Toddlers are full of energy and always on the go. It is necessary that they are provided with proper nourishment to maintain their energy and help them grow at a healthy pace. We all know that feeding a toddler is never an easy task. More often than not, they refuse to eat and if they do want to eat, their choices change regularly. It is a part of growing up so you should not worry. Here are some tips that you should keep in mind while feeding your child to ensure that he gets proper nutrition:
- Dealing with the mess: Your toddler will make a mess when he tries to eat on his own. Do not discourage him to eat on his own. This is a part of trying to be independent and very normal in every child. Keep calm and let your child try to eat on his own.
- Meal schedule: Instead of giving him large meals, keep feeding your child small and healthy snacks at regular intervals of 2-3 hours. The snacks may range from a simple serving of fruits to milk smoothies to a small sandwich. Do not feed your child just before bedtime or nap time because he may be too tired to eat and will end up eating little or nothing. Feed your child after he wakes up to boost his energy. Also, try to make him/her sit at the table with you at meal time.. A child is likely to eat more when eating along with others than when eating alone. When he sees you eating something, he is likely to want to do the same.
- Which foods to offer: You should offer all variety of food items from all the food groups. Carbohydrates provide a lot of energy and should be part of every meal. Breakfast cereals, potatoes, bananas, rice and all kinds of breads are a good source of carbohydrates.
When it comes to fruits and vegetables, children tend to get picky. Do not push them into eating what they do not like. You can offer fruits to them by either simply cutting them into slices or by mixing them with milk to make shakes or with cream and custard to make a tasty dessert. Make the child eat with you at meal time so when he sees you eating vegetables, he/she will also get encouraged to eat them. Also give fresh fruit juices to your child. Note that the whole fruits are always a better choice. You can make your child eat various vegetables by making a variety of sandwiches and salads.
Foods rich in iron and protein are also a must for your toddler. Meat, fish, pulses, eggs and nuts are a good source of protein and provide a lot of nutrition. Calcium is another important component that your child must consume alongwith magnesium and potassium. All vitamins, fatty acids and minerals can be included in the toddlers diet by keeping a good balance of all essential nutrients. Do not try to overfeed the child, but feed him on timely intervals. Respect your childs likes and dislikes, and accordingly design/innovate his meals.
Dairy products are very important as they provide calcium to strengthen the bones and teeth of children. You can give your child yoghurt, cheese, paneer, etc. You can also mix fruits or chocolate in the milk to give it a different flavor and make it seem more interesting.
Help your child get the necessary nutrition and have a normal growth pattern by following these simple tips.