(Family Features) - Most people can name the four main food groups. But can you name five must-have foods that kids don't get enough of?
Elizabeth Somer, a registered dietitian, author and speaker, encourages parents to help their child's development and long-term health by moving kids away from typical junk food.
"You are the gatekeeper to the food that comes into your house," she says. "When it comes to fatty snacks and processed foods, don't bring it into the house and your battle is half won."
It's not as hard as you might think to incorporate the following five superfoods into the whole family's diet.
Milk fortified with omega-3 DHA. Kids need the calcium and vitamin D found in milk, but they can get more out of their glass. "There are different kinds of omega-3," says Somer. "Omega-3 DHA is essential for children's brain and vision development." DHA plays a significant role in the maintenance of healthy neurological functions, as well.
A recent national children's nutrition survey commissioned by Heritage Foods found that 68 percent of U.S. parents are not sure what omega-3 DHA does, and 59 percent of parents are not aware of the benefits of omega-3 DHA to their child's health.
It's now possible to get more of this nutrient with Heritage Foods' new Little Einsteins omega-3 DHA milk. Somer recommends that instead of ice cream milk shakes, combine DHA milk with frozen bananas and berries for a great tasting smoothie. Or freeze them into homemade popsicles for a cool summer treat.
Strawberries. These red jewels are packed with vitamin C and antioxidant power. Let kids dip them in low-fat yogurt or a small amount of dark chocolate.
Broccoli. Did you know that broccoli is good for the bones? It has vitamins C and K, plus folate and magnesium - a great combination for promoting strong bone health. Let kids dip these crunchy little trees into low-fat dressing or even peanut butter. You can even chop it up and sneak it into soups.
Oatmeal. Old-fashioned oatmeal adds healthy fiber to your diet and helps with lowering cholesterol, weight loss, diabetes, constipation and heart disease. Use it in muffins, cookies, pancakes and even meatloaf. Cooking morning oatmeal in DHA milk gives kids an extra nutritional boost.
Iron. Iron helps red blood cells deliver oxygen to the rest of the body. It aids the immune and central nervous systems, and helps provide energy. Extra-lean meats are a great way to keep kids pumped up with iron. Tasty burritos and spaghetti sauce are so delicious that they won't know they're eating healthy.
For more recipes, visit www.stremicksheritagefoods.com.