If you’re having trouble getting your kids to eat more veggies, try seaweed.
We all want our kids to grow up active and healthy, but let’s face it—they can be picky eaters! There’s no shortage of sugary snacks marketed to kids, and most of those companies do it for profit, not for your family’s well being. A plant-based diet helps your child get the nutrients they need, but it can be tough to get them to love veggies.
Some parents hide shredded vegetables in baked goods. Other kids may enjoy chopped raw veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, baby carrots, or celery with hummus or another plant-based dip that gives them a pop of flavor.
Also, when you find a vegetable your kid loves, hang onto it for dear life and find different ways for them to consume it!
Seaweed—one of our ocean’s vegetables—is a snack that’s easy to eat dried (called nori in Japanese) and has an umami taste.
Nutritional and environmental benefits of seaweed
Seaweed offers the broadest range of minerals compared to any food on the planet: it’s loaded with calcium, iron, manganese and magnesium, plus bioactive compounds including antioxidants. Seaweed contains 10 to 20 times the mineral concentration of plants on land! It’s also low in sugar and sodium, and is gluten-free.
Unlike land-based plants, seaweed absorbs nutrients from moving water instead of soil. The most common form of edible seaweed is nori, which is dried and pressed, so all that good nutrition is packed into a light but dense bit of food.
Seaweed also has a minimal environmental impact. It intakes CO2 to grow, removing greenhouse gases from water and helping combat ocean acidification. It grows fast and is easy to farm.
Other ways to make seaweed fun for kids
If your child isn’t a fan of nori on its own, they can still enjoy and reap its benefits. Layer a seaweed square on a vegan grilled cheese sandwich or veggie burger, or add seaweed shreds or crumbles on pretty much ANY dish: vegan hot dogs, noodles, nachos, ramen, or packaged foods like instant noodles, soup cups, and salads (make sure you’ve got a dressing they love!).
You can also roll stick-shaped food like pretzel sticks or vegan pepperoni with nori to add more nutrition to a salty snack.
Do they like sushi? They’re on their way if they do.
Have fun adding seaweed to your kids’ meals to make sure they’re getting the nutrients they need.