The toddler years are a learning period, one of the things that children learn is about new foods and how to develop long term eating habits.
During this period teaching your child healthy eating habits can help him or her to grow up into a healthy adult.
Basically parents should provide healthy food for toddlers to assist children establish good eating patterns. In addition you should decide what food to offer the child and allow the toddler to decide how much to eat.
Just like adults, toddlers have hungry days and other days when they are not interested in eating.
Most of the time a child’s appetite depends on how active he/she is on a given day.
You will find that your child will prefer eating the same types of foods for weeks at a time.
This is quite normal and will pass away with time. Your duty is to offer various types of foods each day, however if the child does not like them do not be overly concerned.
Unlike adults children require less food; this is especially true in the 2nd year since they are growing slowly. At the same time since they have small stomachs, they need less food but require eating more often.
Apart from the above considerations, parents should keep meal times happy and relaxed in order to avoid food quarrels.
Healthy Food For Toddlers
Most parents complain that their children are less interested in food when they were babies. This is because parents expect their toddlers to eat much more than they should.
Healthy food for toddlers should consist of the 5 food groups, these are:
- Lean meat
- Dairy foods
Most of the time 3 small meals and two health snacks in a day are enough for your child. In case if you want to get more ideas about the food for your baby you may check here about the best flavorful foods for babies and toddlers.
While you may be worried about the amount of food that your toddler is eating, you need to know that children are quite good at knowing when they are full or hungry.
They can easily interfere with this ability if they are coerced to eat more than they should or are forced to finish all the food they have been served.
Keep In Mind about Your Toddler’s Nutrition Requirement
Keep in mind that nutrition is about keeping to the middle path, so do not get overly worried if you do not achieve your goals every day.
Rather than try to hit your mark daily, you should seek to offer a wide range of nutrients in your toddler’s diet.
Generally parents get worried about their toddlers’ eating patterns because they want them to thrive and they cannot see how this is going to happen when they eat little amounts of food.
As a result parents hassle during mealtimes in order to ensure that they get in some few morsels of healthy food down their stomachs.
To help you figure out figure out your child’s nutritional needs, consider the following food groups and the corresponding amounts for 2-3 year olds:
Milk- 2 cups: 1 cup is equal to 1 cup of yoghurt or milk or 2 ounces of processed cheese.
Toddlers aged 1-2 years should drink whole milk to assist in providing the dietary fats they need for normal growth and development.
If you are concerned that your child may become obese, or there is a history or risk of heart disease and cholesterol problems, you can check with your doctor to see if low fat milk can be given to prevent these complications.
After 2 years, most children can switch to non-fat or low-fat milk like soy milk or almond milk. You can prepare this milk easily at home using a soy milk maker machine which is available readily online.
Veggies -1 cup: Put the vegetables into a cup to ensure that you have the correct amount. It is recommended that you slice all the vegetables into small pieces before serving them to your toddler to prevent chocking. In addition you should ensure that the vegetables are well-cooked.
Fruits-1 cup: Put the fruits into a cup to ensure you get the correct amount. Generally an average banana is the equivalent of 1 cup. Grains-3-4 ounces: 1 ounce is the equivalent of 1 slice of bread, 1/2 cup of cooked rice or 1 cup of ready to eat cereals.
Beans and meat: 2-4 ounces: 1 ounce is equal to one ounce of poultry, meat or a quarter cup cooked beans.