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How to get your fussy eaters to eat more nuts
Nuts are an extremely nutritious food – packed full of essential fats, protein, Vitamin E and micronutrients such as selenium, a daily serve of nuts is associated with healthier blood fats and weight control long term. While nuts are a popular snack option for adults, less likely are our kids to reach for a handful of nuts, or even consider them as a daily food. Rather, widespread school bans to protect those who suffer from allergies mean that there are children who have never included nuts as a regular feature in their daily diet. So knowing how good they are for both children and adults alike, and if you do not have any allergy concerns in your home, here are some easy ways to ensure even the pickiest of eater develops a love for nutrient rich nuts.
1. Include them in your own diet
Children learn what to eat from the adults in their lives. This means that if you eat nuts regularly so too will they. This may mean adding a few chopped nuts into trail mixes, keeping a jar of mixed nuts on the kitchen bench and adding a sprinkle of nuts to family salads and snack plates. The more familiar children are with the food, the more likely they are to eat it.
2. Go for the visual
Small children are more likely to eat when the food presented is visually appealing. This is why small pieces of sushi, cut up sandwiches and snack plates work so well. As such easy ways to include nuts regularly in the diet of children are to add them to colourful snack plates in small portions – think a sprinkle of chopped nuts to top dips, a nut spread served as a topped to crackers or vegetables or a dollop of Mayver’s 100% peanut butter to use as a dip for vegetables and fruit.
3. Protein rich toppers
While it may not be that easy for young children to grab a handful of nuts, using 100% nut spreads as toast toppers is an easy way for them to get their daily serve of nuts, without even realising it. Often we reach for sweet spreads such as honey or jam and forget that Mayver’s 100% peanut butter is a low sugar, protein rich topping for sandwiches and toast. Even better crumpets, muffins or toast with peanut butter and banana, which kids young and old cannot get enough of.
4. For baking
When it comes to making healthy treats at home, you cannot go past 100% nut spreads to boost the flavour and protein content of your favourite recipes. Banana bread, mini muffins, pancakes and protein balls all work well with ½ -1 cup of nut spread added, with its runny consistency helping to hold ingredients together, or in the case of muffins and banana loaves, while also helping to reduce the amount of butter you need in the recipe.
5. Healthy snacks on the run
Snacking is important for children to get the energy and nutrients they need for optimal growth and development, but finding healthy snacks you can grab on the go is not so easy. The good thing about novel snacks is that children are more likely to give them a try when they are out of their regular environment and also feeling hungry. Small packets of roasted broadbeans or sugar snap peas, healthy home baked goods and snack packs such as Mayvers Goodness to Go Peanut Butter teamed with chopped banana or vegetables are all nutrient rich, child friendly snacks on the go.