As a young trainer that thought I knew everything there was to know about nutrition, I thought that I would be able to get my kids to eat just like me. I swore that they would be drinking superfood smoothies, eating omelets, chicken and vegetables, and oatmeal. As a 23-year-old with no kids, I clearly did not understand what having kids was like yet.
When I had my first son, Brennan (now six years old), it was easy in the beginning. I could stuff fish oil and green food pills right in his bottle of milk, and he would crush it! I was excited and thought it would only get better. Boy, was I was wrong. Once he began to eat food on a regular basis, it wasn’t so easy. He started to develop his own pallet and knew what he liked and did not like. While he was a pretty good eater overall, once we had our second son, Beckett (now 3.5 years old), it got even harder.
Sugary treats and happy meals became more appealing than green food supplements and kale. My kids teamed up together to chant for ice cream and more Annie’s mac n cheese. It continually got tougher and tougher to get them to enjoy nutritious food. So, I found that my wife and I needed to make compromises. We needed to figure out how we could get our boys to eat high-quality food that was loaded with healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
Behold the JG and KG superfood pancakes/muffins/waffles for kids (and adults).
I was willing to give them some sugar with the organic maple syrup if I could get them to eat these pancakes. As young kids, they needed loads of healthy fat. The foods they typically liked to eat fell short in this category. Digestion is also important, so I needed to find a way to get this in somehow. This was our answer.
The recipe is super simple and also tastes great, even with a little bit of syrup.
We really have come to like the Kodiak Cakes brand. They have a short ingredient list, whole grain, and have muffin mix and pancakes. Some are flavored (we mainly use the plain flavor), to add variety and a different base.
The Fats and Fiber Superfoods
Getting your kids to eat chia seeds and flaxseeds in near impossible unless you can hide them somehow. These superfoods are loaded with critical omega-3 fatty acids, fiber to improve digestion, and plant protein. The provide plant lignans that have been known to have many health benefits such as increase immunity.
My favorite fat that I feel we all need to consume is coconut oil. It contains medium chain triglycerides that are fats that store as energy. It has also been shown to contian medicinal properties, burn fat, kill microorganisms, and help the hair, skin, and nails. So, we don’t hold back on the coconut oil, My son, Brennan will tell me that he does not want coconut oil on his pancakes but I try and hide when I put it on and make sure to spread it while it is hot. This allows it to melt so he can not see it!
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that children under the age of 5 are most susceptible to protein deficiency. The agency suggests children 1 to 3 years old consume 13 grams of protein a day. This requirement increases with the child’s age; 4- to 8-year-olds need 19 grams, and by age 14 girls and boys need 46 and 52 grams, respectively, per day.
This may not sound like a lot of protein and keep in mind that this is the MINIMUM requirement. Last time I checked no one wants their child to be minimum. This standard is just to stay alive. You want your kid to grow and be healthy and getting enough protein in can be tougher than you might think.
Kids want sugar and carbs, not eggs, chicken (maybe chicken nuggets), or beans. So, how can you sneak in some high-quality protein? We use SFH grass-fed whey protein. This is the highest quality whey protein supplement on the market and also tastes great. I don’t think that it is easy to have your youngster down a protein shake, they don’t need that. They just need a little boost. Adding grass-fed whey protein to this mix gives you a nice insurance policy for your child to get some protein from other sources besides processed meats.
There is a way
After being a parent for the last 6-years, I now have a better perspective on kids and eating. I can now understand my clients’ frustrations when they struggle to find healthy and nutritious meals for their families. It is tougher than ever with our fast-moving-we-want-it-now pace that we live in. So, I feel that the best way to get your kids to eat is to compromise with them. You need to find ways to make food that is loaded with nutrients taste good. Even if it means adding some sugar.
If you are having some trouble getting your kids to eat nutritious food, start with this idea 1-2 times a week and go from there.