due to the presence of bromelain (an anti-inflammatory enzyme).
Seriously, an interesting connection.
She also has a back of the book bonus called her Top 10 Lists. The Top 10 Lists range from 10 Foods to Ease Constipation and 10 Foods for Boosting Immunity to 10 Foods for Brain Building and 10 Foods that Aren’t as Healthy as They Seem.
These are nice, to-the-point lists if you are looking for a quick answer or food idea.
What I Like Best about the Book
In true Real Mom Nutrition form, Sally gets to the point without too much fluff. The 101 Healthiest Foods for Kids is a quick, easy read, but best of all, it’s laid out as a resource rather than a page-turning novel.
So if you’re a busy mom like me, you can get in and get out with the information you need in no time. And, you can keep coming back to the book for new food ideas when you’re at a loss for what to fix next, or when you’re in a food rut.
Sally has graciously allowed me to reprint a recipe for you here. I’ve chosen Nut-Free Snack Balls because I know many of you are looking for healthy, on-the-go snacks.
If you have a peanut or tree-nut allergic child, this will be a safe snack for your child and for the classroom.
Best part about these nut balls? They need no blender or food processor! (I’m dancing in my seat about this!)
- ¾ cup (60 g) quick oats
- ½ cup (130 g) sunflower seed butter
- ½ cup (14 g) crisped rice cereal (use brown crisped rice cereal if you can find it)
- 3 tablespoons (60 g) honey
- 1 tablespoon (7 g) ground flaxseed
- 1/3 cup (59 g) chocolate chips (optional, for coating)
- In a small bowl, combine the oats, sunflower seed butter, rice cereal, honey, and flaxseed. Mix until incorporated.
- Roll tablespoon-size (15 g) portions into balls. If the mixture is too sticky, add a bit more cereal or oats. If it’s too dry, add a bit more sunflower seed butter.
- Place on a plate lined with parchment paper and freeze for at least 30 minutes.
- Store in the freezer or refrigerator.
- Optional: In the microwave, melt the chocolate chips in a small bowl, heating for 30-second intervals and stirring until melted. Using a spoon, dip one end of each snack ball into the melted chocolate and place on a parchment-lined plate. Place in the freezer until the chocolate sets, then transfer to an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: November 21, 2018
Updated on: September 20, 2019