We’ve teamed up with eumom to give you the best advice when it comes to feeding your family. Today, we’re talking about toddler feeding essentials
If you want your child to grow healthy, teach them the right food to eat while they are still young. Nutritious diet and well-patterned eating habits are vital to your toddler’s growth and development. As a parent, you have to keep in mind that their nutritional requirements for a healthy diet are not the same with older children and adults.
What your toddler needs to eat
Toddlers need more calories, fat, and nutrients than adults. You may include butter, margarine and oil in their food. You may also add a mixture of white to their whole meal/wholegrain food and small servings of cake, biscuits, and fruity puddings. Learn the five food groups and combine them in your diet plan to come up with meals that has protein, fat, carbohydrate, vitamins, minerals, omega 3, omega 6 fats, and fibre.
Make sure that their liquid intake is about six to eight glasses of water or milk with their meals or snacks. Give them more during hot weather. Hydration is very important to toddlers because they are extremely active. When they want powdered juice with sweeteners, make sure to dilute it with a lot of water. Don’t let them take too much though as it may reduce their appetite or they may have loose stools. And remember, tea, coffee, and fizzy drinks are not for toddlers.
Toddler vitamin supplements are also important. Give them vitamins A, C, and D everyday to prevent rickets and to sustain bone growth and development. Studies show toddlers who are from African, African-Caribbean, South Asian origin and those living in the northern areas of the UK are fussy eaters so always include vitamins in their meals.
Teach your toddler to have a routine of three meals and two snacks per day aligned with their sleeping pattern. Eat with your toddler or with the entire family. And praise them when they eat well so they would enjoy their meals.
What you should not give your toddler
Sweet or sugary and acidic drinks can cause tooth decay if taken frequently. Make sure the eggs you serve on your toddlers’ breakfast are cooked well and through. Raw eggs and raw shellfish are usual causes of food poisoning so try to avoid giving those. Shark, swordfish, and marlin are not for kids either as they may contain high levels of mercury. Sardines, mackerel, salmon, trout, eel, and other oily fish must be limited to just twice a week. And keep salty food to a minimum which may be breakfast meal crisps and salty snacks. Nuts could make anyone choke, especially your child, so make sure to chop or ground them fine or use it as nut butter instead before giving it to your kids. If you or your husband or wife suffers from hay fever, asthma, eczema, or any food allergies, take note of it in every time you serve a meal to your toddler.
Lastly, if your toddler refuses essential food like fruits, carrots, or green vegetables, try mixing them in their favorite ones. Chop these fruits and vegetables into tiny little pieces and add them in your pancake mix or sandwich spread. This is the best and easiest way not only for toddlers, but also for adults.