15 Toddler Superfoods
Eggs offer protein, and they're one of the few foods that naturally contain vitamin D, which helps the body absorb calcium. Eating protein at breakfast helps kids feel satisfied longer.
Research shows that kids who eat oatmeal are better able to concentrate and pay attention in school. Fiber-rich whole grains, like oatmeal, digest slowly, providing kids with a steady stream of energy.
Any fruit is good for your child, providing essential vitamins and minerals. Fruit also has fiber, which keeps kids regular. To reap the nutritional benefits, aim to eat a variety of fruits, like berries, melon, kiwifruit and oranges.
Nuts are made up of healthy fats, which kids need for growth and development, as well as for heart health. Having a little bit of “good” fat in the morning gives your kids a burst of energy to keep them going.
Protein and calcium in dairy products provide fuel for the brain and body. Protein helps build brain tissue, while milk's calcium keeps kids' bones and teeth strong.
They've ranked among the healthiest fruits for years. In addition to protecting against heart disease and diabetes and improving brain function, blueberries may also help reduce visceral "toxic" belly fat—a type of fat that has been linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome.
Whole soy foods are an excellent source of lean protein and have potent anti-cancer benefits,Tofu is great for young girls because it has a protective effect as their bodies and breast tissue are developing—which lasts into adulthood.
They're loaded with lycopene—a substance that protects against many cancers. Cooking tomatoes makes them even healthier because the heat releases the lycopene.
Low-Fat Greek Yogurt
It contains healthy bacteria known to boost immunity and aid digestion, and has two to three times the amount of protein and less sugar than regular yogurt.
It has a mild flavor and crunch that kids tend to like better than the usual salad greens. And cruciferous veggies such as cabbage, broccoli and kale contain phytonutrients known to lower the risk for many types of cancer, as well as improve digestion. It also helps clear harmful toxins from the body by triggering the release of enzymes whose job it is to whisk them out.
It contains heart-healthy omega-3 fats, which are also known to boost brain development, fend off depression and have superb anti-inflammatory powers. Be sure to pick the wild kind, which is lower in mercury and higher in omega-3's.
You probably think of the marshmallow-studded beverage, but cocoa powder actually has one of the highest concentrations of flavonoids, a compound known to improve blood pressure and heart and oral health. They may also protect skin from sun damage. Use at least 70 percent pure cocoa and check that it isn't processed with alkali (also called "Dutch processed"), which removes most of the flavonoids.
Beans are a great source of protein, as well as fiber and calcium—two things kids tend not to get enough of. The darker the color, the better they are. They also help guard against heart disease and high cholesterol, which aren't adults-only problems.
This herb is packed with antioxidants—vitamins A, C and K—as well as iron, potassium and calcium and can help improve digestion. Some research shows it may even ease headaches.
Research shows that this spice can help regulate blood sugar, which may also minimize those all-too-common mid-morning energy crashes (kiddie meltdown!),