As parents, we’re frequently at a loss to know what’s healthiest for our kids. Also, it’s not always easy to recall appropriate serving amounts; for example, is a single serving of broccoli sufficient? Two? Have they already eaten everything in the bowl?
Your young child can enjoy the same meals as the rest of the family by simply eating less of each item.
Toddlers’ nutritional requirements
The dietary needs of toddlers vary considerably from those of older kids and adults. Toddlers, due to their rapid development and high calories burned, need more calories and nutrients from each bite than adults. In comparison to an adult, a toddler needs around three times as many calories each day. The nutrient requirements of toddlers are similar to those of infants, in that they are more per kg of body weight than those of adults.
Balanced’ diet for a toddler
The following components make up what experts consider to be a healthy diet for toddlers:
1. Milk and dairy for toddlers
Toddlers should have two to three daily portions of full-fat dairy products, including whole milk. Cheese, yogurt, and fromage frais made with cow, goat, or sheep milk are all acceptable. Energy and protein, as well as several vitamins and minerals, can be found in them. They are helpful like:
- For healthy bones and teeth vitamin D is essential
- To strengthen the immune system and stave off colds, vitamin A is a must.
- Your child’s eyes, skin, and nervous system will all benefit from riboflavin.
- The B vitamins (B12, B2, and B6) can all be found in good quantities in vitamin B. Simply put, they’re crucial to the body’s ability to function by providing fuel. Go B’s.
- Magnesium is necessary for the conversion of food into usable fuel.
- Potassium is a mineral essential for maintaining a healthy heart and fluid balance.
2. Grains and other starchy carbohydrates
Feed your kid at least five servings of grains, starches, and vegetables every day. These are a good source of energy and the B-complex vitamins. Starchy foods with higher fiber content, such as grain cereal cereals and brown rice, also give additional nutrients; nevertheless, they should be added to the diet gradually due to their potential to increase appetite.
- Fruits and vegetablesEat at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day, each about the size of your hand. Vegetables and fruits in any form—fresh, dried, frozen, canned, or juice —count; for variety’s sake, eat a wide range of colors. These colorful and appetizing frozen fruit skewers are a terrific way to get your daily dose of vitamin C and other essential micronutrients while also enjoying a delicious “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables.
Because of the importance that familiarity plays in the formation of food preferences, displaying a bowl of mixed fruits and veggies might inspire your child to try something new.
4. Meat, fish, and alternate protein sources
Chicken, salmon, eggs, and pulses are all good examples. Your young child can get the protein they require from this category of foods. They need two servings a day, whereas vegetarians require three. Some other excellent sources of iron are meat and pulses. Your child’s brain growth depends on enough iron intake, so give him or her plenty of minerals.
Oily fish, like salmon, are a good source of Omega 3 fatty acids. Both the brain and the eyes may benefit from these lipids.
5. Protein that is good for you
To get the protein you need, try eating more fish, eggs, poultry, beans, peas, nuts, and seeds. Cut down on your intake of processed meats and red meat (beef, pork, and lamb).
6. Supplements for toddlers
Vitamins A, C, and D are essential for growth, but it can be difficult for picky eaters and those who don’t eat a wide variety of foods to acquire enough of these nutrients. Children between the ages of six months and five years old may benefit from vitamin drops. Reasons why
Your child’s immune system will be fortified and his skin will stay healthy due to vitamin A. Your child’s immune system and iron absorption will both benefit from vitamin C. Vitamin D help in calcium absorption, which is especially important during a toddler’s rapid skeletal development.
Taking in excess of the daily recommended dose of certain vitamins can have negative effects. Cereals and other fortified foods can also contribute to meeting the dietary needs of children of this age.
Tips to help you limit foods for children
Avocado, nut butter/pastes, vegetable oils, and cooking margarine are healthier alternatives to butter, cooking margarine, cream, coconut oil, and palm oil.
Always check the nutrition labels and opt for lower-salt alternatives. Don’t add any extra salt to your food, either when preparing or eating.
Give out water instead of sugary sodas, cordials, energy drinks, or sports beverages.
Toddlers’ appetites can fluctuate greatly as they go through various stages of development, such as teething, weight gain, and other changes in their bodies. This is frustrating for parents who are already concerned about their children’s dietary intake. So, it’s smart to consult a pediatrician about creating a healthy eating plan for your child that considers his individual nutritional needs.
1. Why is it so important for toddlers to eat a well-rounded diet?
Growing, changing, and being active as a child emphasizes the importance of a healthy diet. Preventing cavities and encouraging healthy tooth development is also crucial at this time. The first few years of a person’s life are crucial in establishing their lifelong routines of eating.
2. Can toddlers eat the same thing every day?
Most parents will tell you that their toddler is a fussy eater, but it can be difficult to tell if this is because they eat infrequently or because they choose the same foods day in and day out. Both, however, can be entirely typical.
3. How often should a toddler eat?
Feed your kid every two to three hours, or at least five or six times a day. Your youngster will have enough food for three full meals and two or three snacks every day.