The Top 10 Healthiest Foods for Kids

The Top 10 Healthiest Foods for Kids

Pictured Recipe: Toaster-Oven Tostadas

Beans are a very nutritious food. They’re loaded with protein and fiber, plus they’re cheap and take 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 extra 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 a key nutrient: fiber,” says Andrews.There are pastas made from beans too. “Kids ages 4 to 8 need around 25 grams of fiber a day, and most products marketed directly to kids, like fruit snacks and cheese crackers, contain little if any. Fiber helps promote healthy digestion and helps your kids feel fuller longer, so they aren’t asking you for a snack five minutes after dinner ends,” says Andrews.

3. Eggs
Spinach & Egg Scramble with Raspberries

Pictured Recipe: Spinach & Egg Scramble with RaspberriesOne large egg has 6 g of protein and delivers vitamin D, vitamin B12 and iron, per the USDA. Some eggs are also fortified with omega-3 fatty acids, which aid in kids’ brain development. Don’t worry about the cholesterol—saturated and trans fats have a bigger impact on raising bad cholesterol than eggs.At breakfast, skip the pastries, fried foods and processed meats and scramble some eggs for your kids instead. If your kids aren’t fans of scrambled, try different presentations like egg salad or egg casseroles.Eggs also make a great starter food for babies. Doctors used to recommend not giving eggs until babies 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 in fact, might help prevent food allergies.

4. Avocado
two sliders with avocados as the buns

Pictured Recipe: Avocado-Bun Turkey SlidersAvocados are full of health benefits and are an easy way to get healthy fats into your child’s diet. They are high in monounsaturated fats, which decrease inflammation and keep cholesterol levels healthy. Fat moves through the digestive tract slowly, so it keeps kids full longer. But the best part of avocados? Their versatility. You can eat them with a spoon, mash them on toast, throw them into a smoothie, mix them into chicken or tuna salad or make a pasta sauce like avocado pesto.

5. Sweet Potato

Short on time and need something nutritious? Wash a sweet potato, poke some 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 kid 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, per the USDA. Adequate potassium intake keeps blood pressure and hearts healthy.

6. Milk
Foods That Help Fight Morning Sickness

Milk helps build strong bones because it’s full of calcium and vitamin D. According to the USDA, one 8-ounce glass of whole cow’s milk is also high in phosphorus, vitamin B12 and potassium, and has 8 g of protein.Babies shouldn’t have cow’s milk or milk alternatives until age 1. Offer whole milk until age 2 but keep it under 16 ounces for the day, or they might be too full to eat their food, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).If your child doesn’t like cow’s milk, there are a variety of alternatives on shelves. But check the nutrition labels and choose unsweetened or plain varieties for your kids. Plain may have some added sugar to match the sweetness of dairy milk, which may be more palatable to tiny taste buds. Every alternative milk has a different nutrition profile, and some provide very little protein and low levels of vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin D. Soymilk has the most protein, and you’ll get the same calcium and vitamin D benefit as long as the milk is fortified.

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Liyana Parker

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