Brain Food: Add Healthy Fats to Your Toddler’s Diet

by Lauren Follett, BA, RHN, Registered Nutritionist

 

I introduced Jack to solid food when he was six months old, but he still got most of his calories and nutrients from breast milk. Now that he’s 14 months and fully weaned it’s really important to me that he eats healthily and gets all the healthy fats, vitamins and minerals that he needs.

 

 

Healthy fats are so important for proper brain development. Chia, hemp and flax seeds, avocado, coconut and extra virgin olive oils, natural nut butters and fish are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Here are few ways to incorporate them into your toddler’s diet:

Smoothies with chia, flax, hemp and coconut oil

– Plain Greek yogurt with a spoon or two of natural almond butter (or other natural nut or seed butter) mixed in. I also stir in a teaspoon of real maple syrup and a handful of blueberries.

– Chia Pudding Parfait: combine chia seeds with almond milk, and soak for a couple hours or overnight. Add a natural sweetener like honey or coconut sugar and top with fruit.

– A couple of scoops of simple home-made guacamole (avocado, lime juice, cumin and a pinch of sea salt) on a brown rice cake or Green Monster Pasta – a green sauce with avocado, hemp seeds, spinach and extra virgin olive oil (recipe provided below)

– Canned sockeye salmon (make sure it’s MSC certified) mixed with hummus pasta (brown rice noodles with a couple tablespoons of hummus as the sauce)

Green Monster Pasta Sauce

Ingredients
3 cups organic baby spinach

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
¼ cup shredded white cheddar cheese
1/3 cup hemp seeds
1 large ripe avocado
1 clove garlic, minced
Sea salt & pepper to taste
Brown rice or lentil pasta

Method

Combine sauce ingredients in a blender, and stir into your favourite healthy pasta (brown rice, whole-wheat or lentil pasta).

Add chopped cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs for some colour and more veggies!

 

 

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