Pages Navigation Menu

Things to do in Orange County for OC Moms

Categories Navigation Menu

Your Nutrition Guide To The Best Healthy Food For Toddlers

It is no secret that it can be quite challenging to plan the meals for your toddler. You must make it appealing for them, likable and tasty, and on top of it all, the food must be healthy.

Best Nutrition Tips for Toddlers

Parents have the main role in providing the best healthy food for toddlers so that they can grow and develop properly and strong. It is also the parents who shape the child’s future eating habits, so it is vital for the child to learn to appreciate nutritious food from an early age.

Toddlers have smaller stomachs than adults, but they need as much nutrition. It is important to eat a varied diet, meaning that you choose several kinds of foods in your toddler’s meals. The energy and nutrition the child receives are of great importance for its ability to play, learn, grow and develop.

In the article below, we offer you a guide to foods that are extra important for your toddler’s health.

Keep Your Toddler Hydrated

Before diving into the healthy foods for toddlers, one must also think about the fluids your child consumes. Children are especially susceptible to dehydration or insufficient fluid intake and parents should pay special attention that the child gets enough water and fluids during the day.

Dehydration caused by insufficient intake of the required amount of fluids leads to a decrease in mental and physical activity, a decrease in concentration and attention, tiredness, headaches, and poor body temperature regulation.

Besides drinking water and milk, a healthy alternative is also to consume the right herbal tea blends, the ones that are caffeine free and safe for your little one to drink. They can comfort and soothe the toddler if it has a cold, sore throat, or an upset tummy. Herbal tea variants such as chamomile, peppermint, fennel, and ginger are generally considered healthy for children and are recommended if the child does not have any health issues.

Proteins

The toddler age is characterized by intense, rapid growth and development that depends on the creation of new cells in the body. Proteins participate in this process, as a basis for cell growth, their structure, and the construction of tissues and organs, so that the body can grow and work properly. Proteins are made up of amino acids that are an essential building block in our body.

When the child does not get enough protein, the growth and development of the child are slowed down, the function of the organs and tissues can be seriously impaired, the immune system weakens and diseases might appear easily and last longer.

Minced meat is nutritionally as good as whole meat and minced meat dishes such as meatballs, tacos, minced meat sauce are often popular with children.

Meat, fish, beans, lentils, and eggs are, as most people know, rich in protein. But above all, they are important sources of some vitamins and minerals such as iron and zinc. We can also go without meat and fish, and get proteins from dairy products, eggs, and cereals, beans, and lentils.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates provide most of the energy needed for the proper function of the toddler’s organism.
Foods that contain carbohydrates and are important for children’s nutrition include bread, rice, potatoes, legumes, fruits and vegetables, as well as honey.

Poor choice of carbs is eating just sweets, cream, candy, and sugary drinks that should be given as little as possible to children.

Vitamins And Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are needed by the body in smaller quantities and are therefore also called micronutrients. They enable normal body functioning and are essential for proper growth, development and the maintenance of good health in children.

Vitamin A

Foods rich in vitamin A are eggs, milk, butter, cheese, liver and some fish, dark green vegetables, and fruits containing carotene, which in the body is converted to vitamin A.
Vitamin A ingested through this type of food is essential for building and maintaining proper growth and development of the body. Vitamin A is also important for eyesight.

Vitamin C

Foods loaded with vitamin C are fruits such as black currants, citrus, apples, sour cherries, and vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, tomatoes, and peppers.

Vitamin C protects against diseases such as the flu, participates in the absorption of iron in the digestive tract, and has other important functions in the body as well.

Vitamin D And “Good” Fats

Whether fish makes us smart is not completely proven yet, but it has many positive effects on our wellbeing, especially on our toddler’s health. It provides many good minerals and proteins and fatty fish provide vital polyunsaturated fats and vitamin D, which are needed for the skeleton and teeth. Research shows that vitamin D also plays a vital role in the immune system and aids in other processes in the body.

Fish is often popular with smaller children as it is soft, easy to chew, and mild in taste. This also works perfectly for parents because fish is both healthy and easy to cook.

Children often get enough fat, but not enough of the kind they need. Omega-3 is a fatty acid the body cannot make itself and must get through the food.

It is primarily needed for the brain and the development of vision. Fish, in particular fatty fish, contains a lot of omega-3. That’s why it’s good that children eat it 2-3 times a week.

Fruits and Veggies

Many of us have probably seen the small annoyed facial expressions on our children’s faces when we serve them a dish that has the slightest hint of vegetable. Even if the kids are not that happy to eat it, you must make veggies part of their daily meals.

Vegetables and fruits are a very important element in a healthy diet. They contain several vitamins, minerals, and bioactive components important for your toddler’s health. They also reduce the risk of disease and prevent obesity in children.

They have low energy value, a higher percentage of water in their composition, they’re rich in fiber (cellulose, pectin, etc.), and do not contain fat and protein. It is recommended that children be encouraged to eat a variety of vegetables and fruits every day.

The choice of vegetables and fruits is best combined according to the appropriate season. They can be eaten raw in the form of salads, added to soups, cooked as a side dish, or as dessert.

Teach The Child Right Eating Habits

In addition to the above recommendations, one of the important tasks parents need to know and practice is to ensure a repeating schedule when eating meals that will be observed every day. Toddlers have a great need for energy and different foods, but still, they have a small stomach that should not be overloaded with a lot of food in one meal.
They should have 4-5 meals a day, three main meals, and two snacks, depending on the child’s activity and appetite. A smaller amount of food divided into several meals has a better effect on the development of the child’s appetite and the formation of healthy eating habits.

Parents have an extremely important role in introducing eating habits to the toddler. That is why it is important to practice eating with your child, give positive comments on the food that is prepared, feed the toddler but don’t pressure them to try and eat something, offer small amounts of new food so that they can get used to its appearance, smell, and taste. You can also practice involving children in preparing and serving food through a game adapted to their age.

Final Thoughts

The main recommendation emphasized in this guide is to introduce properly balanced and biologically nutritious foods for your toddler, and creating healthy eating habits in their early childhood as a prerequisite for creating a healthy young generation. This entails the introduction of basic food nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, and fats, as well as the optimal intake of vitamins and minerals.

Taste preferences are an intricate set of inherited traits and learned habits. Changing them later on in life is difficult. That’s why the toddler must learn to eat healthy and versatile from an early age and get a broad taste repertoire for life.

Sign Up for Our Newsletter
Connect With Us


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *