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Nutrient Powerhouses: The Top 10 Healthiest Foods for Kids

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Healthiest Foods for Kids: Anyone who has ever tried to feed a baby (anything other than cereal or ice cream) knows that they don’t always eat what you want. Trying to figure out what to do to nourish their little body is stressful. Plus, just because it’s served doesn’t mean your kids will eat it. But kids need nutritious Healthiest Foods fats for their brains, calcium for their bones, and all the vitamins and minerals vegetables provide—and more.

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To relieve some stress and ensure you’re offering your baby nutrient-dense foods, we’ve compiled expert tips for food and a list of the top 10 healthy foods for kids. These foods are not only healthy for your kids (and for you!), but also versatile and easy to prepare

Here are the top 10 healthiest foods for kids:

1. Yogurt

 


The Top 10 Healthiest Foods for Kids
Yogurt is a great choice for breakfast, snack, or dessert, but you have to watch for the added sugar content,” says Katie Andrews, MS, RD, childhood nutrition coach and owner of Wellness by Katie. “It’s a healthy, filling breakfast that checks the boxes on protein and vitamin D, a nutrient many kids lack in their diets. Be sure to check if the yogurt you buy contains vitamin D as not all brands do.

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Yogurt also provides probiotics, good bacteria that are important for maintaining a healthy gut. Looking for an easy way to pick a healthy yogurt? Buy plain Greek yogurt, which has zero added sugars and twice the protein of regular yogurt. Most flavored yogurts have added sugar; Some newer products are flavored with just fruit, but plain is always a safe bet. It’s easy to add flavor by adding berries and sprinkling whole-grain cereal on top or making a fun parfait with fruit. Prepare yogurt even more for kids by turning it into frozen yogurt pop or frozen yogurt bark.

2. Beans Healthiest Foods

Michigan Beans | These were so beautiful but I couldn't quit… | Flickr

Beans are a very nutritious and Healthiest Food. They’re full of protein and fiber, plus they’re cheap and take very little time to prepare. Buy low-sodium canned beans such as black beans, chickpeas, or kidney beans. Simply open the can, rinse the beans to remove excess sodium, and add to any dish.

“Replacing ground beef with beans in a quesadilla or tossing beans with pasta helps maintain high-quality, lean protein while adding one key nutrient: fiber,” says Andrews.

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There is also pasta made from beans. “Children ages 4 to 8 need about 25 grams of fiber a day, and most products marketed directly to children, like fruit snacks and cheese crackers, contain very little in them. Fiber helps promote healthy digestion and helps your kids feel fuller longer, so they’re not asking you for a snack five minutes after dinner, says Andrews.

3. Eggs

One large egg contains 6 grams of protein and provides vitamin D, vitamin B12, and iron, according to the USDA. Some eggs are also fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in the brain development of children. Don’t worry about cholesterol—saturated and trans fats have a bigger effect on raising bad cholesterol than eggs.

At breakfast, skip pastries, fried foods, and processed meats and whip up some eggs for your kids instead. If your kids aren’t a fan of fried, try different presentations like egg salad or egg casserole.

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Eggs also make a great starter Healthiest Foods for babies. Doctors advised not to give eggs to children until they were 12 months old. However, as of 2020, the American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology states that allergenic foods like eggs can be introduced when babies are ready for solid foods, and may help prevent food allergies.

4. Avocado

Avocados are full of Healthiest Foods and an easy way to get healthy fats into your child’s diet. They are high in monounsaturated fats, which reduce inflammation and keep cholesterol levels healthy. Fat moves slowly through the digestive tract, so it keeps children full for a long time. But the best part of avocado? His versatility. You can eat them with a spoon, mash them on toast, throw them into a smoothie, mix them into a chicken or tuna salad, or make a pasta sauce like avocado pesto.

5. Sweet Potato

Need less and something nutritious on time? Wash a sweet potato, make a few holes in it, and microwave it for 3-5 minutes (depending on its size). Slice it lengthwise, let it cool, then scoop it onto your child’s plate.

Whether your baby is 6 months old, 6 years old, or 16 years old, sweet potatoes are appealing across the board (because they’re sweet!). They’re packed with beta-carotene that the body uses to make vitamin A, fiber, and potassium, according to the USDA. Adequate intake of potassium keeps blood pressure and heart healthy.

6. Milk

Milk helps in building strong bones as it is full of calcium and vitamin D. According to the USDA, an 8-ounce glass of whole cow’s milk is also high in phosphorus, vitamin B12, and potassium, and contains 8 grams of protein.

Babies should not have cow’s milk or milk substitutes until 1 year of age. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), offer whole milk by age 2, but keep it to less than 16 ounces for the day, or they may be too full to eat their Healthiest Foods.

