Nutritional Guide for Toddlers
Kids are constantly up to something and never run out of energy. Maybe before a meal, after a meal or without a meal at all. They are always full of energy. To keep them going without a break they need enough nutrition. Do they get enough nutrition from a regular Indian meal? To answer this question – it is a yes and no.
A regular Indian meal with a combination of protein, carbohydrates and a combination of vegetables has all the nutrition needed for the child. It’s all about striking a balance in the meal and ensure there is some sort of nutrition in the food they eat – round the clock. Here are a few things you could try as a parent for your baby food.
Our Indian home-made food is simple, yet packed with nutrients. For example a simple meal can have carbohydrates (rice, wheat and millets etc), protein (dal, pulses, eggs and meat), dairy ( paneer, cheese and curd) and vegetables to go with. All of these put together meets all the nutrients needed from all the food groups.
- Food with dal is rich in protein – such as kichadi or bisibele bath is a good meal as it is loaded with vegetables that are a good source of vitamins and nice spoonful of ghee to add to the good fat.
- Carbohydrates can be derived from your regular dosa, idli, vegetables like potato packed with energy
- As a mid-morning or an evening snack a good option is the vegetable soup packed with vitamins and nutrients. Soups usually have butter and they make up for good fat.
- All the vitamins and minerals can be consumed from locally grown vegetables also. For example – instead of buying a broccoli settle for a cauliflower. Cauliflower can also pretty much do everything that a broccoli does.
- Locally grown seasonal fruits are loaded with vitamins and minerals. Mango over strawberry does the trick, they are also great as in-between meal snack
Along with these tips, ensure your toddler is always supervised while eating. Keep away snacks and foods that can cause to choke like, nuts, whole grapes, popcorn and raw vegetables.
It may take several attempts to get them used to a routine and a healthy one as they love to snack. One way out of this is to set a few rules for yourself and stick to it. Never offer junk as a reward for their good behaviour or a task well done. Include the “not so healthy food” into the healthy food that you have planned for your child, which will encourage the child to eat.
If your toddler doesn’t complete his/her meal don’t force them, their stomachs are small and they have a greater instinct to eat when they are hungry. Also, one other important rule is to stick to meal times, if the child has not finished his/her food then don’t offer anything before the next meal. This will help set the body clock to adjust to the routine.
The pandemic has anyways had all of us stay at home for longer days. Use this time to set a new routine to eat together. It also helps the child bond with the family and encourage the child to eat.
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