Inflammation is the way that the human body reacts to infections and injuries. Often, inflammation and infection go together. However, they are not the same thing. Inflammation happens when the body goes into a protective mode when infection is present. It's a process which involves an array of "signal" molecules, as well as a range of proteins (which have the capacity to clot) and an assortment of immune system cells.
What Are the Symptoms of Inflammation?
Swelling, redness and warmth are typical symptoms which indicate the presence of inflammation. Some foods will trigger or exacerbate inflammation in children, so it's important to ensure that these foods aren't a part of your child's diet. At the least, they should be given to your child sparingly, rather than being a main feature of meal plans.
Ingredients and foods to avoid include “trans” fats, sugar, white bread, gluten, MSG, and cheeseburgers.
Today, we're going to talk about the best anti-inflammatory foods to add to your child's diet. Focusing on these power foods will help your child to experience fewer incidences of inflammation…and this is a good thing!
Benefits of Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Inflammation makes children feel uncomfortable, and it may intensify the symptoms of certain pre-existing health conditions, such as juvenile arthritis. For this reason, adding foods which soothe and/or prevent inflammation will be a sensible approach to safeguarding your child's health. Foods which inhibit, stop or prevent inflammation keep warmth, redness and swelling minimal and may even eliminate it entirely.
Chronic inflammation may develop when a child has a genetic predisposition and/or when he or she eats too many foods which trigger inflammation. In other words, it’s often a mixture of genetic and environmental factors. The environmental stuff is easier to tweak by changing diet and so on. An infection may also be causing the problem.
Examples of health issues in kids which are linked with inflammation include lupus, vasculitis and juvenile arthritis. Naturally, a doctor is the best person to consult with about any health concerns which are related to your son or daughter.
By learning which foods calm or prevent inflammation, you'll be able to create meals and snacks for your child which will also serve as bona fide health treatments. We are here to show you which foods provide optimal anti-inflammatory benefits. These foods are tasty and nutritious, so they are fine choices regarding pleasing your child’s palate and offering holistic, "whole body" benefits.
In other words, they are great for kids and good choices for grown-ups, too! Now, let's talk in detail about which "power foods" help to relieve or prevent the symptoms of inflammation...
Power Foods Which Battle Inflammation
9.) Tomatoes are Great Choices
Tomatoes are juicy, flavorful and very versatile. Use them in healthy salads, turn them into rich and zesty sauces or simply slice them up after washing and then serve. However you use tomatoes, you’ll find that they are a great way to soothe inflammation in your child. Anti-inflammatory benefits should remain intact whether tomatoes are consumed raw or cooked. Fresh, organic tomatoes will probably provide the most anti-inflammatory benefits.
Most kids do like tomatoes. After all, they are used to eating tomato sauces on pizza and another kid-friendly fare, such as pasta and lasagna. Since the gluten in pizza crust and pasta noodles tends to boost inflammation, you may want to consider finding gluten free pizza crust recipes (lots of them are available for free online) and experimenting with gluten-free pasta. Then, you’ll be able to make kid-friendly versions of these favorites and load them with anti-inflammatory tomato sauce.
8.) Olive Oil is Very Beneficial
Olive oil is so easy to cook with, and it’s also a great choice as an ingredient in marinades and dressings. This healthy Mediterranean oil is derived from olives and the best and purest examples of olive oil are the cold-pressed, organic varieties. With Olive Oil, a little goes a long way, although it’s not one of the cheapest food items on our list.
The anti-inflammatory power of Olive Oil comes from its high anti-oxidant content. One anti-oxidant in Olive Oil, Oleocanthol, is proven to relieve swelling the same way that the OTC medication, Ibuprofen, does.
It’s pretty easy to add this power food to your kid’s diet. Drizzle it on gluten-free pasta or pizza or use it in salad dressing. Also, you may cook lean proteins in Olive Oil or baste veggies in this great-tasting oil and then bake or stir-fry them.
7.) Almonds and Walnuts are Power Foods
Nuts have protein, and some of them are also anti-inflammatory. The best choices for children (providing that they do not have nut allergies) are almonds and walnuts. Almonds are loaded with Vitamin E, and they are also good sources of non-saturated fat. Both of these components assist with the reduction of inflammation. They are recommended by experts for those who want to soothe inflammation, no matter their age group. Of course, your child should be old enough to eat nuts safety if they are going to be served whole and raw.
Walnuts are loaded with fatty acids, and they are also believed to assist with the inhibition of neurotransmitters which trigger inflammation discomfort.
Offering these nuts raw is a smart strategy. A scant handful should be enough to provide your child with anti-inflammatory benefits. However, you may also utilize nuts in a variety of recipes, such as gluten-free muffins and cookies. Almond and walnut butter are also fun choices – serve them with apple slices for an easy, fresh and healthy snack.
6.) Fresh Greens Work Wonders
While kids are occasionally resistant to eating fresh greens (although some kids may find them tasty!), you’ll find that adding certain greens, such as Kale, Collards, and Spinach, is the key to unlocking anti-oxidant benefits for your son or daughter. If your child does resist these types of foods, you should know that it’s possible to “hide” them in smoothies and other recipes. In particular, Kale and Spinach tend to blend well with other ingredients, so that their taste is almost unnoticeable.
