Balancing a Toddler’s Diet
Guest Blog by Cody Tilahun – Health and Fitness Coach and Parent from Emerald City Nursery
Food and your child can be a challenge!
We want our children to be happy, intelligent, healthy and resourceful and to have a full range of life skills they will need to live productively and well.
We give them as much love attention as we can to enable them to develop physically, mentally and emotionally. We teach them to walk and talk and play.
We read parenting books on how, what and why? We engage and stimulate our children, we encourage them through their education, and support them through the challenging process of becoming an adult.
The fact is every step a child takes, from their first toddle into the life of a teenager, depends on how their body is working. This depends a large amount on how their body is nourished!!
WHAT IS THE OPTIMUM NUTRITION FOR YOUR CHILD?
Being a mum myself I struggle with the eating habits of my toddler, I’m a big believer in optimum nutrition but the task can be easier said than done. Some toddlers don’t like eating certain foods because of the taste or texture and some love eating only fruits and vegetables and some may really love the taste of sugar-based foods. However we want to nourish their bodies as best as we can…
So what do we do?
It’s all about balancing a toddler diet and learning how to tackle those tricky eating habits. For example, try offering meals in a variety of ways… raw, cooked, mashed or in soup or juice form and see what works best.
For more ideas or further information check out, this link on managing simple fussy eating in toddlers, ‘How to Manage Fussy Toddlers.’
HEALTHY EATING FOR TODDLERS
Toddler’s nutritional requirements differ quiet markedly from those of older children and adults.
They are rapidly growing and extremely active, toddlers require more calories and nutrients in each mouthful of food than adults. A toddler’s daily energy requirement is around three times that of an adult. (95 Kcalories per kilogram of bodyweight compared to 30-35 Kcalories per kilogram of body weight.)
Similarly toddlers need higher amounts of nutrients per kilogram of their body weight than adults.
To consume these large amount of calories it is important to not provide foods that are low fat, and not to ‘fill up’ on foods containing the wrong kinds of fibre. Look for good fibres such as porridge or fruits such as pear. A toddler’s stomach is about one third of the size of an adult’s stomach. Therefore a toddler’s diet should include some foods that are high in fat and contain the good fibres.
Making up meals and snacks with nutritious foods can be easily met. Three balanced meals a day of a toddler–sized portion, plus two or three nutritious snacks should be sufficient.
A healthy diet for a toddler should be based on combining foods from a variety of groups foods such as: protein, fat carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals, omega 3 and 6 fats and protective plant compounds, fibre and fluid. Follow this link to get an idea of toddler portion sizes.
2 RECIPES TO GET YOU STARTED…
LEMON ENERGY BALLS
(Recipe Courtesy of www.theleangreenbean.com)
1 cup medjool dates, pitted and chopped
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
2 Tbsp chia seeds
zest and juice from a medium lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract, optional
- Put dates, nuts and seeds in a food processor and pulse several times to chop.
- Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla and process until mixture comes together.
- Form into balls and store in the fridge or freezer.
AVOCADO BLUEBERRY SMOOTHIE
(Recipe Courtesy of www.thelemonbowl.com)
1/4 cup blueberries
1/4 cup baby oatmeal or regular oats iron fortified
1/4 cup whole milk yogurt
1 teaspoon flax seed meal
1/4 cup water
2-3 ice cubes
- Puree all ingredients in a high-speed blender until smooth.
Bye for now,
Health and Fitness Coach
You Tube: Coco Tilahun