Making food for the toddler is both an interesting and challenging task for a mother. Interesting because the mother would try her best to make a dish that her junior would love to eat. And challenging because making a dish is one thing and make your kid eat it is another. The toughest thing for a mother is to make her child eat. They will try all possible ways to run away from food. So it is very necessary to select toddlers food. It is also challenging because it is the time when your junior needs more nutrition. This age group is very important because of both brain and health development occurs in this age. And, also because your toddler learns to eat semi-solid and solid food at these ages. Here we will discuss foods that would bring both your toddler’s interest in food as well as their nutrients.
Healthy and Nutritious Food for Toddler
Before starting the discussion over healthy food we should first know what types of food should toddlers eat and what they should not. Toddlers need food from all five food groups. i.e. vegetable, fruits, grain food, dairy, and protein because it is important for their health, development, and learning. And they should not eat food high in salt, saturated fat and sugar and drinks with caffeine and lots of sugar.
|Food Group||Daily Amount for 2-Year-Olds||Daily Amount for 3-Year-Olds|
|Grains||3 ounces, half from whole-grain sources||4-5 ounces, half from whole-grain sources|
|Vegetables||1 cup||1½ cups|
|Fruits||1 cup||1-1½ cups|
|Milk||2 cups||2 cups|
|Protein||0.55 grams of protein per pound||Of body weight per day|
Toddler meal plan
Here we will discuss the meal plan for your toddler. Try not to repeat the same. Rather try to bring variety in their meals.
Breakfast gives your toddler the energy they need for their hectic day. When children do a heavy breakfast they can concentrate more on playing, learning, and solving problems as they do not feel hungry. A healthy breakfast should have protein, carbohydrates, and fats in it. You can offer your junior a huge variety of dishes like oats, muesli, wholegrain toast low sugar whole-grain cereal, boiled eggs, omelets, porridge, fruits, and yogurts. Breakfast is the most important in toddlers food as it breaks the overnight fasting and starts your toddler’s metabolism. Therefore you should look into the fact that your kiddos should not jump over their breakfast.
Though snacks have a bad image in general but healthy snacks play an important role in meeting a toddler’s nutritional needs. Small children cannot consume that much quantity of food or nutrition that they need at one time. So spacing snacks help in both ways. Firstly it manages their hunger and secondly helps to keep their nutrition level up to the mark. Various season fruits like apple, mango orange, pears, peaches, watermelon, or milk or mixed fruit yogurt or small cube of tofu or cheese can be given or hard-boiled eggs can be given alternatively to your toddler.
Lunch is a very important time for your toddler as this is the time when they store their needed and nutrients for the day. The growth of their mental and physical health depends upon these supplements. Try to give your kiddo grain foods and animal protein at lunch. Again do not repeat the same food. try to bring variety. You can choose from different types of bread (rye bread, baguettes, seeded rolls, pita bread pockets, flatbread, etc.), pasta, cereals, rice, corn, dips like hummus, tzatziki, lean meat or falafel, etc.
Afternoon snacks are as important as morning snacks. Here you can give your kids vegetable soup, whole grained crackers, avocado, steamed carrot, chia pudding, oat pancakes, nut butter pancakes, or any fresh fruit, etc.
Dinner is the time of the day when the little masters share the table with their family. So make some irresistible yummy for your juniors like chicken nuggets, meatballs, spaghetti, pasta, honey roasted carrots, pancakes, etc.
Always keep in mind that you continue breastfeeding your child until 2 years of age. Give them food after a fixed time. Give water between meals. Toddlers are at higher risk of choking than others because they have less control over swallowing. So give them small pieces of food to eat. Ensure that they sit while eating r drinking. Try not to give them outside foods as such foods may have germs which may make your child ill. To ensure healthy snacks as your toddlers food store that in-home in plenty. Carry their food while going for an outing. Remember you are responsible for their healthy feeding habits.