A healthy diet is essential for your toddler’s proper growth and development, but what foods should you give or avoid giving to your child, and how much do you actually need to feed them? Here are some tips to help you out!
Meals should be filled with healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits, whole grain cereals, fish, legumes, and eggs to support your child’s healthy development. A varied diet will provide your child with a good source of nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, and minerals.
Toddlers need a little more of certain nutrients. Keep the following points in mind to ensure that your child gets enough vitamin D, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids.
Give them an additional 10 micrograms of vitamin D daily until age 4. This is important for strong bones and teeth. Too little vitamin D can cause rickets. Tablets are available at pharmacies and grocery stores.
Ensure that there are enough meat or meat substitutes on the table, they contain iron. Does your child eat little or no meat or meat substitutes? Therefore, it is good to ensure that they get enough iron from whole grains and vegetables. Tip: Iron from plant foods is better absorbed by the body when eaten with a source of vitamin C. For example, give them fruit or sandwiches.
Lubrication is the magic word. Young children can get enough good fats in their diet if they have a sandwich with margarine every day. It is also good to give them fatty fish, preferably salmon, about once a week. It contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, also known as fish fatty acids.
Which Foods To Avoid?
Although your child can eat almost anything, some products should not be given.
Raw fish, raw meat, or products made with raw milk or eggs should be avoided. They may contain harmful bacteria to which young children are susceptible.
Products high in salt, such as meat products, ready-made sauces, and snack foods should also be avoided. Children up to age four’s kidneys cannot yet digest these foods properly. Too much salt can damage them quickly. You can also avoid putting salt in the meals you prepare and choose products with less salt in the store to limit this. For example, potted and canned vegetables often contain salt, but frozen ones do not, nor do fresh ones.
Cheese Made From Raw Milk
Cheese made from raw milk may contain bacteria such as campylobacter, Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli. These bacteria can cause foodborne illness. Young children up to age 4 often have reduced resistance and are more susceptible to foodborne infections. In addition, they do not always recover from food poisoning on their own.
Tip: Cheeses made from raw milk will be labeled “made with raw milk” or “au lait cru”, so check it!
Regular cheese is relatively high in saturated fats and salt. Regular (low-fat, fat) and spreadable cheeses often contain twice as much salt. It is best to choose a cheese type with little or no salt, such as mozzarella, spreadable cheese, or ricotta cheese.
How Much Food Does A Child Need?
You may wonder if your child has eaten enough. Don’t worry, your child will know when they have eaten or drunk enough. It is best not to force-feed them or increase the amount of food.
Is it someone’s birthday and is there a cake? Remember that your child’s stomach is small, so a little piece of cake or candy is enough. Or give them a bite from yours.
Children who eat a healthy diet are strong and have a healthy weight. As a result, they are less likely to get sick. The healthier a baby or preschooler’s diet is, the healthier they will grow and the lower the risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and other diseases.