All the foods suggested in this list can be included as a healthy part of any diet. The ways to incorporate are intended for use if your child needs some help with growth.

Food type Food examples Ways to incorporate
Oils Olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil, coconut oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, walnut oil
  • Add ¼ - ½ teaspoon (tsp.) to each 2 ounce (oz.) puree or hummus.
  • Cook with olive oil to prepare vegetables, meats, stir-fry or other foods.
  • Stir-fry is a dish made by cooking vegetables or meat in oil on a high heat.
  • Add oil to coat cooked vegetables, rice and pasta.
  • Drizzle oil on bread or a bagel before adding your child’s preferred spread.
Nuts and seeds or nut/seed butters (if appropriate for age and/or allergies) Almonds, walnuts, peanuts, cashews, pistachios, sesame seeds/tahini, sunflower seeds, ground flax seed (or nut/seed butters made with any of the above)
  • Mix nut/seed butters into oatmeal/warm cereals, smoothies, yogurt or purees.
  • Serve nut/seed butters as a dip for crackers or sliced fruit and vegetables.
  • Make pesto with any nut/seed and herbs, Parmesan cheese and olive oil to serve on pasta or as a dip.
  • Mix ground flax seed into smoothies, yogurts, oatmeal, pancake/waffle batter or baked good recipes.
  • Serve nuts as a snack (when age appropriate and not a choking hazard).
Beans and bean dips Black beans, kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils
  • Serve hummus or other bean dips with sliced vegetables or crackers. Serve chocolate hummus with sliced fruit.
  • Mix tahini (ground sesame seeds) into yogurt, smoothies or oatmeal. Use tahini as a sauce for cooking or as a dip for vegetables.
  • Mix beans or lentils into rice.
  • Try pastas made with bean or lentil flour (such as Banza® or Barilla protein+®).
High-calorie fruit Avocado, figs, dates, banana, coconut
  • Offer sliced fruit with dips or spreads.
  • Add to smoothies, yogurt or oatmeal.
Starchy/higher-calorie vegetables and proteins Sweet potato, red potato, squash, yams, eggs
  • Offer sliced vegetables with dips or spreads.
  • Mix into cooked dishes, such as soups, rice, pasta or stir-fry.
Full-fat dairy (if appropriate for age and/or allergies) Whole milk, whole milk yogurt, cheese
  • Use in place of low-fat or skim dairy products or as a base for smoothies.
  • Add to oatmeal or pair with fruit, vegetables or crackers.
  • Bake cheese onto toast or sprinkle onto pasta or rice.
Canned coconut milk or other dairy alternatives Canned coconut, Daiya® dairy-free cheese, Tofutti® cream cheese
  • Add ½ - 1 tbsp. of canned coconut milk to 4 oz. of non-dairy milk or add to smoothies or oatmeal.
  • Serve dairy-free cheese or cream cheese with vegetables, fruit or crackers.
  • Spread onto or bake into bread.
  • Add to pasta or rice.

Rev. 5/2022. MassGeneral for Children and Massachusetts General Hospital do not endorse any of the brands listed on this handout. This handout is intended to provide health information so that you can be better informed. It is not a substitute for medical advice and should not be used to treatment of any medical conditions.