Beans and lentils are nutritional powerhouses. They’re rich sources of fiber, protein, and many essential nutrients. Beans are also very satisfying, so you'll feel full before you pile on too many calories. And they’re versatile. Baked beans are a great way to whet kids' appetites for beans. Lots of kids also love chili and classic summer salads made with a mix of beans.
6. Tuna and Other Fish
Fish is a leading source of omega-3 fats, which are important at all ages. And it's heart-healthy food. Research shows that omega-3 fats lower the risk of abnormal heart rhythms and levels of blood fats (triglycerides). Some research suggests a link to reduced risk of dementia, as well as help for joint problems and symptoms of ADHD.
7. Whole-Grain Bread
Who doesn't love bread? Bread features in everything from French toast in the morning to sandwiches at lunch and bread pudding for dessert at night. The smartest choice, of course, is whole-grain bread, which packs more fiber and nutrients than refined-flour breads. Breads made with seeds or nuts pack even more nutrition. Studies show that people who eat more whole grains lower their risk of diabetes, heart disease, and other conditions, Zelman adds.
For people with blurred vision, Coste says, "White bread is eaten much less than wheat or pumpernickel. It's a visual thing, not a taste thing." So if you're an adult child who occasionally grocery shops for your parents, pick up a loaf of whole-grain bread and see if they prefer it.
For people with obesity, diabetes, or prediabetes, keep bread portion sizes small. And there are lots of gluten-free choices for people who cannot tolerate gluten.
Young kids love the variety of shapes and the taste of pasta. Choose whole-wheat pasta for more fiber and nutrition. Many very good basic tomato sauces are available on grocery store shelves these days, making it easy to put together a simple and delicious dish. Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants. For variety and added nutritional value, add chicken, beans, or vegetables such as chopped peppers or peas.