Balanced Nutrition for your toddler

Balanced Nutrition for your toddler

By Palak Mittal  on: 13 March 2016
Rate this: 
 5 Rating  based on 2 Reviews

Your toddler is growing and developing at an incredible rate, so he needs the right combination of calories and nutrients to help keep him going. There's plenty you can do to encourage him to eat a balanced diet, even if he seems to be a fussy eater.
 

What is a balanced diet and why is it so important?

A balanced diet should contain lots of different foods, offered in a variety of combinations. This will ensure that your toddler gets everything he needs to grow, develop and explore. It also helps him to learn about new flavours, and develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime.

However, providing a balanced diet for a toddler every day can be quite a challenge. So try not to worry if you don't always achieve it. As long as your toddler eats well most of the time, he will be getting plenty of nutrients.

What foods does my toddler need for a balanced diet?

Don’t feel that you have to stick to a certain food to provide your toddler with a specific nutrient. For example, meat will give your toddler protein, but he can also get protein from chickpeas, beans, pulses and dairy products.

You can also give your toddler what he needs by choosing recipes with nutrient-rich foods. If he dislikes boiled egg and a glass of milk, try giving him a homemade pancake instead. Same nutrients, different food! Pancake contains both egg and milk as an ingredient.

Offer both a sweet and savoury course at lunch and dinner, so he gets even more chances to eat different foods. Being creative and offering variety with his meals will help to make eating more exciting for him.

To help your toddler eat well, try to give him something from each of the following food groups every day:

Starchy foods (carbohydrates)

Offer starchy foods with each meal and for some snacks. Starchy foods include:
 

cereals
pasta
rice
potatoes and sweet potatoes



Don't be tempted to only offer your toddler wholegrain foods. They're more filling than other carbohydrates, which means your toddler may stop eating before he's had enough calories and nutrients.

Fruit and vegetables

These are especially important as they contain essential vitamins and minerals to help your toddler grow. You may find that he enjoys certain fruits more than vegetables, probably because of their sweet taste. But keep offering veg so that your toddler learns that they're a normal part of a meal.

Keep your toddler interested by choosing unusual fruit and vegetables. You could try arranging fruit and vegetables into the shape of a face, or cutting them up and offering them with a dip.

Multicoloured plates of fruit or vegetables may also help to tempt him. Banana, kiwi fruit, blueberries and strawberries work well as a mini fruit platter. Or you could use red pepper, sweetcorn, broccoli and cauliflower to make a colourful vegetable medley.

Try to always offer your toddler fruit as part of his sweet course. This way he'll learn that dessert doesn't have to mean sweets, chocolate, biscuits or cake.

High-iron and high-protein foods

Your toddler needs to have foods that are high in iron and protein two times or three times a day. Some of the best sources are:
 

meat
fish
eggs
chopped or ground nuts and nut products such as peanut butter and almond butter (whole nuts pose a choking risk)
pulses such as lentils, chickpeas and beans


Toddlers can choke on whole nuts, so try grinding them up and mixing them into his meal.

Make sure that any meat products you buy are high-quality, and are made of lean meat with little or no added salt. Keep these foods interesting by experimenting with marinades for meat, and making your own mild curries, lentil dhal or hummus.

Dairy foods

Dairy products are high in calcium, which is important to help your toddler grow strong bones and teeth. Ideally, he should have three portions of dairy every day.

Dairy foods include:
 

cheese and cheese sauces
milk
yoghurt


If you want to feed your toddler yoghurt, opt for a plain, full-fat variety, or one that doesn't have a lot of sugar. To sweeten plain yoghurt, try mixing it with fruit.

Milk is still a good source of calcium for your toddler, but he doesn’t need as much as he did when he was a baby. Aim to give him about 350ml (two thirds of a pint) to 500ml (a pint) of milk a day. It’s best not to offer more than this as it may reduce his appetite for other foods.

The World Health Organisation recommends that you continue to give your toddler breastmilk until he's two, or even older. If this isn't right for your family, it's fine to give him cows' milk instead. There's no need to give your toddler follow-on formula milk, though.

If you do decide to give your toddler cows' milk, make sure it's full-fat until he's two. He'll need the extra calories for all that rushing around. Full-fat milk also contains more vitamin A than lower-fat varieties. Once your toddler is two, you can start offering semi-skimmed milk if you want to, but avoid skimmed milk until he's at least five.

