What do I feed my baby? That’s a major concern troubling every mother especially once breastfeeding calls for an end. On top it, getting the nutritious diet and developing a strong immune system for the toddlers demands a bigger thought. The needs of the body are never the same and during the early years one must offer appropriate portions of food that is loaded with recommended nutrients.
In order to fulfill the extra demands of the body make a habit of giving three meals and two snacks for your little one balancing nutritional requirement. And here we go to make a list of few food items for toddlers (1-3 years), that will ease you up planning everyday and looking for apt nutrition.
Toddlers can be picky eaters and making a child enjoy the meal is not a child’s play. A baby should get iron, calcium, protein along with many other essential vitamins every day. Start the morning with warm milk and soaked almonds as the kids, under 3 cannot wait till you prepare breakfast.
Ideal Time: Before 9am
Plan a balanced diet for your baby with a healthy breakfast, which includes recipes made using whole grains, cereals. Healthy smoothies in little quantities help in gaining energy for the day activities. Soft food like steamed idlis, upma or porridge with fresh veggies is perfect to be the first meal.
Ideal Time: 11am
As a morning snack give them finger food that is easy to eat and some sweets like halwa are good options. Give the snack as per the season and taste of your child. But make sure you add healthy ingredients like ragi flakes, fresh fruits, wheat based biscuits, a small portion of dosa, sandwich as this helps the child to enjoy eating the food.
Ideal Time: 1-2pm
In order to fulfill all the nutritional needs, plan the lunch with food that is rich in carbohydrates along with proteins. Dal, roti, egg, vegetable soup or softly mashed vegetable and include potato, spinach, carrots as these are good sources of vitamins and minerals. Make the food which is soft to chew and easy to digest as this slowly develop fondness towards eating. Offer curd or yoghurt to the little one as this is a good source of calcium.
Ideal Time: 5pm
As an evening snack give them finger food or some small portions of soft fruits, milk. Add the fruits like banana, papaya, mango, berries as these are rich in several vitamins. Ragi or millet is a healthy option and moms can prepare cereal, ladoos.
Ideal Time: 8pm
Feed your baby with dishes that are a combination of roti or rice, pulses and vegetables. This way of heavy food helps kids to get a good night’s sleep.
Start feeding them whatever you eat, which is not much spicy and do not stick to a single dish as the taste of the toddlers fluctuate a lot. Pay excess interest in presentation and introduce new food every day as the different colors, texture and taste make them enjoy the food. Plan a flexible diet chart carefully as the baby eats as per their mood and the precious little child need to gain balanced nutritional diet that do not ruin the digestive system.