Betty Says: The Healthiest Food on Earth

Are beans the single healthiest food on Earth?

There are some questions that don’t have easy answers.

Mommy, what’s the healthiest food on Earth? I don’t mean what mix of foods is best. I mean what one food has the most of what I need to be healthy?

– Tiny Kitchen Assistant

Seriously? Can’t he ask something easy?

I suppose that this is the kindergartener’s equivalent of “if you were trapped on a desert island with just one source of food, what would it be?”

I’m pretty sure that I didn’t ask these kinds of questions when I was a kid eating Velveeta macaroni and cheese, or chicken simmered in Campbell’s Cream of Something soup. This is yet another example of how different and more aware today’s kids are compared to growing up in the 1970s.

I tried to explain that being healthy requires a variety of foods, and that it’s important to eat a varied diet in order to get all of the nutrients that you need. Needless to say, this didn’t satisfy him. There must be one single mega-healthy food out there, and he was determined to know what it was.

From a parenting perspective, this kind of question has me treading in some dangerous waters. It wouldn’t be out of the question for him to decide that we now had to eat The Healthiest Food on Earth with every meal until he outgrows this phase.

I posted this question on the Betty Facebook page and got several different answers, including variations on the varied diet theme. Still not satisfied, he made me continue my research and crowdsourcing.

In the end, the Facebook group concluded that beans may very well be the most complete single food. They’re high in fiber and protein, contain many nutrients and could probably sustain you over the long haul. However, upon further thought, it occurs to me that quinoa may also be a top contender.

Can you offer any better answers? Remember, we’re talking about a single food, not a combination of them.

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