Kale has fatty acids which fight inflammation. Spinach features Carotenoids and these are inflammation-fighting antioxidants.
Salads are probably the easiest way to give your child anti-inflammatory benefits from these ingredients. However, there are other options. Experiment to find something which works for you!
5.) Fatty Fish is a Smart Pick
If your child likes to fish, be sure to add fatty fish to his or her diet. Types of fatty fish which may help your son or daughter to battle inflammation include Sardines, Mackerel, Herring, and Anchovies. While some kids will balk at eating these sorts of fish, which admittedly have a strong taste, there are some who will enjoy it. The fish that we just named have very high fatty acid contents, which is a great thing regarding promoting fewer incidences of inflammation.
To make these types of fish more palatable, consider adding Panko crumbs and raw egg in order to create a light and tasty batter. After you brush on an egg wash and add crumbs, bake the fish. Making these types of fish taste more like commercial “fish sticks” will probably be a smart strategy. You might also want to try adding anchovies to a gluten-free pizza!
4.) Some Fruits are Great Options
Fruit is healthy, and most kids enjoy eating it. This is why you’ll greatly benefit from discovering which forms of fruit are most beneficial for the purpose of reducing inflammation. We recommend oranges, cherries, blueberries and strawberries. The antioxidants in these types of fruit support better immune system function. When you add these fruits to your child’s diet regularly, he or she will make more “killer cells” which boost immune system function and fight inflammation.
It’s pretty easy to serve these fruits raw. Just wash them if they don’t have a peel. Also, they are fine choices for juices and for dessert recipes. Change it up or consistently offer your child the fruit that he or she loves best.
When you do, you’ll be helping your son or daughter to remain healthier.
3.) Soy-based Foods are Good Choices
If you want to help your child experience less inflammation, you may want to have a few more “Meatless Mondays”. Adding more tofu-based suppers to your week, (such as stir-fries with marinated tofu and chopped veggies) will be beneficial as soy products are linked to reduced inflammation.
The isoflavones in soy products mimic the effects of estrogen and, by doing so, stop the bad effects of inflammatory problems. Try to find soy products which aren’t processed too much. The fewer additives, the better!
Soy milk on gluten-free cereal is one breakfast idea. There are soy-based cheese substitutes and an array of soy-based products. Experimentation will help you to find what is best for your child. For example, boiled soybeans are known as Edamame, and they are fun snacks which a lot of kids like!
2.) Low-fat Dairy is Anti-inflammatory
Kids tend to love dairy products, although some of them may be lactose intolerant. If your son or daughter enjoys dairy, you should know that giving him or her low-fat dairy products will be the best way to fight inflammation. Examples of low-fat dairy products include low-fat cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, one percent and skim milk, reduced-fat cheese and so on.
Dairy is easy to use in recipes, and it’s also versatile. Pour your child a tall glass of cool, low-fat milk or offer something more elaborate, such as homemade, gluten free mac n cheese. How you use dairy is up to you – just be sure that it’s a low-fat version.
Low-fat dairy eases inflammation by lowering uric acid levels.
You won’t need to put your child on a low-carb diet (which definitely promotes weight loss) to help him or her fight inflammation. You may offer gluten-free carbs instead and the best examples, such as quinoa and brown rice, will give your child needed calories for energy, as well as anti-inflammatory benefits. Gluten-free whole grains are pure because they are stripped of nutrients during processing. They add bulk to meals to boost satiety (fullness) and also help to soothe swelling and redness due to their protein and amino acid content.
It’s really easy to use brown rice and ancient grains, including Kamut, in place of bleached wheat flours and white rice. Doing so will be beneficial to your son or daughter.
Start a New Meal Plan Today
You’re a very caring and responsible parent and the fact that you’ve found this guide today shows just how important your child’s health is to you. We’ve provided you with practical information which will help you to design the best meal plan for fighting inflammation. If you experience inflammation problems, just as your child does, you may find that adding these foods to your diet is really helpful. In this sense, our comprehensive guide will be beneficial to the whole family.
Add a few of these foods or add all of them. Then, track your results. Seeing how your child feels based on changes to his or her diet is sort of the opposite of an elimination diet, and it’s an effective way to test out new strategies.
Of course, your child should be able to have some say in what he or she eats. So, give your son or daughter a voice. There should be some foods here which he or she loves or hates. There’s no point in trying to force your child to consume things that he or she detests. Instead, focus on adding anti-inflammatory foods that he or she enjoys consuming.
It can't be easy sometimes especially if your kids have not been used to eating these anti-inflammatory foods. It would be up to you to find ways to make these foods look appetizing or you can even mix it with their meals without them having to notice it. The important thing is that they have consumed the foods and the nutrients would be absorbed by their bodies.
Hopefully, our guide has given you the direction that you need. Reference our handy list the next time that you go to the grocery store to stock up on anti-inflammatory power foods. It’s a great way to help your child and all of these foods are healthy options overall!