The 20 Healthiest Foods for Kids, According to a Nutritionist
The top healthy foods for kids—as picked by a pro!
Avocado is full of healthy fats and fiber—while also being delicious. There are so many ways to make avocado attractive to your little one: from simple homemade guacamole to cubed avocado on their tacos or even smashed on their favorite sandwich.
As hinted at by their bright color, blueberries are full of antioxidants, fiber and vitamin C—which can help boost your little one’s immune system. A great snack on their own (or mixed into smoothies, muffins, salads, jams and desserts), blueberries can be added to your kiddo’s diet in so many ways.
These crunchy, orange veggies are usually a favorite amongst kids. They are full of vitamin A (great for eye health) and fiber (important for digestive health). Serve ’em raw with ranch, or try roasting, mashing or disguising carrots in other foods.
Fish—like salmon, tuna, cod and halibut—as well as shellfish are all great sources of protein, B vitamins and, in some cases, omega-3 fatty acids. Some great places to start for getting your kiddo to try seafood are these recipes for classic crab cakes and homemade fish sticks.
While kids tend to love fresh fruit, dried fruit can also be quite the hit! Dried fruit packs tons of nutrition in a shelf-stable package, perfect for snacks and lunches. Add it to trail mix, yogurt and oatmeal or just eat it on its own!
Spinach, along with most other leafy greens, is so healthy for your little one. It’s loaded with iron, vitamin K and vitamin A, helping to support healthy eyes and blood function. Spinach can be well hidden in lots of different dishes, like mac and cheese, tacos, quesadillas, pizza, smoothies and even spring rolls.
Smoothies are a really great way to deliver lots of healthy foods to your child. The sweet fruit typically covers up the flavor of ingredients your little one may not eat on his own, like chia seeds, flaxseeds, kale or hemp hearts. Get started with these delicious smoothie recipes.
While asking your kid to eat broccoli may seem like a tall order, there are many ways to add it to delicious dishes. Full of vitamin C, vitamin K and fiber, broccoli is sure to benefit your child’s blood, bone and digestive health. It’s a great addition to macaroni and cheese, lasagna, even pizza!
Tomatoes are high in vitamin A, which is great for eye health, and the potent antioxidant lycopene is said to help fight off heart disease and cancer. Plus, the powerhouse fruit is relatively easy to incorporate into your little one’s diet: Tomatoes are found in so many kid favorites including salsa, pizza sauce, BLTs, lasagna and spaghetti with meatballs.
These juicy treats may be new to your child, but don’t be surprised if she loves them! Pomegranate arils provide sweet pops of flavor in addition to tons of fiber and vitamin C. They can be eaten on their own or added to fruit salad, yogurt parfaits and oatmeal. Pomegranate juice is delicious, too.
Try introducing sweet potatoes as an alternative to white potatoes—their sweet flavor could be a hit with your children! Sweet potatoes are full of vitamin A and fiber and can make a delicious mashed potato, potato wedge, french fry or casserole. Check out these amazing sweet potato recipes for some ideas on where to start.
Beans of any kind are a healthy choice for your little ones. Chickpeas, red beans, pinto beans, black beans, kidney beans, even green beans are all packed with fiber and antioxidants. Plus, there are lots of yummy ways to integrate beans into your child’s diet, including refried beans on tacos, chili, bean salads and baked beans.
Almond, cashew, peanut and other nut butter varieties are super healthy choices for your kids. They’re full of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals. While many kids love a PB&J or apples with nut butter, there are also tons of ways to hide the ingredient. Muffins, smoothies, oatmeal and desserts are all great options.
Whole Grain Crackers
What kid doesn’t love a cracker? Try switching out the buttery or cheesy kind for a whole grain option (look for these grains on the label). Whole grains provide a healthy dose of fiber, as well as vitamins and minerals necessary for your little one’s growing body. So many delicious treats can be served on crackers, too, like cheese, fruit, veggies and dips.
This may seem like an odd choice, but quinoa is such a super food, especially for your child. Full of protein, magnesium and folate, quinoa will aid in healthy bone and energy production. There are tons of ways to include quinoa in your little one’s diet, including added to baked goods, mixed into salads or used as a substitute for rice.
Full of vitamin C, oranges are a great addition to your kid’s diet! Orange slices and juice are tasty on their own. But you can also add them to fruit salads and baked goods (like this cranberry orange walnut bread).
Eggs are an incredible source of protein, helping to keep your little one growing. They’re really easy to integrate into his diet, too. Give scrambled, hard boiled and deviled eggs a try. Or any of these other amazing egg recipes.
Oats are packed with fiber, and they’re a great gluten-free grain choice if your little one is sensitive or allergic to gluten (be sure to scan the label for “gluten-free”). Added to smoothies, made into oatmeal or used as an ingredient in baked goods, oats are easy to work into your child’s diet. Start with these family-favorite oatmeal recipes.
Celery is more than just a water-filled veggie—it’s actually loaded with fiber. Ants on a log are the quintessential after-school snack. For dinner, try chicken noodle soup that’s loaded with celery. Get inspired by these celery recipes.
Yogurt is not only full of calcium needed to build strong bones, but it’s also chock full of probiotics—aka the healthy bacteria needed to keep your little one’s gut healthy. From parfaits to frozen yogurt and sauces to smoothies, yogurt can be added to a wide variety of dishes.