Published on January 3rd, 2020 | by Sunit Nandi


Healthy foods for diets of children 1 to 3 years old

Food is one of the keys to the health of the little ones. Offering them the best foods will help them grow and develop healthily. Discover some recommendations.From the first year of life, most children can already eat like the rest of the family. The diets for children from 1 to 3 years can not miss healthy food, its best source of energy and health. Discover in the following space which is the most suitable. To check out this link for more details

Benefits of a healthy diet in children

One of the main benefits of adequate food in the childhood stage is health. Within the framework of the World Strategy on Diet, Physical Activity and Health of the World Health Organization, experts established that:

This is why it is important to give our children adequate food, as they will influence their present and future health. During this stage of life, children have an important development and physical growth.

Food must ensure sufficient energy and nutrients to keep them at an optimal level. Without forgetting, of course, that this is also the right stage to acquire and consolidate healthy eating habits that will last until adulthood.

Healthy diets for children 1 to 3 years old

A healthy diet should be varied, sufficient, balanced and adapted to your preferences and your perception of appetite. To do this, we will use the following healthy foods for children aged 1 to 3 years, true sources of health for our children.

Fruit and vegetable

As in the case of adults, vegetables should be present at the meals and dinners of the little ones. None is better at this age, the important thing is to offer variety within the vegetables of each season and adapt to the preferences of the child and the family.

Chard and spinach have higher nitrate levels than other vegetables. That is why up to 3 years should not be offered more than once a day.

The fruits can be consumed practically all from the year of age. We must be careful with those that present a higher risk of choking such as whole grapes or cherries. The fruit should be fresh and not in the form of juices or fruit yogurt.


The main sources of protein in diets of 1 to 3 years are fish, meat, and eggs. There are some limitations that we must take into account:

Do not eat swordfish, shark, bluefin tuna and pike, as they can accumulate high amounts of mercury.

Neither the shellfish heads and the body of crustaceans as the crab, since they can present a remarkable amount of cadmium.

We must not forget the importance of legumes. These are very healthy and nutritious foods for children. Red lentils have no skin, so they can be more digestive.

Healthy fat

Extra virgin olive oil should be the main source of fat in the children’s diet. It will serve to dress all your dishes whether vegetables, cereals, legumes, etc. We can also offer you nuts, a great source of polyunsaturated fat and vegetable proteins.

We must bear in mind that they present a great risk of choking. So we will choose to offer them crushed or cream. Spread on a slice of bread, they are an ideal alternative for your breakfasts and snacks.

Whole grains

Whole grains are more nutritious and, therefore, are preferable to refined ones. For children 1 to 3 years old the best are:

  • Rice, rye or millet
  • Pasta
  • Couscous
  • Oatmeal
  • Potatoes or sweet potatoes
  • For breakfast and snacks, we will preferably choose whole wheat bread, oatmeal or some other whole-grain cereal and no added sugar.

Dairy products

From the year on, children who do not continue breastfeeding can already drink cow’s milk. It is advisable to remove the bottle and offer it by the glass. Natural yogurts, fresh cheese and small portions of cured cheeses are also healthy foods at this stage. We must monitor the latter, as they contain high amounts of salt.

It is not necessary to offer yogurts or special or continuation milk. In healthy children, and with a sufficient and varied diet, they offer no nutritional advantages over the original ones. Instead, they often have added ingredients such as sugar, aromas or added fats.

What should a child aged 1 to 3 not eat?

There are some foods that we should not introduce in the diet of 1 to 3 years, since they are not healthy or recommended, even for adults. We refer to:

  • Pastries: cookies, muffins, biscuits …
  • Sugary cereals
  • Salty snacks and potato chips
  • Soft drinks and fruit juices
  • Sugary dairy
  • Processed meats

Other considerations

At this age, children’s eating behaviors can be very variable. They may find it difficult to admit new foods and go through moments of greater or lesser appetite. It is important that the environment at lunchtime is quiet and that it is done as a family whenever possible. Children should never be unattended when they are eating.

Children should not be forced to eat and always offer different alternatives in terms of textures, flavors, and colors. Do not forget that this is also a stage of discovery and learning.

Although in the beginning, starting from the year, we will have already introduced a large part of the main foods of the children’s diet, it is important to remember that we must be alert to possible adverse reactions each time we introduce a new food.

The feeding of the little ones is one of the main concerns of the parents. Surrounding them with these healthy foods will make it an easier and more satisfying task for everyone.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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