Potatoes often get bad press from the diet and fitness industry, but this flexible yet understated food can be extremely healthy and beneficial when consumed in different forms. And if you’re feeding hungry growing kids, potatoes are one of the most satiating foods you can eat, meaning you can fill them up for slightly longer before they come back asking for a snack; in fact, you can even prepare potatoes for a healthy snack!
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One of the best things about adding potatoes to your diet is their versatility. While consuming large amounts of french fries or crisps isn’t the best way to consume potatoes, there are plenty of lower-fat and reduced-salt options when it comes to preparing meals. You can stick to the basics and enjoy a baked potato with a healthy topping; you can try these delicious smashed potatoes from Preppy Kitchen or try your hand at something more creative, such as the visually appealing hasselback potatoes.
Not convinced? Read on for some of the health benefits of potatoes.
Source of Fibre
Potatoes are a great source of fibre; 100g of potatoes contain around 1.8g of fibre, and children need 18g of fibre per day. Combined with other sources of fibre, potatoes not only help you keep your kids fuller for longer but ensure they get the recommended daily fibre intake every day.
High In Vitamin C
Drinking orange juice isn’t the only way to get vitamin C. Children need anywhere from 15mg to 75 mg of vitamin C daily based on age and gender. The older they are, the more they need. A 200g serving of potatoes cooked in any form can provide up to 24 mg of vitamin C to your diet. And vitamin C is vital for the absorption of iron and the growth, development and repair of body tissue.
Not all types of potatoes are high in magnesium, but if you are lacking in your diet or need to boost the intake your kids get of magnesium, potatoes are an excellent choice. Sweet potatoes and red skin potatoes are your more nutritionally dense varieties, with the skin being the key to boosting your magnesium levels. Skin on potatoes can contain up to 48 mg of magnesium per 100g, and your kids need from 170 mg to 300 mg per day to support metabolism, muscle function, sleep and development.
Bananas aren’t your own way of getting potassium into your kids. Children need from 2,000mg to 2,300mg of potassium per day, and just one 100g serving can provide 43mg of potassium.
Potassium is essential for kids to help with building muscle, supporting healthy body growth and protecting against high blood pressure and heart disease.
Despite potatoes technically not being classed as one of your five-a-day vegetables to consume, thanks to their high levels of starch, they can still offer plenty of benefits for both you and your kids. Stick to cooking low-fat and salt varieties, and you’ll be surprised at the different ways you can prepare potatoes for the whole family.
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