Balanced Diet for Your Toddler: Your baby is 6 months old. Its time to start introducing solids.. You do it one by one till your baby by the age of 1 is almost eating most of the food you normally eat.
Yet your little one is small and cannot eat ALL you are eating. Have you wondered what to do.. how to ensure your little one gets all the nutrients they need to support their rapid growth..
I did that, I was worried if I was giving Balanced diet for my toddler and slowly came up with what I am about to share.
- Essential foods for Balanced Diet for Your Toddler
- Preservation of vitamins during cooking
- Foods to avoid for Toddlers
- The formation of proper eating behavior
- How-To motivate Toddler to eat food
- The principles making a diet plan for your Toddler
- Note to Parent – Caution
A balanced diet is one of the essential parts of children’s health.
A properly balanced diet is understood as a diet, that fully meets the physiological age-related needs of a child.
Moreover, young children have a more significant effect of diet on their health and development.
During the age of 12–36 months, growth and development of a child remains high.
All of his organs improve functioning, there is continuous growth of the body and this process requires adequate consumption of nutrients.
Essential foods for Balanced Diet for Your Toddler:
It is very important to lay the foundations for proper nutrition from the beginning. So, a while growing my kids I ensured that my kids diet consist of..
Milk is the staple food for children at this age. From 1 year to 3 years, calcium needs are very high and milk is the main source of this calcium in the daily diet.
They would have one glass of milk in the morning after breakfast and before to school. And one in the evening once they come back from school.
At this age, iron is needed for intellectual development of a child and meat provides iron, zinc necessary for tissue growth; in addition to vitamin B12, necessary for the formation of blood cells and for the development of the nervous system.
Proteins is the building blocks of our body and needed for our kids rapid growth.
At these ages, the ideal is soft-tasting meats such as chicken, mutton, turkey, pork, rabbit or beef.
Most of the time I gave my kids boiled meat which I shredded and added a pinch of salt, pepper, lemon, butter etc.. basis what kids requested.
Also, one thing my kids loved at this stage was to drink the meat stock as soup. (Indian food has a bit of turmeric and spices).
So, the stock becomes a soup directly when taken off the cooker.
Fish is also a source of protein, fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A and D and B12.
It also provides iodine, phosphorus, iron and magnesium.
We were from the coastal area. So, fish was in abundance and a dish kids love a lot. The only problem is fish bones.
As it is part of our culture to feed by hand. I mash the fish with my hands to feel for bones before feeding them.
NEVER used spoon to feed fish to kids. Something I still practice out of fear when I give fish to kids.
Although all types of fats are necessary for the proper functioning of the body, the best is olive oil.
All vegetable fats are suitable. Now this is something which is theoretically nice to say but getting kids to eat was a bit of a challenge.
I found that my kids love to eat raw vegetables. So veggies like carrots, ladies finger, beetroot, cucumber, turnip and even tomatoes and onions.
So, a lot of time their snack for school snack break was these raw vegies.
This has 3-way advantage for me. This gets the vegies inside them, Avoided, biscuits n other junk snack items, Plus easy way of making healthy food.
If you like to know other ways of giving nutritious food for your kids and family. Do read our article All you need to know about kids’ nutrition.
The egg white protein, in addition to being easy to digest, contains all the essential nutrients for kids.
This is a must item in kids’ breakfast. And an egg in the morning keeps you filled up till snack time easily.
Each kid does like eggs in different ways. That was a bit of a work. And when I made scrambled eggs.
I slipped in two eggs so to get extra nutrition inside them.
This age group is a good time to introduce children to consumption of fruits.
Infact the first solids given to my kids are fruits like sweet lime, banana, apple.. one at a time.
Fruits are usually what my kids find on the table when they come back from school. They easily gobble up one or two of the seasonal fruits. Once again the same 3-way advantage plays here.
play with the textures and colors of these foods to get their attention and learn to eat them.
Fruits and vegetables are an important source of potassium or magnesium, vitamins such as C, A or B and fiber.
For youngsters under 1.5 years of age
A preferable diet is well boiled soups, cereals, salads, mashed potatoes and vegetables.
Raw vegetables and fruits should be grated. Meat and fish are cooked within the sort of baked meatballs, steam cutlets. These constitute balanced diet for your toddler.
