Worried about introducing immunity boosting foods for kids to your children and getting them to expand their culinary palates? You may want to consider incorporating some key foods early on. Once developmentally appropriate to do so, introducing a wide range of solid foods can help your child explore new flavors, find their favorites and learn the importance of healthy, balanced eating. 

As you research what does IU mean in vitamins and how you can prevent nutritional deficiencies, make sure to prioritize introducing these key types of foods early on.

1. Whole Grains, Including Certain Breads and Pastas
Healthy whole grains are a cornerstone of any child’s well-rounded diet, but the key is to steer your kids away from too many processed grains and towards more natural options. For instance, you can opt for whole-grain breads and pastas over ones made with refined white flour.

2. Vitamin-Rich Fruits Like Bananas, Berries and More
Ensuring your kids get used to eating vitamin-rich foods as early as possible is a great way to get their nutritional habits off on the right foot. Even if you’re currently supplementing their diet with Wellements baby vitamins, make sure to introduce lots of fruits and other vitamin-rich produce, including kid favorites like berries, bananas and more.

3. Pasteurized Dairy and Other Sources of Calcium
Adequate calcium intake is crucial during formative years, when kids’ bones are still developing and forming. Pasteurized dairy is a classic source of calcium to introduce your kids to early on, but if your child is allergic or lactose intolerant, you can also turn to other calcium sources like fortified nut milks and tofu.

4. Healthy Meats and Other Sources of Protein
Getting enough protein is essential to building strong muscles and continuing to develop healthfully, so make sure to include a range of protein sources in your kid’s diet. Meat products and fish are popular options, but there are also other sources that you could mix in or substitute, such as:

Soy milk
Nuts, seeds and legumes

5. Fresh Veggies Like Spinach, Broccoli and More
Every parent knows how important it is to introduce kids to vegetables and to help them learn the importance of consuming enough veggies early on. To help your child get acclimated to the taste of veggies like broccoli or spinach, try incorporating them into every meal and swapping out new recipes that spice the vegetables in appealing ways.

6. Healthy Starches Like Corn and Sweet Potatoes
Healthy starches are an important but often overlooked part of a well-balanced diet. Make sure to include foods like potatoes, sweet potatoes and corn in your kid’s diet in moderation.

7. Lots of Liquids, Like Water and Low-Sugar Drinks
Last but not least, make sure your child understands the importance of staying hydrated. Provide your kids with plenty of clean drinking water throughout the day, and teach them about the dangers of consuming too many sugary drinks, like sodas and fruit punches.

Getting young children to expand their palates can be a challenge for many parents. Fortunately, it’s possible to widen your kids’ culinary horizons and teach them a healthy diet at the same time by offering them these key types of foods as early as is developmentally appropriate.