In my house, we are major foodies! We love cooking and rarely go out because it's easy to make delicious satisfying foods without breaking the bank and still feeling like we've had something different. The only real guideline I have for foods in our house is that ingredients have to be REAL! No packages, mixes, premade anything - just real wholesome fresh foods. Locally sourced fruits & vegetables, clean sources of protein, complex carbohydrates and the use of spices to amp up the flavour profile.
Nutrient-dense foods are whole, real and unprocessed foods versus chemically altered and loaded with synthetic ingredients. Vitamins and minerals are found in healthy, whole foods which include a full nutrient profile such as essential vitamins, electrolytes, trace minerals, protein (amino acids), healthy fats and carbohydrates. Whole foods provide many essential nutrients with a low-calorie total versus processed foods that offer empty calories, nutrient-deplete issues, chemical additives, and preservatives. I have to admit I find it somewhat ironic that we have to label whole, real foods as organic and GMO-free versus fake, processed and chemical foods without any first name add-ons. I often find myself wishing we lived in a world where a GMO carrot was dubbed as a ''chemical'' carrot and call nutrient-dense food what it is - a carrot.
Here are just SOME of the favourite foods in my household and yes you can encorperate these foods into your littles diet as well.
- Wild Salmon
An excellent source of vitamin B12, iodine, omega 3 fatty acids, a good source of protein and some B vitamins. Salmon will support the health of the adrenals, thyroid and the digestive system. Salmon is very versatile in how you cook it whether on BBQ, stove top or oven. Grilled or steamed vegetables make an excellent side dish and you can be creative with the flavour profile. Herbs such as dill and basil go great with salmon as well as lemon and perhaps some honey or maple syrup for a splash of sweetness.
Recommendation: 3x/per week
- Bone Broth
Rich in minerals that support the immune system and contains healing compounds such as collagen and amino acids like glutamine, glycine, and proline. The collagen in bone broth will help heal your gut lining while reducing intestinal inflammation. It is easy to make and is super easy to include in your cooking whether you use it to replace chicken/beef stock, add a little to your roasted vegetables or you can even heat it up and sip on it on the morning. The options are endless! also the improvement in energy, stronger bones, better sleep and to heal and seal your gut.
Learn about the benefits of Bone Broth here!
Recommendation: 1c Daily
Great source of fibre, potassium, vitamin C, omega 3 & 6 fatty acids and many other vitamins and minerals. Avocado will aid in supporting the health of the adrenals, thyroid and digestion while being a healthy form a fat that aid in the break down of carbohydrates due do it's 36% daily requirement of vitamin K. Avocado is another amazingly versatile ingredient that you can add to salads, sandwiches, eat on it's own with a little seasoning or makes a great side with eggs for breakfast.
Recommendation: 1/2 Daily
High in niacin, zinc, protein, fibre, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese making it a powerhouse vegetable that is super easy to incorporate in your every day meals because of it's versatility. It is recommended to consume at least 1 large handful of spinach with lunch and dinner every day. You can also use other greens such as kale or collard greens if you're looking for variety.
Recommendation: 2-3c Daily
Super potent in antioxidants, protect against free radical damage, protect cholesterol from being damaged, improve brain function, the anthocyanin in blueberries has anti-diabetic effects, great for weight control. Packed with vitamin C, dietary fibre, phytonutrients, and manganese! Blueberries are not only delicious but are also very easy to incorporate into your daily diet.
Try my Twisted Berry Smoothie!
Recommendation: 1-2c Daily
Great alternative if you're looking for a switch up from wild rice. Quinoa is complete protein so if your looking for a meatless meal option you can opt for quinoa with a variety of vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This is a fantastic option because you can have quinoa hot or cold. You can make a large batch in advance and have it on hand to heat up or add a salad mixture to for those hot summer days. Quinoa also soaks up flavour very well so herbs, lemon/lime, and savory spices are a great option. While being a good dietary source of protein and fibre, quinoa is high in vitamin A, folate, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and selenium.
Recommendation: 4-5c Daily
- Rolled Oats
Great way to start your day, oats are high in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, folate, choline, protein and omega 3 & 6 fatty acids. There are endless ways you can add flavour to your oats such as coconut sugar, maple syrup, strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, almond milk, coconut milk. The protein from the oats makes them beneficial for the maintenance of skin.
Recommendation: 1/2c 5x/Week