Are there any foods that I should limit?

Yes. Some foods have lots of calories, but not much in the way of nutrients. The following should only be offered as an occasional treat, if at all.

Foods high in fat and sugar

Fatty and sugary foods include:
 

cakes
biscuits
ice cream


Your toddler needs plenty of calories to keep him energised, but these foods have little nutritional benefit. They can also increase the risk of him becoming overweight. Stick to small portions and try to offer healthier alternatives where possible.

Sweets and chocolate

These can make a great treat, but they shouldn’t be eaten every day. Sugary foods contain little or no goodness and can spoil your toddler’s appetite. They can also damage his teeth.

Salty foods

Your toddler needs no more than 2g of salt a day. It can be tricky to keep an eye on how much he eats because some foods naturally contain salt. Here are some tips on how to avoid giving your toddler too much:
 

Offer crisps and salty snacks no more than once a week. A whole bag of crisps is too salty for your toddler, so only give him a few at a time.
Try not to add salt to your toddler’s meal. Use herbs and spices to add flavour instead. If you and the rest of your family would like extra seasoning, add it separately.
Limit the number of ready meals and takeaways that your toddler eats. These foods often contain a lot of hidden salt. If you give your toddler a ready meal, give him a small portion and add plenty of vegetables.


Tags:

 Related Blogs:
10 Best Fruits for a Diabetes-Friendly Diet
01 March 2016
The Best Fruits to Manage Your Blood Sugar Warm weather means lots of luscious fruit. But if you have diabetes, you may be wondering how these seasonal treats can fit into your diet plan. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), fruits are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and fiber and should be a part of a diabetes-friendly diet — just keep track of them as you do with all carbs. The key is to keep an eye on portion sizes and to stay away from fruits canned in syrups or contained in other types of added sugar. 1. Peaches for Potassium Fragrant, juicy peaches are a warm-weather treat and can also be included in your diabetes-friendly diet. Peaches contain vitamins A and C, potassium, and fiber and are delicious on their own. You can have peaches easily and without worrying about your blood sugar level. 2. Apples for Vitamins An apple a day really might keep the doctor away. Toss one in your purse or tote bag if you\'re on the go; a small apple is a great fruit choice, with just 77 calories and 21 g carbs. Apples are also loaded with fiber and a good source of vitamins. Don\'t peel your apples, though — the skins are the most nutritious part, full of antioxidants. 3. Oranges for Vitamin C Eat one orange and you\'ve gotten all the vitamin C you need in a day. This low-GI choice comes in at only 15 g of carbohydrates and 62 calories. Oranges also contain folate and potassium, which may help normalize blood pressure. And while you\'re enjoying this juicy treat, don\'t forget that other citrus fruits, like grapefruit, are also great choices. 4. Pears for Vitamin K and Fiber Because pears are an excellent source of fiber and a good source of vitamin K, they make a wise addition to your diabetes meal plan. Plus, unlike most fruit, they actually improve in texture and flavor after they\'re picked. Store pears at room temperature until they\'re ripe and perfect for eating (they can then be stored in the refrigerator). Here\'s a tasty treat: Slice up a pear and toss it into your salad. 5. Low-Carb Kiwi If you\'ve never tried a kiwi, you might not know that its brown fuzzy peel hides a zesty bright green fruit. Delicious kiwi is a good source of potassium, fiber, and vitamin C. One large kiwi has about 56 calories and 13 g of carbohydrates, so it\'s a smart addition to your diabetes-friendly diet. Kiwis are available year-round and will last in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. 6. Cherries to Fight Inflammation Cherries are a smart addition to a diabetes-friendly diet. One cup has 78 calories and 19 g of carbs, and they may be especially good at fighting inflammation, too. Cherries are also packed with antioxidants, which may help fight heart disease, cancer, and other diseases. These fruits can be purchased fresh, canned, frozen, or dried. But since many canned and dried fruits contain added sugar, its always better to opt for fresh fruits. 7. Watermelon for hydration Although watermelons have a high GI value, their glycemic load is low, making them good fruits for diabetes patients. It is a perfect fruit for summers, since they have a high water content, it keeps you hydrated and is loaded with antioxidants. However, consume in moderation. 8. Papaya for stomach Sometimes because of medications, diabetic patients do face a problem of constipation, hence papaya helps in relieving constipation and they are good for diabetics as they are rich in vitamin and other minerals. 2-3 slices of papaya can be easily taken by them. 9. Guava Guava controls diabetes and it is good for constipation. Guavas are high in vitamin A and vitamin C and contain high amounts of dietary fiber. This fruit has a reasonably low GI. 10. Black jamun Undoubtedly, this is one of the best fruits for diabetics. It is known to improve blood sugar control. Seeds of these fruit can be powdered and consumed by patients to control diabetes.   Although the list do not ends here. Diabetic patients can enjoy every fruit BUT IN MODERATION. !!!!
5 Healthy tiffin recipes for your kid
13 March 2016
Since kids are demanding and wants to eat junk instead of nutritious food. They want to eat different foods in their tiffins everyday which compel mothers to think what to cook new daily that should be healthy yet yummy so that the kid finishes it completely without wasting the food or carrying it back home. Find below the recipes which are yummy. Hope you find it helpful Red Idli can be made by adding beetroot juice into the batter of the idli which again enhances them nutritionally. Bread is one thing that almost everybody eats in breakfast or during the snacking time. It is already ready to eat so why not making a pizza out of this rather then buying pizza from the stores. Replace the White bread with the Brown or Multi-grain bread. Make a paste of finely grated vegetables in the mayonnaise or you can use cream also instead of mayonnaise. Apply it on the bread and microwave it. Or use a light oil and toast it on a pan if you dont have a microwave. 2) Prepare a paratha. Then make a mixture of finely chopped onions, capsicum, cabbage with chat masala and lemon. On a pan, now pour the whisk egg. When it starts cooking put the paratha on top. Let it cook. Put the vegetable stuffing in the centre of the paratha with the egg on top. make a roll out of it. Since you are aware more about the likes and dislikes of your child, you can customize it accordingly. Bread Uttapam       <p alt="\" \""="" height:="" img="" src="\" style="\" width:"="">  I hope this innovative recipe with bread will be liked by your child easily. Cut the corners of the bread and soak it into milk. Prepare a batter for uttapam and add finely grated vegetables such as onion, tomatoes, capsicum, cabbage and seasonings into it. Put a liitle oil in a pan. Place the soaked bread and pour the batter over it and spread. Let it Cook. Your personalized uttapam is ready. There are lot more new ideas. You can contact me anytime for more options through this website.
Palak Mittal