For youngsters older than 1.5 years
The degree of processed food is gradually reduced. Pureed dishes are replaced with more dense consistency, which needs active chewing.
With the event of a child’s chewing skill, the consistency of dishes should gradually change – from liquid and puree to denser.
This is often done to improve chewing skills and muscles.
Well boiled Porridge is also given to children. Salads are prepared from finely chopped raw and boiled vegetables, seasoned with oil.
Finely chopped pieces of meat or poultry stew (chicken, turkey) are introduced into the diet.
Fish previously free of bones is given in boiled form or within the sort of cutlets. Fresh fruits should be stoned and dig slices.
Preservation of vitamins during cooking
To ensure the preservation of vitamins during cooking, vegetables should be boiled with their skin on, and properly washed before cooking.
Vegetables are laid in boiling salted water, maintaining a consistent boil until food is cooked, with the lid closed.
The meat is dipped in cold water and boiled until tender.
The fish, on the contrary, is crammed with predicament.
It is advisable to salt the food in several stages, in small portions to the specified taste.
Such methods help in retaining nutrient and there by providing balanced diet for your toddler.
FOOD TO AVOID FOR TODDLERS
While following balanced diet for your toddler. The following things to be avoided if possible
- Canned snacks, pickled vegetables and fruits
- Ready made Canned home-made products
- Canned foods in tomato sauce
- Dry concentrates for the preparation of side dishes
- Hot sauces, mustard, pepper, vinegar, mayonnaise
- Natural coffee
- Packed juices and drinks
- Sweet carbonated drinks
- Products containing food additives (flavors, artificial coloring, including chewing gum)
- Combined fats
- Cakes and pastries
It is recommended to limit the consumption of sausages for toddlers and eliminate the skin of the birds and all visible fat.
The formation of proper eating behavior
Toddlers usually have nutrition problems. This is mostly because at this age kids become very active and sometimes get tired and refuse to eat.
It should be noted that attempts by parents to force children to eat. To ensure balanced diet for your toddler. They end up making the kid anxious and stressed.
This causes food negatively and affects children’s ability to manage the saturation process, also as cause different abdominal issues.
The formation of taste habits is especially influenced by the preferences of the family and friends, so even the fussiest baby, with the proper approach, is often taught to eat right.
It should not be forgotten that the various diets of a pregnant and lactating mother also affect the taste preferences of the kid.\
The more diverse her diet is, the better it is to subsequently introduce certain products to the kid. There by ensuring that balanced diet for your toddler is followed.
How-To motivate Toddler to eat food
In our attempt to help you with ensuring your toddler is given a balanced diet. For his physical and mental development.
We feel it is important that you completely understand how and what motivates your toddler to pick a certain food and reject the other.
We have outlined some tendency your toddler has that your little one will be incline towards …
The look of the food is of great importance – beautifully designed dishes that ought to have a pleasing aroma attracts a toddler.
The daily diet should be as diverse as possible and always include his favorite dishes. Made sure all food colors are present.
3- INTRODUCING NEW FOOD
New products are often offered to a toddler at the start of a meal when he is still hungry.
In that way he is more receptive to eat what is offered when he is hungry. And if he does not like it or eats less. Replace it with other food types. Do not enforce it. You can reintroduce it again later.
The principles making a diet plan for your Toddler
When you are in the journey to chalk out a balanced diet for your toddler. When drawing up a private diet of a toddler, it is necessary to specialize in the subsequent principles:
- Three main feedings are recommended for toddlers (breakfast, lunch, dinner) and a couple of additional ones (second breakfast / afternoon snack and fermented milk product or the 3rd formula before bedtime), the quantity of 1 feed should be around 300-350 ml
- The quantity of food (excluding water) per day is 1000–1200 ml for the second year of life and 1200–1500 ml for the third
- Vegetables and / or fruits should be given everyday
- Dairy products – 3 times each day (including milk for creating porridge, yogurts, sour-milk drinks, pot cheese, infant formula, or breast milk)
- Cereal products – cereals and side dishes – 1 time per day
- Bread – 2-3 times a day.
- Meat dishes and / or poultry – Once every day is prefered.
