Looking to add some nutritional heft to your teenager’s diet? So-called superfoods can be a great way to pack a whole lot of nutrition in without having to add too many new ingredients. And while some superfoods might have your teenager wrinkling her nose (hello, kale), others are just plain old delicious (hello, blueberries).
The following list of superfoods is recommended by Dr. Mehmet Oz. He’s the well-known creator of The Dr. Oz Show, but Oz also directs the Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program at New York-Presbyterian Hospital. Also be sure to check out our interview with Dr. Oz and his daughter Zoe.
1. Omega 3 Fats: Omega 3 Fats nourish our brains and help teenagers with learning and cope better with stress, according to Dr. Oz. Great sources of Omega 3s include fish, especially fatty fish like salmon and sardines (make a delicious salmon salad for lunch by combining canned salmon, mayonnaise, capers, and chopped red onions). Eggs are another great source of Omega 3s, but make sure you’re buying eggs from chickens that have been fed the right kinds of foods to produce eggs with Omega 3s. The packaging will generally tell you. Finally, nuts — especially walnuts and pumpkin seeds — are another option.
2. Green Foods: Especially dark green, like broccoli, asparagus and red- and green-leaf lettuces (not iceberg).
3. Blue foods: Blueberries or Acacia Berry Fruit are packed with antioxidants.
4. Red/Orange Foods: Carrots and red peppers are wonderful. Tomatoes have lycopene, which is also beneficial. And an apple a day really may help keep the doctor away.
5. Whole Grains: Get in the oatmeal habit, which is easy to mix with nuts and berries (hello, superfoods) for a delicious, healthy start to your teenager’s day. Look for other ways to get whole grains into your teenager’s diet, including whole grain crackers and other snacks (whole grain pita chips).