Here we are talking about veggies, fruits, starchy carbohydrates like potatoes and yams as well as whole grains.
Fruits and veggies are full of fiber that help our bodies eliminate waste, they provide quick energy to muscles and the brain, and are high in anti-oxidants, vitamins and minerals that are wonderful for your child. However, they are not the most important food group for your child's growing body and developing brain. I know, total shocker, and yes we are telling you that a steak and potato with loads of butter is more critical than a smoothie with spinach! Unless, of course it's a smoothie with MCT, whey and a veggie or berry collagen~ than that's up for debate ;) Refer back to 'Plentiful Proteins' and 'Fats That Fuel' to understand why these food groups should be the most abundant in your little's diet.
Your child can consume unlimited non-starchy vegetables such as lettuces, dark greens, cucumbers, snap peas, bell peppers as well as so many others. When eating veggies think color with en emphasis on greens. Veggies can also be a wonderful tool to help get fats into your child's diet!
Good examples would be:
-sautéed zucchini in butter
-a green smoothie with avocado or MCT oil
Fruits (especially berries) should be organic when possible and are preferable in their whole form (so limit fruit juices). Although we all love tropical fruits like bananas and pineapple when eaten in excess they put your child on a blood sugar roller coaster (and no mom wants to deal with a moody up and down child ;) Lower glycemic fruits such a stone fruits, berries and citrus are wonderful and can be eaten regularly. An easy way to help keep your little's blood sugar stable and get more protein/fats into their diet is by combining them with fruits at snack time.
Examples would be:
-almond butter + apple slices
-berries + homemade whipped cream
-cheddar cheese + sliced pear
Along with high glycemic fruits, starchy carbohydrates and grains are the other carbohydrate group you may need to 'limit' or monitor. Kids often love these foods so can easily fill up on them and have little room left in their diets for what they need most; proteins and fats! Below is a list of some of the starchy carbohydrates and grains that are nourishing for our little's body and can be consumed regularly.
-potatoes, sweet potatoes
-winter squashes like butternut, acorn, kabocha
-sprouted wheat breads
-whole grain sourdough breads
-brown rice, brown rice pasta, brown rice cakes
-organic non-gmo corn tortillas
-quinoa, millet, amaranth, oats
There is likely no reason your child would be deficient in carbohydrates, most children crave these kinds of foods and get plenty throughout the day, maybe too many ;) As long as your child is consuming whole grains and plenty of vegetables and fruits as part of a nutrient dense diet you have little to worry about here.
And remember if your child is ravenous after eating a bowl of brown rice and veggies with no fats or proteins it's because they are not getting all the nutrition their growing bodies need. Smother brown rice in butter with sautéed chicken on top and now we're talking nutrient dense ;) And you Mommy will experience the joy of a Happy Healthy Little not a child who is bouncing off the walls to only crash moments later.
Xo Whitney and Dani