- Fish dishes – 2-3 times a week.
- Egg – Once a day
- It is important to watch the drinking regime (5 ½ cups a day), Try avoiding sugary drinks
- When cooking, use a minimum amount of salt and sugar. Do not add salt and sugar to industrial products
Note : For youngsters with physical developmental delays, the diet is compiled individually taking under consideration the state of health.
In short: Main Points
- Have 3 main feeds and 2 snack feed
- Water – 5 ½ cups a day.
- Must include veggies & Fruits every day
- Dairy products (3 times a day) including milk, yogurt etc.
- Eggs are considered super food. Give at least 1 a day.
- Cereals – 1 time a day
- Meat and Fish – 2 -3 Times a week
- Avoid: Deep fried food and snacks
- Avoid: Sugary or aerated drinks
- Add less if possible, avoid salt and sugar in toddler food.
Note to Parents – Things to watch out for
It is observed that during the initial two years of age, the principles of excellent nutrition are often violated unknowingly.
This could be because, children after reaching 1 year of life, as a rule, are quickly transferred to an adult “family” table.
At this age they are not capable of digesting what their parents are eating.
Sometimes they intake more than their requirement of essential nutrients and sometimes there is deficiency.
Deficiency of essential nutrients are usually caused due to insufficient consumption of vegetables and fruits, meat and fish.
Diet of parents consists of excessive straightforward carbohydrates.
We add sugar to drinks and food during our preparation.
There is also an excessive consumption of salt.
Balanced diet for your toddler at early age may be a critical period for the formation of eating behavior and long-lasting appetite disorders.
Appetite could also be impaired due to insufficient duration of sleep, excessive use of mobile games and other distracting factors.
As parents we need to ensure that our kids don’t grow up to become victims of bad habits.
When organizing the nutrition of a child in the first year of life, it is necessary to introduce vitamins, juices, various types of complementary foods into his diet, to provide him diversity.
Always take into account the individual characteristics of the child and his state of health.
Systematically monitor the conformity of the child’s diet with his physiological needs and his development.
At the cost of repeating. However, doing it as this is important. For a young child of one year, a diet with 5 meals is suggested, of which 3 are main and a couple of additional feedings.
A further meal is a day snack, a milk drink before bedtime and 2nd breakfast before a walk also are possible.
If desired, the mother can breastfeed the baby 1-2 times each day until the age of two. Breast milk is known to be a stimulant to boost the baby’s IQ. If you are interested to know more on how to boost IQ in your little one. Read our article 15 ~ Easy ways to Boost your baby’s IQ.
Eating alongside adults improves appetite and promotes the adoption of latest products.
It also forms cultural and hygienic skills like washing hands, calm behavior, thanks, using cutlery and napkins etc. DO know more about hygiene from our article How to teach kids Personal Hygiene? And When?.
During the second or third years of life, the diet of youngsters expands, therefore, it is necessary to beautifully set the table, use convenient and bright dishes.
Do emphasis on the appearance of the dish to attach and motivate your child to eat.
The stage of a toddler is an in-between stage where the kid can eat adult food. Yet cannot eat only adult food.
A little bit of effort is needed from our side at this stage to ensure balanced diet for your toddler. And our toddler gets the right nutrition to help them grow and be healthy.
We hope this blog has been helpful to you. If Yes, show us love by sharing the blog post with your friends and loved ones.
Together we can make the world a better place one step at a time.
If you have any other ideas or tip on how ensure balanced diet for your toddler,
Please do share with us in your comments below. This will help us to make our blog better and above all your knowledge will benefit other parents also.
However, I am a mother growing 3 kids. Am a concerned parent.
I have written this article, basis my experience, my talk with experts in this line and research on this topic. These things I have written , I have implemented it in my life with my kids.
This is article if only meant for knowledge sharing and information purpose. This is not a substitute for any medical or professional advice.
If you are feeling concerned and worried about your kid. Your instinct tells you to be concerned.
As a parent to parent. I would say trust your instinct. No one knows better than you as a parent to your child. It is best to reach out to a qualified practitioner to address your concern.
If you wish to know more on our disclaimer. We have shared the link here for your easy reference. Disclaimer.