During the time a child is in its infancy, breastmilk or formula milk is sufficient to give all the necessary nutrients. However, once the child enters the toddler age, nutritional diet becomes the top priority. It is a stage where the child starts eating semi-solids and gradually moves to eating solid food. In addition, a toddler enjoys exploring new food. Through this article, we’ll discuss the nutritional requirements of a toddler.
Carbohydrates are a rich source of energy. A toddler needs to be energetic all throughout the day. In the absence of carbohydrates, the body uses proteins and fats for energy. Consequently, the child may feel sluggish and lethargic. Cereals, bread, pasta, potatoes, and sweet potatoes are healthy options to give to your child.
Proteins are the building blocks of the body. A toddler is at a crucial growth stage where both his body as well as his mind is developing. Protein-rich food to be incorporated into a child’s diet generally includes pulses, beans, paneer, tofu, chicken, fish, yogurt, soya, etc.
The main source of protein that should be given daily is milk.
Vitamins & Minerals
Fruits and vegetables should necessarily be included in the diet plan for toddlers. Vitamin C should be preferred because a toddler is still developing its immunity. You can give the following food for vitamin and mineral requirements:
- Vitamin A: Green leafy vegetables, carrots, spinach, broccoli, peas, apple, etc.
- Vitamin B: Milk, yogurt, eggs, beans, etc.
- Vitamin C: All citrus fruits like oranges, strawberries, and grapes
- Vitamin D: Dairy products, eggs, cheese, etc.
- Calcium: Milk, cheese, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, paneer, tofu, etc.
- Iron: Apple, beans, nuts, etc.
First of all, fats are important for the development of a child’s brain. Also, it is used in the body as fuel and helps the body absorb the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Fats are also good for eyes. Some important sources of fats are butter, ghee, nuts, eggs, milk, avocados, etc.
Apart from the above mentioned nutritional food items, it is also necessary to give nutritional drinks to toddlers too. Therefore, some suggested health drinks are:
Furthermore, keep experimenting with the food you give to your child. This will raise his interest in eating. Make a diet chart according to the nutritional requirements of a toddler. Likewise, serve your child with 3 to 4 meals per day.