Kids are known for being picky eaters, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t introduce them to new foods regularly. Of course, you should be careful what you introduce to your kids at a young age. Feeding them junk food can contribute to obesity from a young age to adulthood. Always read the nutritional labels of the foods you share with your kid, and remember the importance of portion sizes. Your kids may not enjoy healthy foods like green beans, so continuously introducing them to new foods can help you find one they’ll love, even if it is healthy. Here are a few new foods to introduce to your kids:
Yogurt is a healthy food available in various flavors to ensure that your child will enjoy at least one. While there are healthier options than others, yogurt can be a healthier snack than chips or processed foods. Of course, you should also watch out for added sugar since it may contain more sugar than other snacks. Still, yogurt is a healthy snack filling and contains protein and vitamin D, an essential vitamin for young children with growing bones. It also contains probiotics essential for gut health and can prevent constipation and tummy aches.
The healthiest yogurt for you and your young ones is plain Greek yogurt, but you can add ingredients like fresh fruit and even candy to make it more enticing to children.
Beans are another healthy food for kids, and they make a great side dish for most meals. Beans contain fiber and protein, which can help children feel satiated while preventing constipation, and there are many different types of beans you can let them try to find the kinds they like. When buying beans to share with your kids, look for cans labeled as low sodium, such as black or kidney beans.
Beans can also be used as a replacement for ground beef or other potentially unhealthy ingredients in foods like quesadillas and burritos. Since they’re delicious, they make a great filler ingredient for meals so your kids will eat less of the unhealthy stuff.
There’s perhaps no better superfood than avocado. Avocados are a no-brainer for any child’s diet since they’re packed with nutrients like healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Monounsaturated fats found in avocados decrease inflammation and support healthy cholesterol while helping hungry kids feel fuller for longer. In addition, avocados are versatile and can be used for many different meals, including toast for breakfast and tuna salad for lunch.
Eggs are another versatile food used in many meals, including breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They can also be eaten with a little seasoning and provide a low-calorie option for kids who need more protein. Eggs are packed with protein and healthy fats and can keep your kid satiated for longer without adding too many additional calories to their diets. In addition, making any type of eggs for breakfast is quick and simple, so if you can get your kids to like eggs, you’ll never have to worry about what to feed them in the mornings again.
Milk is more important for children than adults because it can help them build strong bones. However, for adults, weight loss experts might suggest avoiding high-fat milk because they contain too many calories per serving. Still, milk makes a great drink for kids because it contains calcium and vitamin D to support healthy growth and development.
Of course, infants shouldn’t start consuming cow’s milk until they’re at least one year old, but if your child is a toddler, they can enjoy most types of milk. When giving your child cow’s milk, look for potential signs of lactose intolerance, including stomach upset, vomiting, diarrhea, gas, and constipation. If you believe your child is lactose intolerant, you may have to eliminate milk and dairy products from their diets.
Kids love snacks. Unfortunately, not all snacks are healthy. One of the healthiest snacks to introduce to your kids is nuts. Nuts contain protein, fiber, and healthy fats, making them a good alternative to unhealthy crunchy kids’ snacks like chips. Nuts like walnuts can also be healthy treats for dogs if approved by your local veterinarian.
If your children love sugar, consider substituting their chocolate and sweets with berries. Berries are full of sugar and other nutrients, unlike other sweet treats with no nutritional value. Berries contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to support your child’s immune system and keep them growing strong.
Of course, while fruit like berries is healthy and full of essential vitamins, it can contribute to weight gain because it contains sugar and calories. So always feed your child berries in moderation.
Vegetables are the healthiest snacks and side dishes you can introduce to your kids. They’re lower in calories than fruits and contain more beneficial nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Unfortunately, not all kids love vegetables, so you may have to introduce them to various vegetables at a young age to find one they like. Leafy greens like spinach are typically the most nutritious, but you may have to mix them with unhealthy ingredients to get your kid to eat them, which is okay as long as you watch their portion control and monitor their eating habits.
Getting Kids to Try New Foods
Some kids are pickier eaters than others. While one of your children may eat anything you put in front of them, the other may choose to avoid anything that’s a vegetable. Getting your kid to try new foods can be challenging, but there are several ways to introduce them to new foods to ensure they eat a healthy diet. Introducing them to foods at a young age is one way to help them learn about the different varieties of food and flavors. In addition, introducing them to more foods can help them figure out what they like and incorporate it into more meals.
Unfortunately, your kids won’t like everything you feed them, so you may have to mix unhealthy and healthy foods to improve the taste for children. Most vegetables taste great with American cheese mixed into them when warm. However, we guarantee that with a little extra effort, you can find a vegetable your child enjoys.
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer who loves to share knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.