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If your baby doesn’t like cow’s milk, there are a variety of options on the shelves. But check nutrition labels and choose unsweetened or plain varieties for your kids. Plain may contain some added sugar to match the sweetness of dairy milk, which may be more palatable for smaller taste buds. Every alternative milk has a different nutritional profile, and some provide very little protein and low levels of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D.

7. Nuts and Seeds

Swap low-fiber, crunchy baby snacks (you know that are practically air) for nuts and seeds to deliver a healthy trio of fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Mix it up by giving cashews, walnuts, almonds, pecans, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and more. If your child has a tree nut allergy, seeds may be a safe option and a good way to get vital nutrition.

Nuts are high in magnesium, a mineral that is important in bone growth and energy production. Walnuts, pecans, chia seeds, and flaxseeds are high in alpha-linolenic (ALA) acid, a type of omega-3 fat that the body can’t make (so you have to eat it).

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Offer nuts alone or with dried fruit, throw flaxseed into smoothies, sprinkle chia seeds on peanut butter toast, use sliced almonds in “breaded” chicken instead of breadcrumbs, or make your own granola bars.

8. Whole Grains

Whole grains provide a nutrient deficiency in most children’s diets: fiber. Fiber keeps them full and regular, among other health benefits. Children need about 25 grams per day, but many snacks only have a 1-3 gram serving. Look for 100% whole wheat or whole grains in the ingredients list and at least 3-5 grams of fiber per serving.

High-fiber whole-grain Healthiest Foods for kids include oatmeal, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, whole-wheat tortillas and whole-wheat bread. If your kids don’t tolerate whole-wheat pasta, try half-whole-wheat, half-white. You can also use whole wheat flour or white whole wheat flour when making pancakes, cookies, or pizza dough.

9. Berries

One cup of berries contains 4 (or more) grams of fiber and is high in vitamin C and other antioxidants like anthocyanins. Blueberries, blackberries, and strawberries are also lower in sugar than many fruits. Fresh berries make an excellent breakfast for kids or a great topping for yogurt. If the berries aren’t in season, buy unsweetened frozen berries and mix them into a jar of overnight oats or smoothies.

10. Vegetables, Any Kind!

Children and adults alike don’t eat enough vegetables. If you can get your child to eat any vegetable—kudos! And the more color and variety of vegetables, the better. Each color provides different nutrients: leafy greens like spinach and kale are high in vitamin K, orange and red vegetables like orange and red vegetables are packed with vitamin A, peppers are packed with vitamin C, and cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower contain cancer-fighting compounds and feed good gut bacteria.

“It’s about removing the ‘fear’ from vegetables. While a slice of pizza is very approachable, a stalk of broccoli can seem intimidating,” says Andrews. “So make vegetables easy and accessible.” Wash and chop the celery, carrot, and cucumber sticks and put them in the fridge for snacking. If you have some green space available, plant a small garden with cherry tomatoes and sweet baby peppers; When children grow their food they take pride in the results and, therefore, are more inclined to join in the reward.

Andrews also recommends introducing new vegetables that are already familiar to your child. “Having your own taco bar or pizza night at home are great way to encourage young chefs!” says Andrews.

Don’t give up after offering vegetables a few times. It takes repeated exposures. Changing how you serve vegetables can also help. Some children will not eat raw tomatoes but will eat tomatoes cooked in pasta sauce.

Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

Use MyPlate as a guide. Aim to make their plate fruits and vegetables, one-quarter whole grains like bread or whole-wheat pasta, and one-quarter protein like eggs, meat, cheese, beans, or nuts.

Offer variety. Remember that your job as a parent is to offer different types of food; It’s your child’s job to eat it.

Get your children involved in the cooking. A 2018 study in Appetite found that when children were involved in food preparation, they tended to eat more of it. It’s Extended to Both Healthy and

Serve food family-style. That way, kids can choose what and how much they want to eat from the Healthiest Foods on the table, recommends Emma Fogt, MBA, MS, RDN, owner of The Biome Kitchen. “Always have one meal on the table that a child with limited eating likes,” she says. “The baby may eat a lot of bread, but you’ll also have your other foods on the table to try.”

Disclaimer

This article is purposive for intended general information and does not mark individual circumstances. It is not an alternative to professional advice or help. It should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. A licensed physician must be consulted to diagnose and treat any medical condition. Any action you take due to the information on this page is entirely at your own risk and responsibility!

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Rishi Govind is a nutritionist and nutrition counselor in New Delhi, India. He is a Postgraduate and passionate about his work. Rishi has over 3 years of experience helping people change their relationship with food and their bodies. He specializes in helping people with chronic dieting issues, food allergies and sensitivities, and digestive problems. Rishi's approach is rooted in the belief that everybody is unique and deserves individualized attention. Rishi is passionate about helping his clients feel their best. He is committed to helping them find peace with food and their bodies so they can live their lives to the fullest.

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