10 Fermented Foods Your Kids Won’t Refuse
If you can make some space in your brain for yet another reason to love probiotics, then allow us to divulge into the phenomenal world of food healing and its contribution to your child’s health.
Every parent on the planet knows to introduce broccoli early and pretend sugar is a myth until grandma whips out the hard candies. This is because we understand that diet contributes astronomically to overall health and our children’s relationship with food is a series of meet cutes between the pantry, the fridge, and the dining table.
Probiotics are especially important for children because their gut ecosystem is at the prime state of in progress. Probiotics can be a great asset during this critical stage, ensuring that your child’s gut develops optimally.
That being said, we are not so delusional as to think that fermented soy beans are going to be a hit no matter the health benefit of its probiotic count.
So what is an easy way to introduce our kids to probiotics early on?
Other than leading by example (you can’t turn your nose up at kimchi, then offer your 4-year-old a good helping of sauerkraut), the following list of kid-friendly probiotics should set you off on the right path.
Chances are, your kids enjoy sandwiches, burgers, and dipping things in sauce. If this is the case, introducing them to probiotics just got painless.
- Fermented Ketchup
An all-time favorite, ketchup is a very basic fermented sauce that you can make right at home and then spoon over everything from scrambled eggs to french fries (oven-baked, of course).
- Fermented Mayonnaise
Mayo can be a spoonful of indulgence or the glue that holds Aunt Esther’s Bologna & Boiled Egg Casserole together. While we hope yours is the former addiction, fermenting your mayonnaise will add a healthy dose of probiotics to your spreadable fat.
- Lacto-Fermented Mustard
Mustard is one of those fermented sauces that you can get creative with- sweeten it with honey or add spice with ginger or red peppers. It’s also a great compliment to turkey roll-ups or a nice, corned-beef sandwich.
- Fermented Ranch Dressing
If you’re like most parents, you discovered early on that making veggies dippable makes them more appealing to your kids- you also discovered, to your absolute horror, that Jr. likes dipping his pizza in Ranch Dressing.
If you’re a health-conscious parent, you’ll want to ferment that ranch dressing from now on. Instead of buying one that’s full of unhealthy vegetable oils, sodium, and excessive sugars, make one at home full of probiotics and enzymes!
Despite how you personally feel about the importance of sticking to a water-only drinking practice, your kids might like some sweet carbonation action in their cup. The good news is that probiotics also like it bubbly!
- Fermented Orange Juice
A regular guest at the breakfast table, no childhood would be complete without some fresh OJ beside a buttery helping of pancakes. Make breakfast the first probiotic meal of the day by serving your kids fermented orange juice instead of the sugar-laden store-bought version.
- Fermented Apple Juice
Apple juice is the star of fruit-juices, especially among children. Making its first appearance in sippy-cups, it continues to reign strong in pre-school lunch trays and even hospital meals. Why not make it healthier by pouring a fermented version?
- Fermented Kefir Soda
Okay. Of all the kid-friendlies we’ve mentioned, this one may raise a tiny eyebrow. Kefir soda is basically a carbonated yogurt drink- not really a soda at all. But if that eyebrow owner likes it, you just made a soft-drink free lifestyle tolerable- and significantly reduced the chances of cavities!
Treats are an almost indispensable part of a child’s diet, so it’s a no-brainer that health-conscious probiotic-lovers found a way to make probiotics sweet-tooth friendly.
- Fermented Fruit Leather
Fermented fruit sauces and jams can be made into kid-friendly fruit roll-ups with the help of some parchment paper and a dehydrator. Sweet, chewy and most importantly, cultured, this is an excellent way to let your kids know that eating probiotics can be fun. They’re also very practical snacks for lunch boxes and hiking trips.
- Cultured Gummies
You definitely won’t have a hard time introducing your kids to probiotics if you offer up a handful of jelly gummy candies. Better yet, the process is so easy that you can involve your kids in the process!
- Probiotic Soft-Serve
Who screams for ice cream? Oh, that’s right- kids scream for ice cream.
The probiotic industry already knows that dairy is an excellent carrier of friendly bacteria- that’s why yogurt is so marketable as a cultured good. Ice cream just so happens to fulfill two vital probiotic-supporting qualities- it is a dairy product and it’s stored cold. Better yet, kids love it and making soft-serve is a simple matter of churning kefir in an ice-cream maker.
- Rotarangi, Dawn. “Probiotics for Children-Why Your Child Needs Them.” <http://www.probiotics-lovethatbug.com/probiotics-for-children.html>.
- “Probiotics for Kids: A Parent’s Evidence-based Guide.” Probiotics for Kids: A Parent’s Evidence-based Guide.<http://www.parentingscience.com/probiotics-for-kids.html>.
- “5 Fermented Foods Kids Love – DrGreene.com.” DrGreene.com. <http://www.drgreene.com/perspectives/5-fermented-foods-kids-love/>.
- “Probiotic Drinks Archives – Fermented Food Lab.” Fermented Food Lab.<http://www.fermentedfoodlab.com/category/probiotic-drinks/>.
- Hekmat, Sharareh, and DONALD J. McMAHON. “Survival of Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium bifidum in ice cream for use as a probiotic food.” Journal of dairy science 75.6 (1992): 1415-1422.