Practical food tips for parents from a RD and mom of three

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Kid Superfood: Cabbage

At first you may not think of cabbage as a kid-friendly food, but I've found it can be a big hit! Cabbage is very low in calories, yet contains cancer-fighting antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C (among other vitamins).

Raw cabbage is crunchy and colorful, with varieties ranging from bright white to green and deep purple. Lila loves having a crisp pile of cabbage to munch through as a side dish. Deacon was impressed with the stuffed cabbage roll that was on his plate for dinner the other night, complements of a delicious recipe by Food Network's Ina Garten.

Cabbage can be shredded and added to salads, coleslaw, and soups. Sauerkraut can be added to a hot dog or sandwich for a unique twist. And here's an added bonus: it is hearty enough to survive a week in the fridge!

Need some coleslaw inspiration? Check out these ideas I found from the American Dietetic Association:
  • Sweet/tart slaws: Made with sweet dressings and flavorful vinegars, these slaws often include sweet fruits such as pineapple, apple or raisins. Dried cranberries, toasted almonds or thinly sliced fennel are other flavor enhancers.
  • Creamy slaws: These mayonnaise-based slaws can be deliciously spicy when made with mustards and horseradish. Substitute low-fat versions of mayo, sour cream or yogurt and add broccoli, broccolini, chilies or red pepper flakes for more crunch and heat.
  • Asian-inspired slaws: With no creamy ingredients and less added sugar than its traditional counterparts, common ingredients include ginger, peanut butter, lime juice, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, green onions, dry noodles and peanuts.
  • Exotic slaws: Exotic slaws may or may not include cabbage, but these varieties are considered slaws because of the way the vegetables, fruits or other ingredients are finely chopped and tossed together.
Today's tip: Pick some up cabbage to add crunch and fiber to your family's diet -- coleslaw is the perfect accompaniment to grilled summer meals!

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