Your Child’s Diet: Six Foods You Should Include in It

April 19, 2019
Even though the foods we're about to recommend here may not appeal to your children, they should be a part of their diet. So find creative ways to cook and present them and sleep well at night knowing that you've done your best to nourish them.

A child’s diet is very important. It’s for that reason that a person who cooks for children must be, above all, very creative. While there are children who’ll eat most foods, most wouldn’t eat vegetables or other types of food without a fight.

However, there are some foods that parents should include in their child’s diet. And this calls for creative methods to try to incorporate them healthy, nutritious foods into kids’ meals. Of course, there are many essential foods that are easier to into a child’s’ diet, such as eggs, which have endless ways of being prepared, as well as potatoes and bread.

In any case, the most important thing here is to be aware that good nutrition is essential for the proper physical development of a child. Today we’ll tell you about several super foods that shouldn’t be missing from the family menu.

Foods You Should Include in Your Child’s Diet

Your child's diet: Two boys eating cucumbers and peppers.
A good diet will nurture your children so they grow up strong and healthy. Include every fresh food you can into their diet. If they don’t like it today, don’t dismiss it and offer it again another day. Your little ones will eventually agree to try it.

It’ll be very easy to read about the kinds of foods that you should add to your child’s diet. The hard part will be to have the perseverance to offer them consistently, especially because they’ll, most likely, refuse to eat them.

You’ll definitely need patience and creativity in order to create attractive and tasty dishes. But, it’ll be worth your peace of mind, especially when you watch them grow up healthy and strong. Obviously, they must also receive a lot of love and quality attention.

Relax, play your favorite music and get yourself into the kitchen to start preparing meals full of vitamins and minerals using the following foods:

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a versatile food to include in your child’s diet. It’s not only great for breakfast but also for cookies and other tasty snacks. By itself or mixed with other ingredients, this super cereal is low in sugars, high in fiber and free of preservatives and artificial colors. Also, it’s super easy to prepare. You can add milk fruit to it, and even make popsicles, shakes, and smoothies with it.

To maximize its richness, add oats, cocoa, nuts, and honey to your favorite brownie recipe. You’ll have a great snack loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. For sure, your children will love it.

2. Legumes

Legumes in general, but particularly lentils, are fantastic alternatives to meat as a source of protein. They’re high in fiber, which will regulate your child’s bowel movements and release sugar slowly. They won’t only provide a lot of nutrients but the children will feel sated for a longer amount of time. Try mashing them into all kinds of purees, or add them to soups, stews and pasta sauces. You can also mix them with ground beef in patty burgers, chili, etc or even on their own to make patties for vegetarian burgers (you can do this with any type of legumes).

Of course, if you want to take advantage of all the nutritional properties legumes have, add mix some orange juice or other kinds of citrus to your dish. This mainly so you’ll make the most of the iron they contain.

3. Eggs

How many eggs can be consumed weekly is something most of us wonder. Some nutritionists don’t set a particular limit on their intake. But, a daily egg is a good addition to your child’s diet. That is unless the doctor says otherwise.

Eggs contain choline, an important nutrient for brain development. They’re also a good source of zinc and protein. Not only that, but eggs are easy to make and incredibly versatile. You can add them to almost any meal or snack. Try them on a tortilla as huevos rancheros, french toast, or on their own, cooked with a little bit of salt.

4. Green, Leafy, and Orange Vegetables

When it comes to choosing vegetables, let yourself be carried away by colors. All are important and greatly increase the appeal of a meal. You may choose at least one green vegetable and one orange vegetable a day.

Zucchini, spinach, and broccoli are foods that you can mix with grains, stews, meats, patties, soups, and even juices. Don’t leave them out of your child’s meal because green vegetables help strengthen bones, muscles, and brain. Even you can take advantage of the antioxidants found in these foods and rejuvenate.

From all of the orange vegetables give priority to carrots and sweet potatoes, as they’re both loaded with beta carotene, a key nutrient for eye and skin health. The good news is that if you can’t get your child to eat these particular ones, you can always feed them other fruits of the same color such as mangoes, oranges or cantaloupes. These fruits are good sources of vitamins A, C, and potassium.

You might be interested: Three Recipes with Seasonal Vegetables

5. Salmon

Your child's diet: A chopping board with salmon, asparagus, horseradish, limes, tomatoes, bay leaf and a bowl of black pepper on the side.
Salmon is a main source of omega-3, and it offers benefits to the nervous and cardiovascular systems, so you should definitely include it in your child’s diet.

Eating fish can be quite daunting for children. But if you consider that more than half of the dry weight of the average human brain is made of fat. And that salmon is one of the best sources of omega-3 fat. Then, you’ll, most likely, fill your fridge with this superfood. Do try to eat wild caught salmon as opposed to farmed salmon. Its nutritive attributes are reduced when the fish moves away from its wildlife.

Cooking a salmon fillet with spices and herbs disguises its fishy flavor. You can use grilled salmon as a substitute for chicken in sandwiches or stew it for Mexican-style tacos. You can also slice it for fish sticks and bake it or grill it. We can assure you that your children will ask for seconds!

6. Nuts and Seeds

The interesting part about offering nuts to your child is that these are a great alternative to sweets. You can grind them as a homemade “Nutella” by adding cocoa and honey. What a delight! You can also make energy bars with them, which is the most practical snack to include in your child’s lunch box

Nuts and seeds are a solution to the “there’s no time for breakfast” excuse –which may be the most important meal of the day. Seeds are the beginning of life, and so they contain the beginning of food.

Additionally, you can make all kinds of vegan milk with almonds, rice, soy, etc. They’re a great source of protein, iron, zinc, and healthy monounsaturated fats. Fill your children’s backpacks with nuts. Do stay away from industrialized versions that are fried and contain a lot of sodium, sweeteners, and trans-fats.

Your Child’s Diet: Water

Your child's diet: A girl eating and giving a thumbs up.
It’s essential to keep children well hydrated at all times.

Water is essential to life. Most foods contain it but it may not be enough. Create a good habit in your children by making sure they consume enough of it every day. Staying well hydrated is key for their health and optimal development. A human body is made of about 50 to 70% of liquid. Think of all of the blood that runs through your blood vessels. Also, think of your digestive juices; the moisture of your skin, and the lubrication of your joints. Everything in our body works as it should thanks to the fact that we have a lot of water in it.

Instill in your children the habit of drinking water instead of sugary drinks. If they play sports or just during the hot summers, then they should drink a little more of it. Keep in mind that fruits and vegetables have a much higher water content than other solid foods, so they’re another way to add liquids to your child’s diet.

Read more: Learn the Right Way to Drink Water

Your Child’s Diet: Become a Mad Scientist in the Kitchen

Your kitchen is like a laboratory and you’re free to experiment. Mix up ingredients and create dishes that will fill your family with pleasure. You’ll be the alchemist who turns yucky spinach into a delicious au gratin casserole that will awaken a wide range of positive emotions while it nourishes those you love.

Never give up and trust that you’ll always manage to include foods into your child’s diet that will be nourishing. The best part, you’ll instill healthy habits that may be passed down from one generation to another.

  • Franch, M. Alonso, MP Redondo Del Río, and L. Suárez Cortina. “Nutrición infantil y salud ósea.” Anales de pediatría. Vol. 72. No. 1. Elsevier Doyma, 2010.
  • Hernández Rodríguez, Manuel. “Alimentación infantil. Infant feeding.” (1993).
  • Martínez Álvarez, J. R., et al. “Recomendaciones de alimentación para la población española.” Nutrición Clínica y dietética hospitalaria 30.1 (2010): 4-14.