Now that your bundle of Joy is grown enough to slide down your arms and find his/her way on own, do you find it challenging to feed him? If your answer is yes, then this article is a must-read for you.Toddlerhood is the age, referring to from 12 months to 3years. To accommodate good physical, mental, and emotional development of your baby, it is necessary to throw a spotlight on healthy and balanced nutrition.Below table shares the toddlers’ food behaviour at different age:AgeSkillsBehaviour12 to 18 months
- Accepts variety, different textures of food.
- Likes eating with hands.
- Drinks from a cup.
- Wants foods others are eating.
- Develops food preferences.
18 monthsto 3 years
- Likes eating with hands.
- Uses fork and spoon
- Likes varying textures
- Better at chewing, not perfect though
- Has food likes and dislikes.
- Is easily distracted and dawdles over food at times.
- Hunger decreases as growth slow down.
- Try new foods with gaps so that the acceptance improves.
3 to 4 years
- Can eat assorted tastes by themselves
- Meals are less messy.
- Chews most food.
- Improved appetite and interest in food, but could be fussy.
- Influenced by TV commercials, family, and friends.
- Prefers simple foods.
What Should a Toddler Eat?Considering the growth rate of your toddler, following servings from each food group should be included in his/ her diet.CEREALS: At least 6 serving per day.
- This group includes foods like wheat, whole grain cereals, rice, millets, Jowar, etc.
PROTEINS: At least 2 servings per day.
- A glimpse of protein intake is shown below:
- 20 gm cooked dal (any dal can be included)
- 10 gm cooked sprouts
- 1 cube cheese per day
- 350 ml of milk per day
- 200ml of curd or buttermilk
- 1 boiled egg per day
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: 3 to 4 servings per day
- Are direct sources of multivitamins, antioxidants, the fibre in your toddler’s diet?Be a cheeky cook! Include seasonal vegetables and fruits in a toddler’s meal.Use Raw Vegetables such as sticks of salad vegetables like carrot, beetroot, cucumber etc., and cooked vegetables in the form of purees or soups or even paranthas and mixed vegetable dosas.
- 1 fruit per day
FATS AND SUGARS:
- Go slow when you choose high-fat foods like butter, cream and items rich in sugar.
- Using tree nuts and oilseeds like walnuts, almonds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds etc. can be a source of good quality fat and omega 3 fatty acid. the right quantity of fat, jaggery, candy, fruits can act as substantives for fats and sugars
Use this nutrition guide to find out what and how much to feed your 12 months to 3 years old toddler and provide them with all the essential and nutritious food they need for their growing bodies.Happy Parenting!