Lesson 1: What Your Family Needs

What Your family needs

Protein

Protein is vital for your child’s growth and development. Kids do not need protein supplements; the best source of protein is from real food!

  • Chicken, turkey, pork, beef, and eggs
  • Salmon, sardines, shrimp, crab and other low mercury seafood
  • Black beans, pinto beans, lentils and other beans and legumes
  • Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax
  • Quinoa, buckwheat, oats and other whole-grains
  • Fermented dairy such as sugar-free yogurt and kefir

Complex Carbohydrates

The body needs healthy carbohydrates as carbs are the primary source of energy for the brain, blood cells, and muscles!

  • Vegetables such as sweet potato, carrots, squash, and other root vegetables
  • A variety of fresh fruit
  • Healthy pasta such as whole grain pasta, brown rice pasta, or chickpea pasta
  • Almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, and flax
  • Quinoa, buckwheat, oats and other whole-grains
  • Overnight oatmeal, home-made granola, buckwheat and quinoa

Healthy Fats

Healthy fat is essential for growth and development. Young kids especially need enough fat in their diet to support brain and nervous system health.

  • Coconut oil, olive oil, avocado oil, flax oil and dairy fat such as ghee
  • No sugar added almond butter, cashew butter and sunflower seed butter
  • Salmon, sardines and tuna
  • Low-sugar fermented dairy such as yogurt and kefir
  • Avocado and olives
  • Ground flax seeds

Dietary Fiber

Fiber isn't the most thrilling ingredient, but it’s essential for digestion, to prevent constipation and reduce your risk of colon cancer and other GI disorders.

  • Apples
  • Berries
  • Bananas
  • Carrots
  • Sweet Potato
  • and Whole Grains

All are good sources of dietary fiber for children

Dietary Fiber

Experts recommend children drink the number of 8-ounce cups of water equal to their age, with a maximum of 64 ounces of water for children over the age of 8. These amounts do not include other beverages they may consume in a day, including milk, juice or other beverage.

Vitamins and minerals

Micronutrients consist of vitamins and minerals necessary for disease prevention and overall wellbeing. Some key micronutrients for the whole family are…

  • Vitamin A and D: Sweet potato, broccoli, fatty fish, dairy, and eggs
  • Folate and B vitamins: Eggs, banana, citrus, cruciferous vegetables, seeds and nuts
  • Vitamin C: Lemon, oranges, strawberries, broccoli, and sweet peppers 
  • Iron: Shellfish, red meat, organ meats, tuna, pumpkin seeds, and quinoa
  • Calcium and magnesium: Salmon, broccoli, kale, figs, and dairy products
  • Iodine and selenium: Seafood, eggs, and ocean vegetables
  • Zinc: All meat, poultry, seeds, nuts, whole-grains, and dairy