Foods containing soy have a lot to brag about: Soy has no cholesterol, protects against poor heart health and tastes delicious. It may even show promise for boosting mental health and promoting healthy bones – it's no wonder so many parents are jumping on the soy bandwagon and incorporating these healthy soyfoods into their child's diet. The American Heart Association even supports soyfoods as part of a heart-healthy diet.
The benefits of soy for children
Soy contains many essential nutrients that are vital for growth and development. It also is a great source of protein and can be substituted for meat, dairy or vegetables. Products containing soy tend to be lower in both fat and calories when compared to those meat or dairy foods. Therefore, soy is extremely helpful in maintaining a healthy weight. Soy products are also lactose-free, allowing children who can't have dairy products to enjoy a glass of soy milk. Those with nut allergies can also enjoy a soy nut butter and jelly sandwich or snack on roasted soy nuts. Soy is also a quick fix for children who have wheat allergies.
Children should be eating 2 to 3 cups per day of milk or milk equivalent, about 5 ounces or protein per day and approximately 2 ½ cups of vegetables. With soyfoods, reaching these equivalents is super simple. There are so many soy products out there, giving even the pickiest of eaters a few options. From soy dairy-free frozen desserts and soy pasta to soy chips and soy nut butter, there is plenty to choose from! Here are a few ways to help your children enjoy soyfoods and all of the benefits that come along with them:
- Whip up a protein-rich fruit smoothie for your little one using a protein powder like Naturade Total Soy. Make sure to add in all of their favorite fruits and cool crushed ice to amp up the natural sweetness and keep them coming back for more!
- Opt for meatless pizza and use soy versions of pepperoni, sausage crumbles, deli ham or bacon as healthy and tasty alternatives.
- Make some homemade trail mix using honey-roasted and chocolate-covered soy nuts, whole-grain cereal, raisins and dried fruit.
- For a morning meal that will leave kids satisfied, spread some soy nut butter on whole wheat toast for a perfect alternative to peanut butter.
- Chocolate soy milk works for a refreshing and sweet drink.
- Pack soy yogurt in their lunch for a creamy treat packed with lots of calcium.
- Cut up their favorite veggies to dip in hummus made from soybeans – this also makes a tasty sandwich spread.
- Add soybeans to your family garden to teach your children about new foods and the benefits of soy. They can be planted alongside potatoes, cucumbers, corn, strawberries and celery.
- Use soy milk in their favorite cereal for a super simple way to up their soy intake
- Have veggie burgers for dinner – they're tasty and lower in saturated fat and cholesterol than regular hamburgers
Vegetables are an essential part of any diet – especially for a growing child. They contain essential nutrients that are vital for their overall health, growth and development. The high fiber content fills them up so they're not looking to satisfy their hunger with sweets and processed foods. The fiber-protein sends a signal to the brain to stop eating and helps children recognize when they're hungry and when they're not.
Veggies also require much chewing, which forces kids to eat slower, contributes to healthy digestion and prevents overeating. Many calories are actually burned simply through the process of eating and digesting vegetables.
Good carbs are packed into vegetables. In fact, veggies are among the healthiest carbohydrates children can eat. The combination of protein and fiber even steadies the blood sugar.
The vibrant colors in the veggies comes from phytonutrients. These natural ingredients boost a child's immune system by fighting off germs, much like colostrum. With children being in constant contact with germs at school, veggies are a great way to naturally protect their systems.
Despite all of these fantastic benefits that vegetables have to offer, some children just aren't a fan of the way they taste. A chocolate cupcake always looks better than a stalk of broccoli or a handful of carrots. Therefore, parents must get a little sneaky if they want their kids to eat a little healthier. Here are a few ways to get those vegetables out of your fridge and into your child's tummy:
Use the right terminology
If you're referring to these green foods as vegetables, children are going to equate that with yucky taste. But if you change up the terminology, you may have better luck in getting them to eat their veggies. Parenting.com suggested referring to them as "grow foods." This can help reinforce a child's love for them because it relates eating healthy with growing big and strong – something every kid wants.
Offer veggies when they're hungry
If a child is hungry, they'll eat. Give them something they can easily snack on like baby carrots, cucumbers or red bell peppers. Amp up the taste with some hummus or low-fat salad dressing that they'll love to dip their vegetables in!
