Superfoods are natural foods that are packed full of nutrients and antioxidants that have great health benefits. They are easily digestible and because they are natural, the nutrients are more easily absorbed into the body. Therefore introducing even a few into your baby’s diet will help give them a nutrient boost, and will hopefully initiate a healthy eating habit that will continue through your child’s life. This list is a guide to foods that are highly recommended for babies and toddlers, but it is always important to offer variety and not forget other superfoods not mentioned in this list!
Avocados are the only fruit with monounsaturated "good" fats that may lower cholesterol, which can harm the heart. The avocado is also a super source of soluble fiber, which helps prevent constipation. It is also full of vitamin E, and Omega 3’s. They are a perfect consistency for babies. You can simply slice open an avocado and feed it straight into your little one's mouth. If you would like a smoother consistency, add a little breast milk or substitute and mash.
Beans are super nutritious. They are very high in antioxidants containing 10 times the amount of antioxidants as oranges. They are high in fiber, which prevents your baby from becoming constipated. They are high in iron, protein and vitamin B. They should be soaked overnight before preparing to decrease cooking time. If you’re using canned beans, look for the low-sodium kind and rinse them before serving.
Blueberries are super nutritious. They are higher in antioxidants than any other fresh fruit and very beneficial to your baby's brain, urinary and nervous systems as well as their heart and eyes. They are also high in fiber, and vitamins A and C. Whether fresh or frozen, these little fruits offer big health benefits. Blueberries can be pureed themselves or mixed with other fruits.
Coconuts contain medium chain fatty acids which have significant health benefits and are similar to the ones found in human breast milk. They help boost the immune system, improve digestion, and balance the blood sugar. Add a little coconut milk or cream to other foods.
5. Dark leafy greens
Leafy greens such as Spinach are rich in antioxidants and high in iron and folate. They are a top superfood because they contain large amounts of vitamins C, and K as well as calcium. Vitamin K and calcium are great bone-builders. Add small amounts into combo recipes with other sweeter vegetables and/or meat to add a nutrient punch!
Salmon is low in saturated fat and high in protein, vitamin D, and many B vitamins. It's also full of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which have been shown to support the healthy development of the brain, cognitive function and vision in children. Salmon can be added in small amounts with other vegetable purees.
Eggs are full of high quality nutrients for your baby. Eggs are full of protein and Omega-3s as well as vitamin D, folate, the antioxidant lutein and many minerals such as zinc, iron, and selenium, a great immune booster. Scrambled egg is a quick, easy meal for babies and toddlers.
Oats are a good source of soluble and insoluble fiber and they are also rich in phytochemicals, vitamin E, zinc, iron, magnesium and selenium. Oats are a good source of protein and a great way to start the morning. They also prevent blood sugar spikes and crashes, keep you feeling full longer, and help your body get rid of bad cholesterol. Use plain oats with milk and add other superfoods such as blueberries to top.
Quinoa is a complete protein making it perfect for vegetarian babies as it is high in lysine, an amino acid important for tissue growth and repair. Quinoa has a good amount of fiber and is high in nutrients such as manganese, magnesium and has a high iron content. Quinoa is a gluten free grain and is an alternative to whole grain rice. It is very versatile and can be used in many recipes.
10. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are among the most nutritious vegetables available Sweet potatoes are packed with vitamins B, C, and E as well as calcium, potassium, and iron. They are also rich in complex carbohydrates and fiber, which keeps digestion moving along. They have a naturally sweet flavor and creamy texture making these vegetables appealing to babies and toddlers.