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Five Must-Have Foods for Kids

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Strawberry Shortcake Tart
Chewy-Gooey-Chocolatey Oatmeal Cookies
Lemony Smidgeon Animal Pancakes With Booberry Sauce

(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.

Strawberry Shortcake Tart

Description
This tart, packed with vitamin C, calcium and B vitamins, is easy to make, and the kids will love it!

Ingredients
  • 1 pound strawberries, stemmed, washed, and sliced (approximately 3 cups)
  • 3/4 cup blueberries, washed
  • 3/4 cup raspberries, washed
  • 1 homemade tart crust or commercial graham cracker crust
  • 1 4.6-ounce package of Jell-O Cook & Serve Vanilla pudding
  • 3 cups Heritage Foods Little Einsteins low-fat milk with omega-3 DHA
  • 1/3 cup orange juice
  • 4 tablespoons strawberry jam
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 16 tablespoons fat-free dessert topping

Preparation
    1. Layer 1 cup of strawberries in bottom of crust. Set aside.
    2. Cook pudding according to directions for filling.
    3. Pour slightly cooled pudding into pan. Refrigerate.
    4. In medium saucepan over medium heat, place orange juice, jam, and cornstarch. Stirring constantly, bring to a boil until sauce thickens and clears. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. Refrigerate.
    5. When ready to serve, top with fruit sauce, section, and serve. Top each slice with 2 tablespoons of dessert topping.

Serves
Makes 8 servings

Chewy-Gooey-Chocolatey Oatmeal Cookies

Description
Unlike most chocolate oatmeal cookies, these are packed with vitamins, minerals and fiber, yet only contain a quarter of the fat and a third of the artery-clogging bad fats.

Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 jars baby food prunes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

Preparation
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Coat cookie sheets with cooking spray.
    2. In medium bowl, cream sugars and butter until smooth. Add eggs, prunes and vanilla and beat well. Set aside.
    3. In small mixing bowl, blend flour, wheat germ, baking soda, salt and spice. Add to sugar mixture and blend well. Add oats, cherries and chocolate chips and blend.
    4. Place rounded teaspoons of cookie dough on sheets and bake for 10 minutes, or until firm and golden brown on bottom. Transfer to racks to cool.

Serves
Makes approximately 48 cookies

Lemony Smidgeon Animal Pancakes With Booberry Sauce

Description
These can be made ahead of time and frozen for quick breakfasts throughout the week. The sauce provides a full serving of superfood blueberries!

Ingredients
  • Sauce:
  • 3 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 6 cups frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (optional)
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • Pancakes:
  • 2 cups unbleached flour
  • 1/3 cup toasted wheat germ
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 3/4 cup Heritage Foods Little Einsteins low-fat milk with omega-3 DHA
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • Cooking spray

Preparation
    1. Heat griddle to medium high heat.
    2. Sauce: In a glass, mix cornstarch and water. In medium saucepan, add blueberries, lemon juice and sugar. Stir gently over medium-high heat until hot. Add cornstarch water and continue to stir until sauce turns clear and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside to cool slightly.
    3. In large bowl, add flour, wheat germ, sugar, baking powder and salt. Blend with a whisk. Set aside.
    4. In medium bowl, whip the milk, canola oil, eggs and extract until smooth. Add to flour mixture and stir until all ingredients are blended.
    5. Spray griddle with cooking spray.

Serves
Makes 8 pancakes

Notes, Tips & Suggestions
For regular pancakes: Pour 1/2 cup batter per pancake onto griddle and heat until bubbles begin to pop. Flip and cook through on other side. Top each with 1/2 cup of warm blueberry sauce.

For animal-shaped pancakes: Pour desired amount of batter onto griddle to form elephants, horses, dogs, cats, or other animals. Use the 1/4 cup of blueberries for eyes, ears, and noses. Carefully flip when bubbles begin to pop. Top with a generous helping of blueberry sauce.

SOURCE: Heritage Milk



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