Let them decide
Bring your child grocery shopping with you and let them peruse the produce section for foods that they want to try out. They may like something for its color or shape and be more willing to snack on it.
Hold dessert hostage
Children sure do love their sweets. Therefore, if you let them know that they can't have dessert without finishing their veggies first, they may be more likely to clean their plate.
You could be sneaky and include vegetables in smoothies and other recipes. Use a blender or juicer to grind them up and make them invisible to the eye and taste buds. The sweetness of the fruit will overpower the veggie taste – your kids will never know!
Include children in the prep work
When preparing the vegetables, have your child help out by washing them while you cut them into bite sized pieces that will be easy to snack on.
In the midst of cough and flu season, you don't want to be caught empty handed. Colds are sometimes inevitable, but when they do come, you'll want to be prepared in helping your child to get over routine illness fast. One of the best ways to do this is with Naturade Children's Expec, an herbal expectorant for children, which can help your child feel better and put your life back on schedule.
This expectorant contains an ingredient called guaifenesin to help support your child's recovery. According to Mayo Clinic, this is used to help clear mucus or phlegm from the chest when one is experiencing congestion from a cough, cold or flu. This ingredient essentially works to thin the mucus and provide relief. It also may help to control a cough, helping your child to sleep at night, rather than stay up coughing. Naturade Children's Expectorant is uniquely formulated for young children and has been shown to advance their recovery. With a child-friendly natural cherry flavor, this alcohol-free product may provide soothing relief they can actually notice. Included are soothing herbs like cocillana bark, peppermint and rose hips to promote a comfortable recovery process.
Other ways to improve your child's immune health
You may also speed up your child's recovery process by making sure he or she is washing the hands frequently with warm water and soap. This is especially important for children with siblings, as germs can spread quickly. Hand washing may stop germs in their tracks and prevent them from spreading further. Getting them in the habit of good hand washing habits may prevent them from routine illness down the line.
You can also help to boost kids' immune system health by sending them to bed early. According to What to Expect, children's immune systems need a good amount of rest in order to grow stronger. Getting a quality amount of sleep can increase your child's production of interleukin-1, a protein that prevents unwanted material from getting into the body through the skin.
If you have children, you’re well aware of the fact that they can get sick at the drop of a hat. Adults tend to be more immune to routine illness because their bodies have learned to recognize and immediately attack those viruses. Children, however, are more susceptible to picking up the occasional bug. This is why caring for your child’s immune system is vital to keeping them happy and healthy. Here are a few ways to boost your child’s immune health:
Colostrum is nature’s first food provided at birth by female mammals. Colostrum contains the perfect combination of immunoglobulin, growth factors, antibodies, vitamins, minerals, enzymes and amino acids to protect the body and promote healthy immune system function at birth. Luckily, getting your child to take colostrum is simple with Symbiotics Colostrum Chewables. Available in a variety of delicious flavors like orange creme, root beer, cherry and pineapple, your child won’t know the difference between this immune booster and a piece of candy. Studies have shown that the immune factors and antibodies naturally contained in colostrum may help to promote a balanced immune system.
Give them fruits and veggies
One of the best ways to protect both you and your child from developing infection is to serve up plenty of fruits and vegetables. These superfoods contain vitamins and minerals that boost the immune system and prevent unwanted organisms from entering the body. If you can’t get your kids to get their daily dose of fruits and veggies, try whipping them up a smoothie filled with yummy foods like carrots, apples, spinach and strawberries. You can also add Symbiotics Colostrum Powder to the smoothie to enhance it’s immune boosting properties. All they’re going to taste is the deliciousness.
Research has shown that exercise may be just as beneficial in promoting a healthy immune system for kids as it is for adults. Ranjit Chandra, a pediatric immunologist at the Memorial University of Newfoundland, said that exercise increases the number of natural killer cells in both children and adults. Try setting a good example for your children and make an effort to exercise as a family. This could include going for a walk, swimming or playing catch.
Keep your home clean
Keeping your home clean doesn’t just mean making it look clean. In order to defend your kid’s immune system, About Kid’s Health suggested dusting and vacuuming weekly, washing your child’s linens and pajamas at least once a week, washing all dishes in hot water and washing all surfaces that could potentially be touched by your child.