Bananas are full of carbohydrates for sustained energy, as well as fiber to support a healthy digestive tract. They’re perfectly Portable food as they come in their own easy-to-peel packaging. When serving bananas to young kids, make sure they are ripe and thoroughly mashed. Older babies can eat chopped bananas as finger food.
Carrots have large amounts of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gives them their orange color. Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A and plays a role in growth and healthy vision. Cooking carrots brings out their natural sweetness, which makes them appealing to babies, who are born with a preference for sweet flavors. When making carrots for your little one, make sure they are cooked until very soft. Then puree them or serve well-cooked diced carrots.
Moms are all about avocado as a first food. This buttery fruit-vegetable is rich in healthy unsaturated fats that help boost brain development. In fact, the fat composition of avocados is somewhat similar to that of breast milk.
Beans and other legumes pack lots of lean protein and fiber. But unlike larger beans, little lentils simmer into a pleasing mush just right for baby bites. They’re also one of the cheapest healthy foods you can buy.
Grains give your child the energy they need to grow, develop, and learn.
Healthy options include mostly wholegrain or high-fiber varieties, such as bread, cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, polenta, oats, quinoa, and barley.
Healthy snacks can help your child to meet their daily nutrition requirements.
Always keep a variety of healthy snacks in the home, such as fruit, veggie sticks with healthy dips such as hummus, natural yogurt with chopped fruit, and healthy homemade muffins or muesli bars that are low in refined sugars.
Avoid giving your child junk food as snacks, as they are a poor source of nutrients.
Tips for encouraging healthy eating habits
You can encourage babies to eat healthy by:
- making mealtimes happy, fun occasions
- having them eat with the family at the dinner table
- not keeping junk food in the house
- saving ‘sometimes’ food only for special occasions
- encouraging them to try new foods, without forcing them
- turning off the TV and computer at mealtimes, and when possible eat together with them
- keeping a fruit bowl in a handy place, as an easy snack choice
- teaching them about how foods are grown and where they come from
- making healthy foods fun — for example, by cutting sandwiches, fruit and vegetables into interesting shapes
- Getting them to help with shopping, cooking and preparing foods, as appropriate for their age