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Whole Food Nutrition Ideas for Kids
When it comes to kids, they can be so picky! But a lot of them need some extra support as far as nutrients go. I’m going to pick a few of my favorite supplements for kids (most which I give my own son), and I’ll share how I get my son to actually consume these whole food nutrition ideas.
Bee pollen is considered nature’s most balanced food. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carotenoids, enzymes, protein, bioflavonoids, and more. Bee pollen has vitamins C, D, K, and E, plus it has about 60 major and minor minerals! Read about bee pollen’s full composition here to to be thoroughly amazed.
Bee pollen, as well as raw honey and royal jelly, is mostly used for the B vitamins (think bee products for B vitamins!). Depending on the brand and source of the bee pollen, a typical dose can be anywhere from 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons a day for adults so for kids I would do about 1/4 tsp to 1/2 tsp.
The *best* source of bee pollen would be from a local beekeeper but if that is not a possibility I recommend this brand that I’ve personally been using for months now with excellent results. It is easy to sneak bee pollen in a smoothie, in yogurt, or you can eat it plain.
Bee pollen helps with digestion, hormonal balance, joint health, blood pressure balance, skin issues, fatigue, weight loss, and more. So ditch those bottled B’s (especially if you have them all in separate supplements) and try bee pollen, please. You will notice the difference!
That phrase alone is enough to make some people gag, but seriously beef liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Between fear-mongering about the retinol levels, misconceptions about how the liver stores toxins (it doesn’t- it filters them out to store elsewhere), and the switch to fast foods, liver has fallen out of favor with most of the Western world. I am sure most of the people in my generation have never even tried to eat liver- or they may have never even heard of it! You can read a bit more about liver here.
As far as livers go, beef has the most bang for its buck. It has vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron. Beef liver has the most bio-available form of copper. If you think about that, it makes sense why so many people are suffering from copper issues these days: because who grew up eating liver regularly??
When it comes to liver, eating it is obviously the best way. It is best to find grass-fed beef liver from a reputable farm. You can go with a classic liver and onions recipe or you can be a little sneaky and hide in meatloaf like this recipe does.
I’m not personally at that stage yet so I use Perfect Supplements desiccated beef liver supplement.(use my coupon code SASSY to get 10% off of your whole order from their site!) This just basically means it’s been dehydrated and it retains its nutrient content. I open the capsules up and add to my smoothies.
Whole Food Vitamin C
Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient for tissue repair, collagen formation, immune system health, plus is very important for joints, blood vessels (think varicose and spider veins!), teeth, bones, and skin. Vitamin C is also one of the most important nutrients for healing from adrenal fatigue, which is something that even toddlers can suffer from these days.
There are many food sources of C that you can offer to your kids, like citrus fruits, papaya, tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, rose hips, and stinging nettles.
But if they are extra picky they can benefit from a real whole food C like:
- Perfect Supplements’ Acerola Cherry Powder!
- Synergy Pure Radiance C: Powder or Capsules
- OR check out Earthley’s Immune-Aid! They now have powder or capsules to choose from too.
Pumpkin seeds are another insanely nutrient dense food. One quarter cup has: .43mg of copper, 2.5mg of zinc, 1.47mg of manganese (nearly the whole RDA!), 190mg of magnesium, 9 grams of protein, and about 400mg of phosphorus. Look for raw, organic, and hulless pumpkin seeds. Check Costco if you can- they recently just started selling a big bag in my local store. Read more about Pumpkin seeds here.
Infusions are one of the most bio-available foods in the world. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and more. Infusions are super easy to make. Steep one ounce (one cup) of dried herb in a quart of hot water for at least 4 hours- leaving it overnight is perfect. Strain the herbs and store the liquid in the fridge. Some reuse the herbs to make another quart or 2. Mason jars are perfect for making these infusions. Infusions will generally last about 2-4 days in the fridge after making them.
The best infusions for kids are nettles, red raspberry leaf, red clover and oatstraw. Some kids will drink infusions plain, but many of them will need some changes in order to make them more palatable. Check out my nettle infusions recipes or my herbal infusions post for ideas!
Cod Liver Oil
Cod liver oil is one of the BEST sources of naturally occurring vitamin D and vitamin A- both of these nutrients are crucial for immune health, bones, teeth, .etc. The media and the medical community tend to just focus on vitamin D but vitamin A (as retinol, like found in cod liver oil, eggs, butter and liver) is extremely important for immune health as well.
My top 3 choices for Cod liver oil are NutraPro, Nordic Naturals, and Rosita’s. You can read more in my CLO post about why vitamins A and D are so crucial, as well as where to get these CLOs.
My crazy son eats his CLO off of the spoon, no matter what flavor we have. But if you’re new to it, you might have to experiment with flavors and figure out the best way for your kids to get it in.
What’s the easiest way to get kids to have all of these?
Smoothies of course! And if they don’t like smoothies, you can make it into ice pops.
I add about a cup of frozen berries to the blender, then add one teaspoon of beef liver powder, one teaspoon of bee pollen, A tablespoon each of melted coconut oil and grass-fed butter, 1/4 cup of pumpkin seeds, and about a teaspoon of organic maple syrup. Then I put enough homemade coconut milk to cover everything and blend it up (you could even use the herbal infusions as a base!).
I also usually add in 1-2 scoops of grass-fed collagen powder in the smoothies, but I tend to hide it in a lot of other foods for my son. This just helps a bit with gut healing, liver healing, and a highly digestible protein source. Bone broth on its own would be great as well!
This usually gets me about 6 ice pops (with these molds yes they are plastic, but they work best for us), but since my crazy toddler lost 4 of them, I can only fill 2 up at a time. Usually he has 2-3 of these a day. I keep the rest in a mason jar in the fridge and refill as I can.
My son is a great eater, but I know that because of how depleted I was before I had him that he could use some extra help. I never want him to get sick like I was!
So these are just general recommendations for kids. Some kids need a lot more than this but it’s all depending on test results (whether from HTMA or blood work) and symptoms. Also, gut health is very important to address for kids because they need adequate stomach acid and liver function to absorb many nutrients. But that is all based on individual health since everyone will have a different form of leaky gut.
Other ideas for kids:
Gut, Liver, and Adrenal Support supplements from BioRay! I love the CALM and Belly Balance especially.
Fat Bombs! Most children are in fast oxidation and they have an increased need for fats like coconut oil, grass-fed butter, avocado, etc. Fat is NOT bad- it is all about the quality of the fats, which you can read a bit more on here. Need ideas for fat bombs? I have a whole Pinterest board for them. Just a note though: many of these recipes call for (terrible) ingredients like artificial sweeteners. You can easily switch these for REAL and healthy sweeteners like raw honey (for kids over 1 year of age), organic maple syrup, blackstrap molasses (if the recipe sounds good for it), or another other natural option. I do not advocate for agave syrup though!