Many parents are still unaware of the benefits of broccoli for children. Although some believe it is unpleasant for children, it is one of the most recommended foods to complement their nutrition. Why is it so popular?
Although its properties affect positively at any age, it is recommended in the children’s diet because it supports their development process. It is also a great ally of the immune system, as it helps to strengthen defenses to prevent disease.
Nutritional properties of broccoli
Broccoli stands out in children’s diet because it offers more nutrients compared to other cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, cauliflower or cabbage. It is recommended as a preventative for iron deficiency anemia, as it is an important source of iron.
To be more specific, 100 grams of broccoli can offer:
- Calories: 32 kcal.
- Proteins: 5.5 grams.
- Lipids: 0.3 g.
- Carbohydrates: 4.86 g.
- Vitamin A: 3500 IU.
- Vitamin B1: 100 mg.
- Riboflavin or Vitamin B2: 210 mg.
- Vitamin C: 118 mg.
- Calcium: 130 mg.
- Phosphorus: 76 mg.
- Iron: 1.3 mg.
Benefits of Broccoli for Children
Due to its interesting nutrient content, broccoli in children’s diet can offer many benefits. Not only does it contribute to the child’s optimal physical development, it also positively intervenes in their mood and brain abilities.
Helps prevent disease
The concentration of vitamins, minerals and antioxidant compounds that characterize broccoli help to take care of children’s health. By helping to meet your nutritional requirements, it improves your defenses and allows you to cope with many illnesses.
For example, its iron and folic acid content maintain good production of red blood cells to prevent anemia. In addition, its dietary fiber improves glucose use and prevents problems such as anemia and obesity.
One of the reasons to give broccoli to children is because it prevents and treats constipation. As some already know, this disorder is common in minors due to their continuous dietary changes and low water consumption.
Broccoli, having a significant fiber content, stimulates intestinal motility and favors the elimination of feces. Although it is certain that it can cause flatulence, as it happens with other cruciferous vegetables, it is highly recommended to take care of digestive health.
Reduces the risk of obesity
Childhood obesity is one of the disorders that can reduce the quality of life of children. Although it can be genetic in origin, it sometimes develops through eating habits. However, choosing healthy ingredients like broccoli decreases the risks.
Its low calorie content allows you to enjoy lighter recipes. Furthermore, thanks to its proteins, vitamins and minerals, it supports metabolic functions for a better use of sugars and fats.
Helps strengthen bones
Adding broccoli to a child’s diet can support the bone growth and strengthening process. The combination of calcium, magnesium and zinc that this vegetable offers acts directly on the bone structure, which reduces the risk of fractures.
Protects cardiovascular health
The dietary fiber that broccoli contains helps break down cholesterol to prevent it from building up in the blood. In turn, magnesium regulates the heart rate and lowers the risk of heart and artery disease.
How to add broccoli to children’s diet?
As we’ve mentioned, broccoli produces gas, so it’s best to delay its inclusion in your baby’s diet until your digestive system is more mature. Later, you can start adding through delicious recipes.
Children may reject the vegetable for its appearance. However, there are simple strategies to make eating it more easily. Then, we go over some:
- Set an example: You can’t ask your child to eat broccoli if you don’t.
- Work on the presentation: the way you present the food and how it is cooked influences how they feel like eating.
- Accompany it with other foods: there’s no reason to be alone in the salad. In fact, you can add it to pasta or make a pizza.
- Do not abuse quantities: a child does not have the same ability to assimilate food as an adult. Also, too much broccoli can cause indigestion and gas.
- Make purees or baby food: they are effective ways to make them eat without problems.
Do you already include broccoli for children? As was clear, it is a food with many benefits. Be sure to tell your child how important it is to eat and, of course, prepare it at least once a week.