Are there any products that deserve special attention and should be present in a child’s diet as often as possible? Yes, of course! Superfoods are foods containing valuable and unique nutrients. These are wholesome, natural, and unprocessed products, which play an essential role in the proper functioning of our bodies. These types of foods should be present on our children’s plates every day. Superfoods in a baby’s diet — what exactly should we be looking for?
Vegetables and Fruits
These are, of course, in the first place. Vegetables and fruits should be the basis of the diet not only of children but of adults, as well. Green leafy vegetables deserve special attention. They are rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre, folic acid, zinc, and antioxidants. But not only green vegetables have power. Red and yellow peppers, tomatoes, carrots, beets, and other veggies are great sources of antioxidants and vitamins necessary for proper body functioning. You can serve them in varied forms: simply in pieces, as a salad, in pancakes, in soup… There are a lot of possibilities!
Berries such as blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and currants are widely recognized as beneficial for health. They contain chemical compounds such as phenolic compounds or anthocyanins with antioxidant and anticancer properties. In addition, they are a source of minerals (phosphorus, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, and copper) and vitamins (A, C, and E). They can be a sweet complementary base for your baby. You can easily add them every day, for example, to morning oatmeal, a homemade pudding, or a snack with natural yogurt. If you can’t get fresh berries, use frozen ones.
It is characterized by a high fiber content, which improves the digestive system and has a mild laxative effect. These seeds are rich in omega-3 acids, zinc, iron, folic acid, and B vitamins, as well as flavonoids, phytoestrogens, and lecithin. Linseed infusion can be given to infants, and powdered flaxseed in small amounts added to the meals of one-year-olds.
These tiny black seeds are a source of a huge amount of nutrients, such as omega-3 acids, calcium, magnesium, selenium, iron, fiber, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and B vitamins. Due to the high content of dietary fiber chia seeds positively affect the digestive system and intestinal motility. In addition, chia seeds help to strengthen the child’s immune system. This superfood can be included in the diet of a five-year-old. You can find it among other organic baby products.
Legumes are becoming more and more popular. No wonder, because you have a lot of varieties to choose from: white, red, black, green beans, red lentils, brown lentils, chickpeas, soybeans, or peas. If you are worried about stomach revolutions, introduce legumes gradually, e.g., starting with blended red lentils as an addition to soup or sauce). Beans will repay you with a wealth of nutrients in the form of protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, and phosphorus. You can use them whole or in purees and add them to soups or sauces. You can make veggie burgers, sandwich spreads, or bake a bean cake out of them. If you are afraid of the long preparation process, consider preparing a larger amount at once. The rest can be refrigerated or frozen.
That is olive oil, cold-pressed linseed oil, butter, and coconut oil. Coconut oil has properties supporting the immune system, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antipyretic, and anti-fungal properties, and increases the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients. It is not deposited in adipose tissue but is used for energy production.
Avocado is one more source of healthy fat. This fruit is also rich in healthy fatty acids and vitamins A, E, PP, B6, folic acid, lutein, and potassium. Avocado is known for improving brain function, having anti-inflammatory effects, and protecting the eyes. Due to the high fat content, this fruit is quite caloric, as it contains 160 calories per 100 grams. A ripe avocado can be included in a baby’s diet from the time they wean at around 6 months old.
Nuts are a natural source of protein, fats, and nutrients necessary for the child’s development. There are plenty of them to choose from — pistachios, walnuts, cashews, pecans, hazelnuts… You will definitely find something for your little one. Just remember that whole nuts can present a choking hazard so they should not be given to children under the age of 5. However, babies and kids from 6 months up can have nut butter or crushed nuts.