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Kid Nutrition

Jamie Lee McIntyre

 

 

Jamie Lee McIntyre, MS, RDN

Dietitian & Nutrition Communications Expert at JamieLeeRDN.com

 

Kids and Added Sugars

Natural Delights Medjool Date Paste

How about a high fiber alternative to refined sugars? Try date paste! It’s easy to prepare and can be used as a spread or in baking for a moist and sweet result.


The Importance of Fiber in Your Child's Diet

Fiber has shown to support health in several ways (3):
  • Increases satiety and keeps kids feeling full
  • Aids in prevention or relief of constipation
  • Manages cholesterol and helps prevent heart disease and diabetes
  • Can help lower the chances of getting some types of cancer
Despite the many benefits, most children aren’t eating enough. How much daily fiber do kids need (3)?
  • All Children 1-3 years: 19 grams of fiber per day
  • All Children 4-8 years: 25 grams of fiber per day
  • 9-13 years: Boys 31 grams of fiber per day; Girls 26 grams of fiber per day
  • 14-18 years: Boys 38 grams of fiber per day; Girls 26 grams of fiber per day
These daily fiber goals may sound like a lot, but there are many healthy and tasty sources of fiber we can include in a varied diet that provide additional phytonutrients, such as:
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Expanding the Menu: Tips for Promoting Variety and Exploring New Foods

Did you know it can take up to 13 exposures for a child to accept a new food? A child is more likely to accept a new food when they feel a sense of ownership, so engage kids into the planning and prep work by having them:

Positive family preparing lunch together in the kitchen


Fuel for School: From the Breakfast Table to the Lunch Box

Nothing halts the momentum of a busy school day like a crash in energy and sudden onset of hunger. Keep growing bodies and brains fueled with the winning combination of complex carbohydrates plus protein and healthy fats for sustained energy all day long!

Make meals and snacks tasty, portable, and easy to eat for the student on the go. Check out the kid-approved recipes below!

Breakfast
Snack

MiniMedjools_Product Lineup

Lunch Box

Additional Recipes

Red Velvet Smoothie

Ingredients

8 oz low fat milk or unsweetened non-dairy alternative

1/3 cup pitted frozen cherries

2 Medjool dates

1/3 banana

2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder

½ cup crushed ice

Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth throughout. Enjoy immediately.

 

Citrus Date Muffins

Ingredients

1 orange, peeled

2 Tbsp orange zest

6 dates, chopped

Juice of 1 orange

1 Tbsp lemon juice

1/3 cup canola oil

1/3 cup 1% milk or non-dairy alternative

1 egg

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

1.5 cups Oat flour (can substitute with white whole wheat flour)

2/3 cup date paste

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of salt

½ cup sliced almonds

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400℉ and line 18 muffin cups with paper liners.
  2. Add orange, dates, orange juice and lemon juice to a blend and pulse until segments are fine and blended.
  3. Add in the remaining liquid ingredients, including egg, and pulse to mix.
  4. Transfer the mixture from the blender to a bowl and add the remaining dry ingredients. Mix with a spoon then fold in almonds.
  5. Pour the mixture to fill each muffin liner ¾ full.
  6. Place on the center rack in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the tops are light golden brown.
  7. Remove from the oven and let it cool on the wire rack. Enjoy with butter, date pasta, or as is!

 

Chicken Date Arugula Salad Pita

Ingredients

4 Multigrain Pitas

10 ounce cooked and shredded skinless chicken breast or canned chicken breast

½ cup crushed walnuts

4 cups arugula

2 Tbsp Olive oil

1/2 Tbsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp grated parmesan

Pinch of salt

½ Tsp ground black pepper

½ cup dates, pitted and chopped

½ cup sundried tomatoes in oil

½ Tbsp dried parsley

3 Tbsp plain nonfat Greek yogurt

Directions
  1. In a blender or food processor, add arugula, walnuts, oil, parmesan, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Puree until well mixed.
  2. Place the mixture in a bowl and fold in the chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, parsley, yogurt, and dates.
  3. Place ¼ of the mixture into each pita with fresh arugula. Enjoy immediately. Chicken salad mixture can last up to 3 days refrigerated when covered tightly.

 


References:

  1. https://www.aappublications.org/news/2019/03/25/sugarpp032519
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3992385/
  3. https://www.nap.edu/read/10490/chapter/32#1324
  4. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168191/nutrients