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Encouraging children to eat healthy can be challenging, but providing nutritious and delicious foods can make a significant difference.

Top 10 Healthy Foods for Kids

As a parent, you know how quickly children change and grow. One of the best ways to help support their growing minds and bodies is with nutrient-dense foods.

In this post, I’ll cover 10 healthy foods for kids so you can feel good about what you are feeding your family.

 

Top 10 Healthy Foods for Your Little One

1. Healthy Food for Kids: Berries

Why berries are a healthy food for children:

  • Contains phytonutrients and other beneficial plant compounds
  • Rich in vitamin C and other antioxidants
  • Excellent source of fibre
  • Good source of complex carbohydrates for sustained energy

Kids love berries! Some healthy foods can be tricky to get your child to eat, but berries usually aren’t a problem! Add them to oatmeal, yoghurt, smoothies, and salads, or just eat them by the handful!

 

2. Healthy Food for Kids: Avocados

Why avocados are a healthy food for kids:

  • Contains healthy fats for brain health and vitamin absorption
  • Contains B vitamins to help support brain development
  • Offers a healthy dose of fibre
  • Contain vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, and folate to help support the immune system and bone health

Avocados are an especially great option for a healthy food for toddlers. With its soft texture, avocado is easy to mash up and serve on its own. Toddlers love trying to eat mashed avocado with a spoon or just digging their hands right in!

I like spreading avocado on a piece of whole-grain toast, adding it to smoothies, and serving it as a topping over a veggie-packed omelette.

 

3. Healthy Food for Kids: Eggs

Why eggs are a healthy food for children:

  • Contains choline to support memory development, normal brain development, and cognitive function
  • Excellent source of vitamin B12
  • One of the few food sources of vitamin D
  • Great source of complete protein

Eggs are well-deserving of their title as an incredibly versatile breakfast food. Serve them boiled, scrambled, poached, fried — have fun experimenting! Serve eggs with a slice of whole grain toast, a side of sliced avocado or banana, or make a veggie-filled omelette with your kid’s favourite additions.

Let your child help pick out what they’d like to include in their omelette. I love adding tons of extra to my omelettes, including:

  • Shredded cheese
  • Sliced black olives
  • Diced bell peppers
  • Mushrooms
  • Diced onions
  • Asparagus
  • A handful of spinach
  • A scoop of sour cream, diced avocado, and some feta crumbled over the top of it before serving

 

Eggs are incredibly versatile and can be prepared in numerous ways, making them a convenient and easy-to-prepare food for children.

 

4. Healthy Food for Kids: Fatty Fish

Why fatty fish such as salmon, anchovies, and sardines are a healthy food for children:

Note: Pay attention to the recommended fish consumption limits for children and choose low-mercury fish.

 

5. Healthy Food for Kids: Oatmeal

Why oatmeal is a healthy food for kids:

  • Excellent source of high-quality complex carbohydrates for sustained energy
  • Excellent source of fibre
  • Contains B vitamins, zinc, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, iron, folate, and potassium
  • Contains vitamin E for antioxidant benefits

The best part about oatmeal? Kids love it! And it’s so versatile. Add some berries and a drizzle of honey to a bowl of oatmeal. Or let your kids decide what they want to top their oatmeal with.

My favourite healthy oatmeal toppings include:

  • Applesauce
  • Nut butter or a sprinkle of sliced walnuts or almonds
  • A dash of cinnamon
  • Sliced Almonds
  • A dash of milk
  • Sliced bananas
  • A scoop of plain, unsweetened Greek yoghurt

 

6. Healthy Food for Kids: Spinach

Why spinach and other leafy greens are a healthy food for children:

  • Good source of zinc
  • Good source of calcium for strong bones
  • Good source of iron
  • Good source of folate
  • Contains vitamins A, C, and K
  • Contains potassium, fibre, and even some plant-based protein

With its surprisingly neutral flavour, spinach is incredibly easy to add to your child’s diet — and yours! Most people think of salads as the only way to consume leafy greens but there are so many creative options. Throw a handful of spinach into smoothies, add a few handfuls to soup a few minutes before serving, or mix into scrambled eggs.

 

Spinach can be easily incorporated into various dishes, including smoothies, omelets, pasta sauces, and salads, making it easier for kids to consume.

 

7. Healthy Food for Kids: Lean Beef

Why lean beef is a healthy food for kids:

  • Excellent source of iron and one of the best-absorbed sources of iron
  • Excellent source of zinc
  • Great source of protein

Beef can be tough for toddlers to chew, but beef kabobs are a perfect healthy meal for older children.

Kids love customising their kabobs with their choice of veggies and how much they want of each ingredient. I find that when kids have some input and control over their meals, they are far more likely to eat them.

 

8. Healthy Food for Kids: Yoghurt

Why yoghurt is a healthy food for children:

  • Contains B vitamins to help support brain development
  • Contains zinc
  • Good source of choline to support cognitive development
  • Excellent source of lean protein
  • Iodine to help support cognitive function, brain development, and thyroid hormones
  • Probiotics to support good gut bacteria
  • Good source of Vitamin D to help support bone development and the neuromuscular system
  • Contains calcium to help support strong bones

When I think of easy healthy food for toddlers, yoghurt is always at the top of my mind. It’s so easy to take plain, unsweetened yoghurt and tailor it to your child’s taste preferences. Add berries, chia seeds, or a drizzle of honey to a bowl of yoghurt, or add a scoop of yoghurt to smoothies

 

9. Healthy Food for Kids: Carrot Sticks

Why carrot sticks are a healthy food for children:

  • Good source of fibre, aiding in healthy digestion.
  • Rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, essential for good vision.
  • Contains vitamin K1, essential for bone health, and potassium, which helps to control blood pressure.
  • Offers antioxidants that support the immune system.
  • The crunchy texture and sweet taste make them a favourite among children.

Carrot sticks are not only nutritious but also fun to eat and easy to incorporate into a child’s diet. They can be served raw as a snack, dipped in hummus or a yoghurt-based dip, or added to stir-fries and soups to enhance flavour and nutrition.

For toddlers, ensure the carrot sticks are cut into manageable sizes to avoid choking hazards. Carrot sticks offer a convenient, healthy option for parents looking to include more vegetables in their children’s diets.

 

Carrots are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber, which are vital for children's growth and development.

 

10. Healthy Food for Kids: Beans

Why kidney, black, pinto, and garbanzo beans are healthy food for children:

  • Contain zinc to help support brain development
  • Source of choline
  • Provides folate for energy and healthy development
  • Contain iron, an important mineral for health and development
  • Excellent source of plant-based protein to help support cell growth
  • Great alternative to meat for vegetarians
  • Complex carbs serve as a source of sustained energy

 

Key Takeaways

The brain develops rapidly in the first few years of a child’s life, making it important to support your child’s development with healthy foods.

No single healthy food for toddlers or children is the best. Rather, focus on encouraging your child to eat a wide range of healthy foods, colourful fruits and vegetables, and nutrient-dense meals and snacks.

One of the best ways to do this is by setting a good example. Fill your plate with healthy food choices and whole foods, such as fatty fish, lean meats, whole grains, fruits, veggies, and nuts and seeds.

By setting a good example and offering your child a range of healthy food choices, you can help support their growing bodies and set them up for a lifetime of healthy food choices.

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