Dietician lists 7 superfoods that should be a staple in your children’s diet

Children are in a constant state of growth and development. Picture: August de Richelieu/Pexels

Children are in a constant state of growth and development. Picture: August de Richelieu/Pexels

Published May 16, 2024


The significance of nutrition can easily be overshadowed by convenience and the fast-food culture.

Particularly for children, proper nutrition is not just a cornerstone of health but also a critical component in their development.

Understanding the importance of nutrition for children and recognising which foods should be staples in our pantries can transform not just their health outcomes but their futures.

Children are in a constant state of growth and development. Nutrition fuels this process, supporting everything from the strength of their bones to the development of their brains.

For example, nutrients such as calcium and vitamin D are essential for building strong bones, while omega-3 fatty acids are crucial for cognitive development and function.

A deficiency in key nutrients during these vital years can lead to developmental delays and long-term health issues.

Joyelle Temming, dietitian for the CHOC Childhood Cancer Foundation, has come forward to demystify the concept and benefits of “superfoods” for children's health.

The term “superfood” evokes images of natural powerhouses brimming with health benefits, yet it lacks a formal definition, leaving many parents puzzled about how to incorporate these foods into their children's diets.

Temming clarifies that superfoods, despite their lack of formal criteria, are generally acknowledged for their extraordinarily high content of:

  • Antioxidants, the valiant protectors of our cells, reducing the risk of various diseases.
  • Flavonoids, plant-derived substances with significant anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic attributes.
  • Vitamins and minerals.
  • Fibre.
  • Healthy fats.

These nutrient-dense foods have been closely linked with a multitude of health benefits, including bolstering the immune system, enhancing heart health, combating inflammation, reducing cholesterol levels, and playing a crucial role in the prevention of diseases.

However, Temming stresses that relying solely on these superfoods is not the key to achieving a balanced diet for children.

The real nutritional powerhouse lies in diversity; a varied diet that incorporates a colourful selection of these nutrient-rich foods alongside staples such as fruits, vegetables, grains, dairy, and protein is crucial.

This inclusive approach to diet is essential for providing children with the full spectrum of nutrients they need for optimal health.

7 superfoods with superpowers for kids


Berries are packed with multiple vitamins. Picture: Eiliv Aceron /Unsplash

Berries, with their vibrant hues, are not just a treat for the eyes but are packed with vitamins A, C, and folate, alongside soluble fibre and flavonoids that help ward off heart conditions.


Tomatoes contain carotenoid which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Picture: PhotoMIX Company /Pexels

Tomatoes, another kitchen staple, are lauded not only for their rich antioxidant content but also for containing lycopene.

This powerful carotenoid slashes the risk of cardiovascular diseases and cancers and even offers skin protection from the harsh rays of the sun.

Sweet potatoes

Roasted sweet potato. Picture: Anastasia Belousova/Pexels

Sweet potatoes emerge as a superfood superhero, brimming with beta-carotene, an antioxidant known for its cell-protecting abilities and enhancing immunity.

Moreover, its contribution to lowering blood pressure and boosting vitamin A intake makes it essential for maintaining good health.

Vitamin A is vital for creating the pigment in the retina responsible for night vision.

Dark leafy greens such as kale and broccoli

Dark green veggies contain antioxidants that promote healthy vision. Picture: SouthStore Design/Pexels

High in fibre, vitamins A, C, E, K, and folate. Good source of lutein and zeaxanthin, which are antioxidants that promote healthy vision. These vegetables get their colour from chlorophyll, which helps prevent bacterial development.


Avocadoes are rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Picture: Lisa Fotios/Pexels

Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Contain more potassium than a banana. High in fibre. These fats are not only good for the heart but critical for children’s growth and development.


Salmon contains essential fats that growing children need for development. Picture: Sebastian Coman Photography/Pexels

High in heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. Contains essential fats that growing children need for development.


A versatile kitchen ingredient, comes loaded with high-quality protein for muscle growth, B vitamins, antioxidants and other minerals. High in antioxidants that have protective effects on the eyes.