By: Carolina Cuevas, Bilingual Outreach Specialist, Penfield Children’s Center
Have you heard the saying “two is better than one?” This means two people working together to solve a problem or improve a method are more likely to succeed than one person working alone.
The same concept can be applied to the food we eat. Pairing and/or combining certain food groups optimizes the nutrition of the meals we eat.
Eating wholesome and nourishing food is necessary for human development, especially for developing children. Analyzing the nutrition of the food your children consume can be puzzling. With many media and online debates on what to eat and what to avoid, parents are more confused than ever.
But like the saying, “two work better than one,” combining certain food groups into the meals you cook for your children reduces this tedious thinking.
I will provide you with some delicious and kid-friendly meals that when paired together, optimizes the health benefits of your loved ones.
But first, let’s do a little nutrition lesson:
Calcium is a mineral that helps develop and strengthen our bones and muscles. But we need enough vitamin D in order to absorb calcium. If your children are not eating enough vitamin D-rich foods (which becomes crucial to obtain, especially in cold climate regions with little to no sun exposure), our children will become more susceptible to breaking and fracturing their bones.
Because many vitamin D-rich sources are not very kid-friendly (such as salmon, sardines and oysters), many companies have now fortified their products with vitamin D, like cereals, breads and juices.
Calcium rich foods on the other hand, are more widely accepted by children. Those include yogurt, milk, cheese, tofu, almonds and fortified cereals and breads.
So what are some kid-friendly calcium and vitamin D food meals?
- Plain yogurt with fruit and fortified* cereal
- Scramble eggs with mozzarella cheese
- Sautee mushrooms with cottage cheese
- Grilled cheese made with fortified whole grain bread
*Fortified denotes the product had vitamin D added
Beware of the label: When selecting fortified products, check the back or front label and make sure it reads “fortified with vitamin D and/or calcium.”
Vitamin D and calcium are better together than alone! By preparing some of these meals for your children, you will support their bone growth, strength and development. In addition, you will be minimizing nutrient deficiencies and injuries!
What are some of your favorite food combinations?