 View Profile

Nutritionist/ Dietician in Bengaluru, India 

Since good nutrition is everybody's need, here Dietitian Palak Mittal is providing you a diet of interest to manage your overall health and nutrition. There is no need to panic in any situation be it over weight, diabetes, stress, etc,What all you need is just need the proper guidance and good nutrition in any situation. Dietician Palak Mittal have a good experience in the field of diabetes managament and weight control, curently working as a dietitian/nutritionistin Bengaluru.She is specialized particularly in the management of diabetes, renal diseases, overweight, underweight, osteoporosis, etcShe is a diabetic educator too and have done a proper certificate course in this field alongwith graduation and postgraduation.In this fast-paced, high-stress society, where everything going online, why not the diet? My e clinic; DIETOX 'Nutrition and Diet Clinic by Dietitian Palak Mittal' helps you attain optimal health by personalised diet plans and motivating diet counselling sessions. Looking after your health today gives you a better health for tommorow!  Looking for online weight loss diet or a Dietician in  Bangalore? Interested in excellent weight loss service online or in Bengaluru? Then contact us. You can view our reviews and experience of our clients who have successfully reduced weight through healthy weight loss diet charts. Dietician Palak’s diet aims at overall nutritional correction with comprehensive individual assessment,  with long term results and  benefits. I am in the list of Top 5 Dietitians / Nutritionist in  Bengaluru, India for weight loss .Online Diet consultation , online diet charts,online diet plans provided for many services like weight loss, healthy weight gain diet, diabetes management (diabetic diet), Diet for Cholestrol,thyroid diet,high and low blood pressure with healthy diet plans , Therapeutic Diet & other disease management. Email & Phone Consultation is also provided. Leading , popular Dietician / Dietitian in Bengaluru.
Palak Mittal
Dt. Palak Mittal
Nutritionist/ Dietician in Bengaluru Register Now!
By using this website, you agree that we and our partners may set cookies for purposes such as customising content. I Agree