In the first 24 months after birth the baby grows rapidly and then the growth rate slows down. This is the time when you can give your baby multiple textured foods, experiment with new variety of tastes and also teach table manners. Ever wondered what to feed your fussy toddler? A 2-year-old needs about 1000 calories a day. Remember, do not over-feed your child; overfeeding leads to obesity. If your baby is healthy and active, you are giving him the right amount of food. Here is a list of some food items that should be included in your toddler’s diet:
Grains: Roti, parantha, bread, and rice would be good options. Include carbohydrates in the child’s diet every day. This will give him energy. Grains are a high source of carbohydrate and proteins.
Milk: It is best to give your child 2 glasses of milk every day. You can give him one glass during breakfast and the other at night. You can also replace one glass with any other dairy products like yoghurt or cheese. It is essential for the child to drink milk every day as it is rich in Calcium and Vitamin D.
Vegetables: Complement the grains with vegetables. There are numerous ways to cook vegetables. Make the food look interesting if you have a fussy eater at home. Add variety to the child’s food. Cook different types of vegetables in different ways so that your child does not get bored with the food.
Fruits: Give your child any seasonal fruit available, at least once a day.
Fish, Egg, Meat and Pulses: You can experiment with different types of fish and different types of pulses available as the fish are a good source of essential fatty acids and both are a rich source of protein. If your child is not allergic to eggs, you can give your child a boiled egg every day as well.
Here are ideas for a wholesome meal for your toddler.
Milk with Cornflakes
Vegetable or Shredded Chicken and Mayonnaise Sandwich
Paratha with Curd
Sweetened or Savoury Oatmeal
Moong Dal Chilla
Dosa with Vegetable filling
Bread with jam and butter, and Boiled Egg
Poha (flattened rice with mild spices and vegetables)
1 portion of seasonal fruit or a bowl of mixed fruit salad
Lunch and Dinner options:
Khichdi – Rice / Bajra / Dalia
Roti with mixed vegetable curry and a small bowl of dal
Masoor dal or Toor dal with Steamed Rice and Stir-fried vegetables
Lemon Rice with Sambar or Curd Rice (Lunch only)
Stuffed Paratha with curd
Pasta cooked in tomato based sauce or white sauce
Fish or Chicken curry with steamed rice or roti
Evening Snacks options:
Milk is essential for children. In case the child is lactose intolerant, alternative options should be discussed with the paediatrician or nutritionist. Do not force your child to eat. If he does not like the food, give him what he likes and then reintroduce the food some other time. Maintain gaps between two meals and encourage physical activity in your child.