By Ms. Preety Tyagi,
Lead Health Coach & Founder, My22BMI
Feeding your toddler is not an easy job. This is one of the most crucial times of a child’s life when he develops his likes, dislikes and food preferences. This often leads to inadequate intake making feeding him one of the most difficult tasks of parenting. Toddler nutrition is extremely important Inadequate intake results in poor growth and development which can really affect a child. Reading books or taking ideas from fellow parents is not always helpful as each kid has his own preference and interest. So here My22BMI presents a complete guide which will help you to feed your toddler easily with some super easy hacks. Let’s have a look at it!
Before we talk about how to provide proper nutrition to your toddler, we need to know what all foods are essential at this phase of life. My22BMI has created a list of those extremely important foods which play an important role in growth and development of your child. The list includes –
- Whole Milk:
Milk is rich in good quality protein and calcium, both of which are extremely important to support the growth and development of the child during this stage of life. Milk is rich in protein that helps to build up muscle tissue, whereas calcium helps in bone development thus it should be kept at the top of the list while talking about toddler nutrition.
- Whole Grain Cereals:
During this phase of life the energy requirement remains very high and to support that, whole grain cereals must be included in diet. Whole grains are not only good source of energy, but also the outer layer of grains contain good amount of fiber along with multiple beneficial vitamins and minerals which makes it one of the major components of toddler nutrition. My22BMI suggests to avoid polished and processed grains and incorporate all natural and unprocessed cereal grains like whole wheat, rice, quinoa, maize, oats, millet in a toddler’s diet. You can cook them as porridge or prepare fruit smoothie out of that to make it more appealing or interesting to your toddler.
Fruits due to their high content of vitamins, minerals, water and antioxidant are extremely important component of toddler nutrition. Soft fruits like, melon, papaya, banana, mango etc can be given at the first year of life. Fruits like apple, pear, and guava can be introduced in boiled and mashed form followed by raw pieces during this time. Chewing them can help in faster teeth eruption.
While talking about toddler nutrition we must talk about those colorful healthy veggies which play an important role in building their immunity. This is the best time when you can build your kid’s habit of eating vegetables. You can soft cook colorful veggies like spinach, carrot, broccoli, red cabbage and serve them together. This will look more appealing and your child will grow the habit of eating veggies without any issues.
While we speak about toddler nutrition we cannot simply over look this power house of protein and fat soluble vitamins. Eggs are not only rich in protein and good fats but also they are an excellent source of vitamin A which is highly needed for the eye health of the toddler.
Yogurt is a probiotic that helps in better digestion. Also protein present in yogurt helps in growth and development. Thus yogurt plays a crucial role in toddler nutrition.
- Iron Fortified Food:
Iron plays a significant role in toddler nutrition. During this phase of life along with holistic growth and development, blood volume also increases. The increase in blood volume and hemoglobin needs a good amount of iron supply. Apart from dark green leafy veggies, iron fortified cereals, dates etc should be included in the daily meal of a toddler.At times, feeding toddler could be very difficult because of some common malpractices and that can leave a deep impact on toddler nutrition. So My22BMI has come up with a solution which can help you to achieve optimum toddler nutrition –
- Never force feed your toddler. This can grow a strong disliking on the food that you try to force feed and the kid might never feel like eating that. This can lead to poor toddler nutrition.
- Don’t feed the same food everyday. They can get bored easily as might never feel like eating that food again. This can result in improper toddler nutrition status.
- Involve your toddler in cooking practices like picking the food or getting the spices etc. This will enhance their interest in eating of that particular food and you will be able to provide optimum toddler nutrition.
- While talking about toddler nutrition, you must make sure that the food you are serving, is appealing both look and tastewise. Toddlers are having more tastebuds compared to the adults so they may react to any food differently than that of an adult. Also the look of the food plays a very important role in toddler nutrition. They are more likely to accept the foods which look more colorful and creative to them.
- Fix a particular time for feeding. This will help to set the metabolism in the right path from the very beginning which is an effective component of toddler nutrition.
Follow these simple rules to feed your toddler right and keep him healthy and happy!