Like much of the country – and many of our Van’s fans – we’ve had Back to School on our mind lately. We hope you’ve enjoyed the ideas on fun, healthy school lunches and other tips for the season.
Today we’d like to turn our attention to a younger set, just as deserving of a little TLC: toddlers. Poor toddlers –- they can get such a bad rap for everything from tantrums to messy accidents to picky eating habits.
That’s why we were so glad to see a post
from a dietitian at Texas Children’s Hospital focused on the best foods for toddler brains. It’s got some great ideas for foods to introduce to your toddler – and some clever ways to spice up toddler favorites to provide an extra nutritional kick.
As the post points out, toddlers need a healthy variety of antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids and iron to ensure healthy brain development. So while you may not think of salmon as a toddler-appropriate protein, it’s probably time to try it – or another source of Omega-3s, like flaxseed, walnuts or even Omega 3-fortified bread and eggs.
For antioxidants, you probably know and love some great sources – blueberries, raspberries, tomatoes and bell peppers are all rich in antioxidants, so remember to help kids eat their colors
Did you know almost 10 percent of toddlers are iron deficient? Lean red meat is a great source of iron, as are iron-fortified breads and cereals. One way to make sure iron is absorbed well? Pair it with foods rich in Vitamin C – that can triple iron absorption.