How Much Food Child Needs & What to Avoid During Feeding?
Created by Lakshmi Kapoor Verma Updated on Jan 23, 2019
Beta khana kha lo! My mom’s words echo every time my little fussy eater refuses her meal. Motherhood teaches you a lot of things and a new found respect for your mom is definitely one of them. This brings me to the topic that has bothered all moms at some point or the other- nutrition for the child. This becomes harder for first-time moms of toddlers (like me) because the problem is at two levels. One, the baby has for the first time made his/her progress towards proper meals and secondly, being a first time mom I am dealing with this high-pressure transition for the first time!
With toddlers, one of the biggest concerns any mom has is of food. You might have gone through the stage, or heard other moms complaining about how their little one does not eat or about what is the right food to give etc. Check these tips if raising a child with fussy eating habits -
- Daily menu for a toddler,
- Food items to avoid,
- Sample daily menu for a toddler and more.
Here is a quick guide on how understanding the food and the toddler relationship.
What To Remember Before Feeding Your Toddlers?
So, how does one tackle this complex problem and make it a win-win situation, both for the baby and the mom? Let's try to answer this question with some simple solutions:
Understand How Much Food Your Child Needs:A toddler, on an average day, needs about 1000-1400 calories a day. This is not a lot of food and as moms, we really need to understand this aspect before plunging into the deep guilt of how my baby is not eating enough. A well-spaced meal 3 times a day with 2 small snacks is enough for a toddler
Don’t Force-feed:Every time you prepare a fab meal to the best of your skills and knowledge, do not expect your child to just lap it up!
- Toddlers are known to be moody and are developing their taste buds at this stage. There will be good days where they are ready to eat everything you put in front of them and there will be days when they will refuse to take in even a single morsel of food
- The key is to keep calm and constantly introduce tons of variety and see what hits off. If your baby is happy eating his/her favorite meal three times a day, so be it. So, do not try force-feeding at any point. It will turn your happy mealtimes to a battleground
Sample Daily Menu for Your Toddler:As mentioned earlier, a toddler needs 3 square meals, interspersed with two snacks. The three square meals can comprise a mix of:
- Protein Rich Items such as chicken, fish, poultry, egg
- Dairy products such as Milk, curd
- Fruits and vegetables (at least two types of fruit in a day)
- Cereal grains, potatoes, rice, bread, pasta. Khichdi made in ghee is an excellent example for this
Also Check: Video Blog on Easy to Make Bread Recipe
What to Avoid in Feeding?
It is imperative to know what is important for a toddler apart from the essential food items
- Try to steer away from food items that give empty calories like biscuits, chips, and chocolates
- Instead, you can replace them with roasted grounded nuts, makhanas, and other dry fruits
- A toddler does not need a lot of sugar or salt in their meals
- Ghee and butter are important but in moderate amounts
Make sure that any food that you give to your baby is cooked properly, especially eggs, to remove the hazards of microbes. Also, since toddlers are just learning how to chew and swallow, any food item that can cause choking should be avoided. It is advisable to test the food once before giving it to the child for salt, temperature etc.
There will be phases when your baby will eat less for a stretch of 5-10 days and then there will be good days when they eat just right and enough. So as long as your baby is eating just enough, no need to panic and enjoy your meal times with them.
Did you find this blog on food for toddlers, useful? How do you ensure your toddler gets adequate nutrition? Share your thoughts and tips with us in the comments section!
| Apr 18, 2016
My son is 2. 8yrs old and he is a fussy eater. He just don't want to eat anything. He mostly have fruit milkshakes in morning. Then no in between snacks. Then in lunch he eats very small quantity of rice with dal. But this not his daily routine. He sometimes don't eat anything in lunch. Then in evening some times drink milk or fruit juice. In dinner again the same drama not wish to eat anything but generally eat kheer. He just don't like rotis and sab ji. Very much worried about his health please help.
| Apr 20, 2016
Hi Pooja , hope you have tried different food items and variety with your baby . If your child doesn't like khichdi, try a combo of vegetable rice or curd rice .. Basically play around with different options and see what your baby likes . You can also try giving the same repetitive menu for a couple of days to set a eating pattern and then introduce other food items slowly . Always make meal times fun . Sit with baby , play games and make it a tension free exercise . Make sure you never ever force feed . Remember patience is the key .if you still have doubts ; speak to your doc about different food items that will suit your baby's health . All the best
| Apr 20, 2016
Hi Monica as mentioned in my earlier comment , if your child is refusing a particular food item ; give it a break . If your son refuses to eat roti , leave it . Instead find a substitute .. A vegetable parantha with home made butter may be? Any innovation will do wonders with your child . They love trying different visually attractive stuff .. Make smilies with ketchup on parantha to make it look interesting .. Basically play around and I am sure your child will respond . All the best
| Apr 20, 2016
Hi Pranali my daughter is approx same age as your baby and is 9. 68 kg right now which doc said is average weight and normal growth at this stage . Pls don't be worried . I feel your baby's weight is not alarmingly low.. Still if you have doubts get checked with another doc or wait for a month or two and see what progress is there in the next check up . All the best
| Apr 21, 2016
Hi Devika, it's high time you start solids for your child .. Start gradually nd slowly with food items that are easy to digest such as Apple , banana etc .. Then move to simple cooked food like khichdi nd daal nd from there to more complex stuff like egg etc .. All the best