Whilst there are plenty of great foods for babies and toddlers, these super foods stand out as they are packed with essential nutrients and vitamins and are easy to prepare. These are our 10 favourite foods.
We know that avocados contain good fat, this is because it contains oleic acid. These good fats promote brain development, they have more potassium than bananas and are high in vitamin C, K and folate.
It is an easy to carry snack and can be fed to babies and toddlers on the go, by just mashing with a fork. For a taste revolution add ground cumin or finely chopped coriander.
Available in stores all year round, butternut is an excellent source of vitamin A that promotes eye development, vitamin C that participates in the building of collagen that assists bone mass, manganese that promotes calcium absorption and fibre for healthy intestinal development. Butternut is naturally sweet and is therefore loved by most babies and toddlers.
Easy to mash and can be served on its own or with other vegetables. For a taste revolution add a tiny pinch of nutmeg or your favourite herb.
Blueberries come from flavonoids called anthocyanins. The reason they are on our list is that they are high in nutrients but low in calories. They also have the highest antioxidant capacity of all commonly consumed fruits and vegetables. Blueberries are therefore good for babies’ eyes, brain and are also considered to be good for the urinary tract.
Serve plain or mash and add to plain yoghurt.
Plain Yoghurt (Not Flavoured)
Look for brands that have live cultures, which contain and promote the good bacteria – known as probiotics – in babies’ digestive tract. Yoghurt is also a great source of calcium and vitamin D, which contributes towards healthy bone and teeth development. Yoghurt is also a good source of protein
We prefer plain and Greek yoghurt, as these have no sugar. You can add any fruit (be sure to mash it for babies) to the yoghurt for a great nutrient packed snack.
Packed with lean protein, folate (folic acid), iron and dietary fibre amongst potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K, lentils pack a nutritional knock out punch. Lentils and really affordably when compared to other foods that provide similar nutrition.
The folic acid in lentils makes it great for pregnant moms, as folate is critical in the prevention of birth defects. In the food taste revolution we suggest using herbs such as bay leaf (remove before serving to babies) and oregano to meals.
Leafy Greens – Spinach, Kale and Chard
These green leafy foods contain vitamins A, B2, C and K, magnesium, manganese, folate, iron, calcium and potassium. They are extremely cheap yet pack a mighty nutrition punch.
For a taste revolution and for a great cheat, steam and liquidise into any pasta sauce (be sure to play up the green colour pasta during meal time)
Calcium, folate, fibre and omega 3 fatty acids, are found in good quantities in broccoli. A powerful trio of glucosinolate phytonutrients is able to support all the steps in the body’s detox process including, activation, neutralization and elimination of unwanted contaminants.
Our great cheat is to steam and blend into your babies favourite sauce. We love blitzing broccoli into pasta sauces.
Nuts & Seeds
Packed with protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals, nuts and seeds may boost mood and keep the nervous system in check. Sunflower seeds are rich in folate, vitamin E, and selenium, and safe for nut-free zones. Pumpkin seeds are equally great and the shelling process keeps toddlers both engaged and developing their fine motor skills.
Finely ground seeds and nuts can be added to any meal, and are great when added to milk.
We love prunes as they are packed with fibre and help in relieving constipation. When introducing solids and again when introducing red and white meat proteins to your baby, use prunes during snack times to assist with digestion.
Either cut prunes into very small pieces or pound in a pestle and mortar until mushy and add to plain yoghurt.
An orange has over 170 phytochemicals’ and more than 60 flavonoids. Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants oranges make the perfect snack. The sweet juicy cells are a favourite with babies and toddlers as they get to experience different textures.