Here’s what you can do to teach your children about the importance of antioxidants:
1. Learn all about antioxidants and free radicals
If you’re going to be teaching your children about antioxidants, you ought to know what they are and what they do. Antioxidants are vitamins and nutrients that defend your body’s cells from dangerous molecules called free radicals. These free radicals are produced as natural byproducts of digestion, but can also result from environmental factors like cigarette smoke and air pollution. Free radicals make normal, healthy cells become unstable and may play a role in various diseases and even cancer. Antioxidants fight off harmful free radicals and restore stability. Antioxidants are good for you. If you want a more cynical, existential rant about antioxidants, refer to a preceding blog post called The Power of Antioxidants.
2. Use appropriate analogies to aid understanding
Children, being young and unlearnèd as they are, will likely have trouble understanding an explanation that includes scientific terms like “molecules” and “cells.” So, create analogies that are both entertaining and didactic. For example, you could liken free radicals to “bad guys” or “thieves” and antioxidants to “superheroes” or “policemen.” Your children will understand antioxidants much better if you teach them in simpler, more relatable terms.
3. Encourage your children to eat antioxidant-rich foods
Once your children have a basic understanding of antioxidants, they may be more motivated to eat foods containing antioxidants. If they don’t want to eat those foods after you painstakingly created an entertaining analogy to help them understand how important antioxidants are, punish them. Assuming that they do want to eat such foods, introduce the foods into their diets. There are numerous foods that contain antioxidants, including various berries, fruits like apples and oranges, vegetables like sweet potatoes and bell peppers, nuts like pistachios and almonds, and even legumes like red beans and pinto beans. Acquaint yourself with the vast selection of antioxidant-rich foods, and stock your pantry and refrigerator with them.
4. Prepare a variety of antioxidant-rich foods at mealtimes
In order to acquaint your children with foods containing antioxidants, feature them at various meals. The possibilities are virtually endless. Sprinkle some blueberries into oatmeal at breakfast. Make a fruit salad at lunchtime. Make colorful dinners featuring meat with bell peppers or tomatoes with potatoes and beans. Your imagination is the limit. Experiment a bit, and find which foods your children like to eat.
And if you want to make sure your children are getting enough antioxidants every day, try our Children’s Complete Multiple supplement, which provides an ample amount of antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables, as well as numerous other vitamins, trace minerals, and enzymes.