There is an army of well-meaning parents out there who seem to be over-policing what their children eat. Unfortunately, their rules around what the kids can and cannot eat are often misguided and cheese is often sidelined as one of the bad boys on the block.
But, cheese really is a superfood for children with calcium so important for building bone mass. Cheese and other dairy products are among the best sources of this mineral. It can be a part of a healthy diet for most children as long as fat and calories are taken into consideration.
You know, the old chestnut about moderation being the key!
And let’s face it, being a parent trying to get your children to eat healthy food can be a daily and dastardly battle. But, most kids to do like cheese – if it’s grilled on toast, in macaroni and cheese, a cheese pizza or just a piece of cheese. In whatever form, this serving of cheese can make it easier to get your child to eat the calcium and protein he/she needs.
Dietary protein helps to build children’s bones, muscles, organs and other tissues. While it can be difficult to get some children to eat meat, a cheese dish can compensate for this.
High in calcium to build strong bones and teeth and in protein for muscle-building and fat burning, cheese contains no sugar and generally has only low levels of salt.
Try it for breakfast: melted on toast (Emmental, Danish Havarti, Dutch Gouda or Dutch Maasdam), added to omelette (Dutch Smoked Cheese, Fecotta, Spanish Goat’s Chevre) in cheesy muffins (Aged Gouda, Italian Granadano Parmesan, Italian Pecorino Romano, Swiss Gruyere or Cow’s Feta); soft cheese on bagels (Spanish Goat’s Chevre or Labneh) or Halloumi with vegetables.
Lunch: toasty sandwiches (Emmental, Dutch Gouda etc), grated over baked beans or spaghetti; in lunchboxes as cubes or slices or as a cheese dip made by soft grated cheese with a little bit of hot water to form a whipped texture.
Dinner: Cauliflower cheese, tacos topped with cheese, fish coated with breadcrumbs and grated parmesan, meatloaf topped with tomato relish and grated cheddar then baked off, quesadilla filled with chicken and smoked cheese…even mashed potato tastes better with some grated cheese stirred through it.
Party food or snacks: Aged cheddar crackers, cheese straws, mini pizzas, cubed cheese on toothpicks with cherry tomatoes or apple, cheese and fruit balls made by combining soft cheese and a little grated cheese with diced dried fruit and rolled in coconut to form balls…
Yes, cheese for kids is awesome at any time of the day!
In the month Kiwis were celebrating 125 years of women’s suffrage in our country, it was appropriate the Food International team welcomed two multi-talented women to the staff. You’ll hear lots more about Desere and Cynthia soon and we are so happy to have these dynamic women on board.