healthy foods for toddlers

From green smoothies to chia seeds, we are a culture of people moving away from super sizing and toward super foods. Figuring out how early we can include these nutrient-rich, healthful foods into our rapidly developing toddlers is on many parents’ minds. Alice Waters, with her Edible Schoolyard Project and fresh produce revolution, writes in Chez Panisse that “Kids have to be taught that fresh nourishing food is their birthright.”

Some child feeding experts, like Jessica Seinfeld and Missy Chase Lapine, recommend sneaking healthy foods for toddlers in with other things that have more kid appeal, like brownies with beans in them. Others have suggestions on how to serve super foods straight up. Whatever your approach, here are 15 super foods that you can feed your toddler, fresh and nourishing as is their birthright.

1. Avocado
One of the first things you can feed a baby being weaned onto solids, avocado is a versatile fruit that toddlers love, too. It can be served cut as a finger food, mashed as a dip, salted, with lime and/or cilantro, even in a sweet shake with milk and a touch of sugar. Avocado’s good fats set up a positive cholesterol balance to feed your child’s brain; the potassium keeps nerve and muscle function in check to help with growth. The fiber, the folate, and vitamin E are a nutritional treasure and the best part: they don’t need to be cooked.

Read Related: Foods to Help Your Baby Get a Good Night’s Sleep

2. Salmon
Make a batch of this brain-function boosting powerhouse of Omega-3 and muscle-building protein and share it with you toddler, making sure no bones slip. In order to ensure the best benefits and lowest toxicity from mercury, choose wild salmon over farmed.