Toddler nutrition

Toddler nutrition

Nutrition and Meal Planning for Toddlers

Meal planning for toddlers can sometimes get quite overwhelming. Toddlerhood is challenging as they go through so many developmental changes at that age, their growth slows down as compared to the first year of their life, they are more aware of their likes and dislikes and their appetite reduces. It is thus important to serve nutrient dense food in order to meet their dietary requirements.

To maintain a healthy diet, focus should be on the below food groups when plating your toddler’s meal:

• 50% Fruits and Veggies (maintain a good balance between these two groups)
• 25% Grains (Wheat, Rce, Oats, Amarnath, Millets, and other grain products)
• 25% Protein (Lentils, Beans, Peas, Animal based source of protein and seafood).
• A small portion of dairy on the side.

Some basic Do’s and Don’ts to raise a happy eater:

• Involve your child in meal prep and planning, let them accompany you the supermarket/farmers market and choose veggies/fruits. More involvement helps them become familiar with a variety of foods which leads to more acceptance during meal time
• Try to maintain a schedule for meals and snacks. Set a routine that is most comfortable for you and your little one.
• Eat meals together
• Do not pressurize to try new foods or force feed/distract feed your child.
• Offer options in meals. Serve new or unfamiliar food with safe foods (food you child likes or is comfortable eating).

Instead of offering store bought processed snacks like Chips, White Bread, Biscuits that contain high amounts of sodium, refined sugar, and other additives, opt for simple homemade snacks or whole fruits, roasted veggies, homemade cookies etc.

These are perfect as snacks or can be used as a topping for yogurt.

Recipe for Healthy Homemade Granola:

2 Cups Rolled Oats
2 Tbsp Maple Syrup/Honey
1/2 Cup Seeds and Nuts (We used Pumpkin Seeds, Pecan and Walnuts)
1/4 Cup Olive Oil/Coconut Oil
1/3 Cup Dried Fruits (Cranberries/Raisins)
A pinch of salt
1/2 Tsp Vanilla extract
• In a bowl mix together the Oats, Nuts/Seeds and salt.
• Now add in the Oil, Maple Syrup and Vanilla Extract. Mix well to coat evenly.
• Line a baking tray and spread the mixture for form an even layer.
• Bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 20-25 mins. Keep an eye out and once you see that the oats are light golden in colour, you can take them out of the oven.
• Allow to cool completely. Add dried fruits of choice and store in an airtight container.

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