The introduction of solid food once your baby gets to the weaning stage is pertinent. Eating is a habit all children have to adopt. A child who doesn’t eat well is a source of worry for you.
One thing is eating, and another is eating right to remain healthy. Exposure to healthy meals at tender ages is beneficial.
Children who eat very little or consume a diet low in nutrient-dense foods can be at risk of micronutrient deficiencies.
For their mental and physical development, your toddler’s food should include the following:
- Fruits and vegetables: A deficiency of vitamins may lead to abnormalities in your child's physical and psychological development. A healthy dose of fruits and veggies aids the immune system and boosts appetite.
- Protein: Meat, fish, nuts, pulses, eggs, and other alternative proteins should be part of your child’s meal. It helps in bodybuilding.
- Dairy: Milk, yogurt, cheese, and other calcium-fortified products are ideal. However, check with your baby’s pediatrician to know the best type of milk for your baby.
- Grains and starchy carbohydrates: Carbohydrates are an important part of a healthy diet, it supplies the body with glucose and serves as a source of energy to the body. Rice, cereals, bread, pasta, sweet potatoes, and yam fall under this category.
While setting up your baby’s food menu, ensure they can obtain the above to ensure a balanced diet.
Five meal ideas for your toddler
While introducing your baby to solid food, add variety so they don’t get used to a particular meal and ditch the rest. We have helped you with some of the meals:
Sweet potatoes are perfect for toddlers. The distinct sweet taste sets it apart from regular potatoes. Boil till soft and mash to a smooth paste for easy consumption. Mix palm oil or porridge.
Okro contains fiber which fuels your baby’s gastrointestinal tract. It is also a good source of various vitamins important for your baby's mental and physical development. The sliminess makes it even easier to swallow.
Ensure to debone the animal protein used in the preparation and cook until tender. Cut the okro fingers into tiny pieces. They can enjoy it with pounded yam, mashed potatoes, or semolina.
Grains like oatmeal contain healthy fiber that aids digestion. Add enough milk after preparation and watch your baby smack lips in ecstasy. Milk helps supply the calcium your baby needs for bone formation and sting teeth.
Tom Brown combines cereals ( Millet, yellow corn, and guinea corn), legumes (Groundnut and soybeans), and other ingredients beneficial to your baby’s health. Tom Brown is fiber-rich and consists of protein, carbohydrates, and iron, amongst other nutrients.
It is just an excellent food for your toddler as it is nutritious and equally satisfying. Are you worried about your baby being underweight? Try tom brown. It aids in healthy weight gain and also makes a shift from the norm. However, ensure there isn’t an excessive intake so it does not replace other basic meals.
Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits like apples, avocados, and bananas are digestive enablers. They supply your child with a lot of energy. They are a great delight to taste buds. Cut into small sizes and serve them to munch. You can also mash them into a purée or extract juice.
Vegetables like Broccoli, green beans, and the like should not be skipped as they contain the right amount of folates, iron, calcium, and vitamins essential for your baby’s growth. Tomatoes, too, are rich in antioxidants that will help promote cardiovascular health.
Children’s appetite differs; while some consume anything in significant quantities, others struggle to swallow bits of food. It is left for you to figure out what category your toddler falls in, determine their preference and work out ways to fix it. You have an important role to play in ensuring, and the best way to do this is by eating in their presence too.
Remember to consult your pediatrician every step of the way!