There are so many healthy, baby-friendly foods out there, but some stand out from all the rest. These culinary superfoods are loaded with essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals and are easy to prepare and incorporate into baby’s daily diet.
Here are 12 foods you should be feeding your child:
Avocados are a rich source of unsaturated fats, which play a key role in maintaining a healthy heart. This versatile fruit is known for its high nutrient value and can be added to all sorts of dishes, savoury or sweet, due to its mild flavor and rich, creamy texture.
Of all the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli stands out as the most concentrated source of vitamin C and contains high levels of both calcium and vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health. Broccoli is also high in fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, and maintains low blood sugar.
3. Beans and lentils
Beans and lentils are a great source of plant-based protein, iron, folate, fiber, zinc and manganese. They’re one of the healthiest and also one of the cheapest foods you can buy. To make beans and lentils baby-friendly, soak them overnight, drain, rinse and cook until very soft.
Blueberries contain antioxidants, which work to neutralize free radicals linked to the development of cancer and cardiovascular disease. They are loaded with vitamin C and are an excellent source of manganese, which plays an important part in bone development and converting carbohydrates and fats into energy.
5. Chia seeds
These tiny, crunchy seeds are packed with nutrition and are a great source of protein, fiber, antioxidants, calcium, manganese, and omega 3 fatty acids. They lower cholesterol, aid with intestinal irregularity, and level out blood sugar levels.
6. Dark leafy greens
Leafy greens, such as kale and spinach, are major sources of iron and vitamin C. They are low in fat and contain high levels of vitamin K, dietary fiber, potassium, and magnesium. Dark leafy greens are rich in phytochemicals, such as lutein, and beta-carotene, which help reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, and other illnesses.
7. Eggs (Organic)
Eggs are easily digestible and are high in iron, folate, vitamins A, E and are a great source of protein. They’re one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium.
8. Greek yogurt
Green yogurt has two to three times the amount of protein and less sugar than regular yogurt. Yogurt is a great food to introduce to baby at 6 months since it boosts the immune system and supports brain and heart health. It’s a good source of calcium and vitamin D and is known to boost immunity and aid digestion.
9. Natural nut butters
Nuts and nut butters such as peanut, cashew, and almond are packed with minerals and vitamins. They provide baby with a great source of protein, beneficial fatty acids, vitamin E and minerals like manganese, potassium and iron.
10. Wild Salmon
Salmon is an outstanding source of heart-healthy omega-3 fats, which play a crucial role in retinal and brain development and is especially important for children in the first two years of life. (Be sure to pick wild salmon, which is lower in mercury and higher in omega-3 fatty acids).
Lemon Dill Salmon Puree
Oats provides high levels of fiber and protein, and low levels of fat. Fiber-rich whole grains, like oatmeal, digest slowly, providing kids with a steady stream of energy. The high fiber content and the complex carbohydrates slow down the conversion of this whole food to simple sugars, while the high levels of magnesium nourish the body’s proper use of glucose and insulin secretion.
Quinoa is naturally gluten-free and incredibly nutritious, containing iron, B-vitamins, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, vitamin E and fiber. It is one of the most protein-rich foods we can eat and is one of only a few plant-based foods that is a complete protein, containing all nine essential amino acids.