Do we really need to feed our kids animal products in order for them to be healthy? What if your kid does not fancy eating meat at all? Can a sweet treat like banana bread be good for our fast-growing off-springs?
What we know for sure is that refined oils and simple sugars will make them fat and sick. For that reason, we need to get rid of refined vegetable oils and turn to virgin variations, like olive oil or coconut oil. These are widely available and very healthy.
Here you will find the best banana bread recipes
When it comes to sugar, I think most of us already know how bad the refined sugar is and we have already started using healthier alternatives like pure honey or pure maple syrup.
We also know that kids have to consume enough calories to aid the fast-growing process. The key nutrients that are protein, essential amino acids, iron, calcium, and essential fatty acids.
But is the main source of protein really meat? Or are omega-3 fatty acids mostly found in fish? And what about calcium? Is it only found in dairy products?
Here is how to sneak the most nutritive ingredients into your kids diet by using their favorite sweet treat.
Protein Easy Banana Bread Recipes
Kids need essential amino acids, also known as building blocks of life. Dairy and eggs are known for they high protein content
1 egg=6g. protein
6 oz. container non-fat yogurt=17g. protein
1 cup whole milk=8g. protein
Note: Make sure the dairy you put in your quick-bread (milk, yogurt, sour cream, or kefir) is raw. The pasteurized milk goes through a process of pasteurization at high temperatures, which kills most of its nutrients. Raw dairy will provide your kids with enough calcium, as well as vitamin D, both very important for the bones and muscles. Note: Make sure your kids spend enough time outdoors in order to get enough vitamin D.
Another source of protein are oats (1/2 cup oats=13g protein), so you can ditch the bleached all-purpose flour and use oatmeal to form the base of your banana bread. Use it individually or mix it with another protein-rich source – almond flour. You can also include almonds in their raw form to add some extra crunchiness (1oz.=6g.protein). Other protein-rich nuts to add in your easy banana bread recipe are pistachios and cashews.
Have you tried cheese-stuffed banana bread? Use cottage cheese for the stuffing that is poured in between two batter layers for baking. One cup of cottage cheese contains 27g. protein.
Essential Fatty Acids Banana Bread
The essential fatty acids are crucial for brain development. Even though different types of fish are considered to be the richest source of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, there is a solution for kids that refuse to eat fish. The best part is that these fatty acid sources can be incorporated in healthy sweet treats no kid can resist.
Flax comes in the form of seeds and oil, both of which can be used in banana bread recipes. Seeds contain 2338 mg omega-3 per tablespoon, whereas the oil contains 7196 mg per tablespoon.
Another crunchy and very healthy option for banana bread are the chia seeds, which contain 4915 mg per ounce omega-3.
Add one tablespoon to a ¼ cup of these seeds into the batter. Complement with ½ cup chopped walnuts, another good source of fatty acids.
Iron Banana Bread Recipe
Iron deficiency, i.e. anemia can lead to many health problems, especially in kids. Knowing that red meat and green leafy vegetables are the best sources of this mineral, how do you pack your banana bread with iron? Easy, by adding chocolate. One ounce of dark chocolate contains 3.3 mg iron. It is important, however, to note that the chocolate must contain at least 70% cocoa in order to be considered healthy. Be generous, use a whole cup of dark chocolate chips or a chopped chocolate bar in the batter.
Another, crunchier source of iron are pumpkin seeds (1oz. pumpkin seeds= 4.2 mg. iron). Add them to the batter or on top of the loaf.
High-Calorie Banana Bread Recipe for Proper Development
Kids need plenty of calories, i.e. energy, in order to grow and develop properly. In fact, final height depends upon calorie intake during childhood. Despite popular opinion, calories are not what makes us fat, simple carbs are. Such simple carbs can be found in store-bought fruit juices that are loaded with added sugars. There are great healthy sources of energy that can be incorporated in banana bread recipes. Here are some ideas:
Dried fruits. Add a cup of raisins into the batter.
Nuts. Nuts are obviously very healthy (they were mentioned before as sources of protein and omega fatty acids). Besides using them chopped, you can also add them in the form of nut butters. Nut butters are easy to prepare at home, but you can also buy them in health food stores. Make sure they are organic (no chemicals added).
Seeds. Besides pepitas (pumpkin seeds), chia, and flaxseed, other options to use in banana loaves are sunflower, sesame, and poppy seeds.
And last, but not the least, my favorite fruit – avocado. Add a ½ cup of this creamy fruit into the batter and get ready for a creamy energetic delight.