What Are the Best Foods for Children

Healthy eating habits are instilled in childhood. With that in mind, we want to tell you about the best foods for children.
What Are the Best Foods for Children

Last update: 07 September, 2021

We’re going to tell you all about the best foods for children and how to include them in their regular diet. All of them are products of high nutritional quality and provide essential substances for the proper functioning of the body.

You should know that one of the fundamental pillars of a healthy diet is variety. With this in mind, it’s best to prepare menus with foods of all kinds to increase the repertoire of nutrients. Remember that it’s best to always opt for fresh products and avoid ultra-processed ones.

So, if you want to improve your children’s diet, read the following recommendations carefully.

Vegetables

As in the rest of plant-based foods, vegetables are rich in vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. All of these components are essential for the correct functioning of our organism.

Among their properties, their antioxidant power stands out, which favors the elimination of toxic wastes from the cells. When these substances aren’t eliminated correctly, they accumulate and accelerate tissue aging. Over time, this can lead to various diseases.

It is important to be aware that good eating habits are instilled in the first years of life. For this reason, it’s essential that vegetables appear frequently on children’s plates. With repeated exposure, children get used to their organoleptic properties and gradually accept them.

Within this group of foods, we highlight broccoli, cauliflower, and those of an intense red color, such as sweet bell pepper.

Fruits

A baby eating fresh fruit.

Like vegetables, fruits also concentrate a large number of vitamins and antioxidant compounds. However, the nutritional quality of vegetables is much better.

One of the greatest advantages of these foods is that they have a high concentration of water, which helps to maintain hydration. This is particularly important during the warm months of the year when the loss of body fluid through sweating increases.

When consuming fruit, it’s important to prioritize fiber over juice, as the latter is where all the sugar (or fructose) is concentrated. For this reason, it’s better to offer the fruit whole or in pieces to make the most of all its properties.

An important tip is to try to offer red or exotic varieties or those with a high water content, such as melon and watermelon.

Legumes

Legumes are a rather neglected food group in children’s diets. These products are a source of a large amount of vegetable protein, but they also contain fiber and several essential minerals.

Although their digestion isn’t always easy, it’s important to consume them at least a few times a week.

Grains

Grains are very healthy and nutritious foods to include in children’s diets. Even so, not all of them have to appear in the same proportion and it’s always preferable to opt for whole grains. The latter has the particularity of retaining a great deal of their fiber.

It’s important to limit the intake of refined grains and cereals or those with added sugars. These are the ones we find most frequently in large stores, but they’re not the most appropriate alternatives.

If you want to incorporate grains to the family table, try oatmeal, which is the best cereal of all.

Dairy

This food group deserves a special mention, as it’s a huge source of protein. It’s important to make sure to always offer them whole because most of the vitamins are dissolved in the fat.

In addition to milk, fermented varieties such as yogurt and kefir are excellent foods. Both contain probiotics, which are microorganisms capable of improving children’s intestinal health.

Meat and fish

A toddler putting lemon on his fish.

Both meat and fish should be central to most meals, as they’re nutritionally dense foods.

Like vegetables, they concentrate proteins of high biological value, which are indispensable for the development of the child’s tissues and muscles.

It’s important to include quality foods in your child’s diet

When planning your child’s diet, it’s important that you promote the consumption of fresh foods and avoid ultra-processed foods.

In this way, you ensure the supply of essential nutrients for proper growth and development. In addition, you help reduce the risk of suffering from certain chronic and complex illnesses, such as obesity and diabetes.

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