Yes, sardines are a superfood. And they are some of the most affordable protein in the supermarket. Credit: Colourbox
When nutritionist Kate Geagan isn't penning books (she's the author of "Go Green Get Lean: Trim Your Waistline with the Ultimate Low-Carbon Footprint Diet"), appearing on "Dr. Oz" and "Access Hollywood," or being a well-known advocate for making healthier, greener food choices, she's the in-house nutritionist for organic baby food maker, Earth’s Best. At Earth's Best, Geagan is in charge of educating parents about the benefits of eating organic, how to select baby’s first foods, various child food milestones and how to create health meals for the entire family of all ages. As parents, we're always on the look for food that will pack the most nutritional punch for our little ones, so we asked her for list of new, rising superfoods.
1. Aroniaberry. Aroniaberries are grown in the U.S. and have a higher ORAC score (oxygen radical absorbance capacity — a method of measuring antioxidant capacities) than blueberries. Meaning these little berries are a potent fighter of cancer and DNA damage.
2. Oh, nuts. Packed with 6 grams of protein, Sacha Inchi Nuts are actually a seed (meaning no nut allergy concerns). It boasts one of the highest levels of omega-3 fat of any seed. They have a nutty crunch and make an incredibly energizing plant based snack-good for kids and grownups.
It's fitting that walnuts are shaped like a brain as they are considered one of nature's best "brain foods." Try a raw walnut butter; I have seen some incredible looking maple syrup walnut butter blends. They are awesome on a slice of whole grain bread for breakfast or as a fun way to shake up a PB&J. Or chop them up superfine and add them to your holiday baking — they will help add moisture and a subtle nutty taste.
4. Seasonal superstars. Don't overlook canned pumpkin, one of the best bargains on the market. Swirl it into morning oatmeal or pancakes for a boost of fiber, vitamin A and the antioxidant beta carotene. Kids love the jewel-tone seeds of pomegranates, which pack fiber, vitamin C and antioxidants. Reserve some of the juice to create holiday kiddie "cocktails." Just take the juice and add some sparkling water with a twist of lime for tasty heart health benefits.
5. Get fishy. Salmon, sardines or barramundi are some of the top omega-3 sources and some of nature's perfect proteins. These fish are loaded with selenium, vitamin D, omega-3 fat and high quality protein. They truly are a superfood for the whole family. Get creative by having your kids throw sardines into a simmering pasta sauce — it will literally dissolve into the sauce and provide a fabulous background "umami" flavor (sardines are one of the secrets of Mediterranean cooking.)