5 Ways to make your toddler eat well.

Once your child is comfortable eating solids, it is time to transition from baby food to most of what your family eats.

After the age of one, your toddler is probably done with breastfeeding and formula or the amount of milk they drink is a lot less. It then becomes important that they have a good mixed diet, providing them with all the nutrition he/she needs.

1. DIVERSIFY

There are many ways of classifying food but to keep things simple, you can divide your child’s food into the following groups that should be given in the following proportions:

Food group Examples Quantities
Cereal and starchy foods Potatoes (aloo), bread, oats, rice, wheat, suji, pasta, noodles. Every meal and at least one snack..
Fruit and vegetables Apple, banana, beans spinach, methi, dhania, pudina. Five portions a day.
Proteins Meat, chicken, fish, seafood, lentils, seeds, nuts, soya, tofu, eggs. Two-three times a day.
Dairy products Milk, cheese, curd. Two-three times a day.
Fats and sugar Oils, butter, ghee, dates, jaggery, fruits, kheer. Minimum.

2. NO JUNK

Delay as long as possible or keep to a minimum foods that are high in sugar or salt and low in nutrients, such as fries, deep-fried snacks, fizzy drinks or deep-fried sweets or mithais.

3. NATURAL ONLY

Vitamin supplements can help when necessary but should not be used to compensate for a poor diet because of preferences. If your child has allergies or an intolerance to a particular food, please consult his doctor about his diet requirements.

4. VARIETY

Variety in food is not only important for your toddler’s nutrition, it can also teach them to like more flavours. Toddlers can be very fussy eaters. Introducing a variety of dishes in your child’s diet early on will help him to recognise different tastes and become more accepting to new foods.

5. NO FORCE FEEDING

There is no such thing as an ideal portion size for a toddler. To know how much your toddler should eat, be guided by his appetite. You decide what food to put on his plate, but let him decide how much of it to eat. How much children eat varies from day to day. They usually eat according to their energy requirements.

We at YouCare believe that meals can become a good time to spend as a family and eating all together will ensure that you send positive influences to your child for his future. As the saying goes “ A family that eats together, stays together ”.

With inputs from Dr. Amit Bishnoi, MD (Paediatrics), Consultant Paediatrician at the Alchemist Hospital, Sector 20, Panchkula. He can be reached at +91-9814312229.

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