8 good foods toddlers love (and why they're good for them)

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Friday, 07 December 2012.
Tagged: children, guides, healthy cooking, healthy eating, healthy lifestyle, kids, snacks, tips

8 good foods toddlers love (and why they're good for them)

Toddlers are often difficult and demanding. One day, they'll love something you cook. The next day, they'll refuse to even take a bite! Go figure. But here are 8 foods they like to eat that you'll know are GOOD FOR THEM. Foods to make life easier and healthier  ...

1. Fruit

Sweet and refreshing, universally liked, a good substitute for vegetables. No cooking, convenient, an easy snack. Whole fruit has more fibre than juice. Ripe soft fruit like bananas, peaches, apricots, rockmelon or pears are great for babies; simply mash with a fork or potato masher or else puree.

Don't go overboard with lots of fresh fruit juice which can sometimes lead to diarrhoea and pile on the weight (remember a glass of juice is equivalent to 2 or 3 pieces of whole fruit).

2. Yoghurt

Smooth and pleasant, yoghurt is an excellent food for children and a good dairy food for those unable to digest milk or with lactose intolerance. Acceptable to non-Western cultures. Adds gut-friendly bacteria.

Toddler yoghurt fruit

3. Bread

Our first convenience food - soft, chewy and satisfying. Can do great things for kids with the humble loaf, from toast, sandwiches, jaffles to pudding. Food-on-the-run for kids who can't sit still long enough at the table.

4. Breakfast cereals

Convenient, nutritious, all low in fat (except for toasted muesli). Enormous variety - some turn mushy for baby food; some do double duty as snacks. Encourages milk consumption. One of the few things children can get themselves as they grow up.

5. Lean mince

An easy way to get kids to eat meat - the best source of bio-available iron. Can be turned into kid-friendly meals like spaghetti bolognaise, savoury mince, meatballs, hamburgers, meatloaf and rissoles. Inexpensive and versatile.

6. Pasta

Thank goodness for macaroni, spaghetti and noodles, say most parents. Packed with carbohydrates and energy, soft and easy for toddlers to eat, endless variations with toppings, inexpensive.

Toddler plate finger food

7. Eggs

Always in the fridge, a quick meal when there's nothing else. Under-rated nutritionally due to cholesterol scare, yet popular with children, inexpensive, needs no chewing. A wonderful stand-by for busy parents.

8. Baked beans

Quick, handy and good to eat. One of the highest fibre foods, baked beans on toast is an excellent vegetarian meal for non-meat eaters. Always keep a can in the cupboard.

Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby knows nutrition! She is an accredited nutritionist, food commentator, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements. It draws together a lifetime of advice and gives you all you need to know to eat right! It's a complete A to Z. A handy desk go-to reference.