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5 Fun Ways to Incorporate Gut-Friendly Foods into Kids' Meals and Snacks

Published April 11, 2024

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Ensuring our kiddos eat a balanced diet that supports their gut health is essential for their overall well-being. But getting kids excited about gut-friendly foods can sometimes be a challenge. Luckily, there are plenty of creative and fun ways to incorporate these nutritious options into their meals and snacks. Let's explore some delicious and kid-approved ideas that can make mealtimes both fun and nutritious. 

Smoothies

Smoothies are a fantastic way to pack a variety of gut-friendly ingredients into one delicious, nutrient-rich drink. Blend together fruits like bananas, berries, and leafy greens such as spinach for an easy way to get vitamins and minerals in one drink. Add a scoop of yogurt for probiotics to help provide your kid’s microbiome with the good gut bugs to support digestive health. Kids can even join in on the fun by choosing their favorite ingredients and helping with the blending process.

Build-Your-Own Parfaits

Create a DIY parfait station where kiddos can assemble their own gut-friendly treats. Provide bowls of unsweetened Greek yogurt, fresh fruit slices, and nuts or seeds. Yogurt is naturally rich in probiotics, while fruits add fiber and vitamins. Kids will love customizing their parfaits with different toppings, making it a fun and interactive snack.

Veggie-packed Pasta Dishes

Transform classic pasta dishes into nutrient-packed meals by sneaking in extra veggies. Puree vegetables like carrots, spinach, or butternut squash and mix them into tomato sauce for a boost of vitamins and fiber. Serve over your family’s favorite pasta shape or zucchini noodles for added nutrients. 

Probiotic, Gut-Friendly Popsicles

Beat the heat with homemade probiotic popsicles that kids will love. Blend together yogurt, honey, and fresh fruits, then pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze. These refreshing treats are not only tasty but also provide a dose of gut-friendly probiotics and prebiotics, perfect for hot summer days.

Begin Health Expert Tip

Did you know that you can add  Begin Health’s Growing Up Prebiotics to your kiddo’s snacks or meals without changing the taste or texture? Try adding a serving to any of these options above to give your kiddos both a gut and immune boost with 3 grams of prebiotic fiber from both chicory root and HMO’s. Our formula is specifically made for kids to get the benefits of human milk oligosaccharides to support a healthier lifestyle.  

Homemade Veggie Chips

Swap store-bought chips for homemade veggie chips that are not only delicious but also packed with gut-friendly nutrients. Slice vegetables like sweet potatoes, zucchini, or beets thinly, toss with olive oil, and bake until crispy. These colorful chips are rich in fiber and antioxidants, making them a healthier alternative to traditional store-bought snacks.

Summary

Incorporating gut-friendly foods into kids' meals and snacks can be fun and delicious. From smoothies packed with fruits and veggies to homemade veggie chips and probiotic popsicles, there are plenty of creative ways to ensure kids get the nutrients they need for optimal gut health and overall well-being.

References

  • Misra, S. M., & Farrell, A. (2017). Chapter 3 - Role of Smoothies in Nutrient Intake, Diet Quality, and Gut Health. In Nutritional and Analytical Approaches of Gluten-Free Diet in Celiac Disease (pp. 55-68). Academic Press.
  • Reilly, L. J., & Cotton, J. (2015). Development of a Food Acceptance Scale for Children: Measuring Children's Willingness to Try New Foods. Foods, 4(4), 549-562.
  • Breidahl, E., Beccarelli, L. M., & Page, A. C. (2020). Eating at the dinner table as a protective factor against children’s food fussiness. Appetite, 145, 104485.
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