Are you constantly chasing after your little ones, attempting to feed them with no success, and feeling concerned about their nutrition? It’s a common struggle, but fret not! Here are some tips on feeding your fussy toddler with the right toddler food.
Feeding a toddler can be a challenge, as their appetites and preferences can change from one day to another, particularly when it comes to introducing new toddler food. One day, they may devour everything on their plate, while the next day they might be disinterested in eating. This can be frustrating, but it’s important not to become overly fixated on calorie counting and instead focus on providing a variety of nutritious toddler food options.
Instead of solely relying on counting calories, prioritize your toddler’s overall health and energy levels by offering a balanced diet consisting of different toddler food groups. Encourage them to experiment with a range of toddler food, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, proteins, and dairy products. By incorporating a colorful array of toddler food, you can ensure they receive essential nutrients for their growth and development.
Creating a positive and enjoyable mealtime environment is crucial when introducing new toddler food. Sit together as a family and make mealtime an exciting experience. Allow your little one to participate by choosing their toddler food, such as picking fruits or vegetables at the grocery store. Be patient and avoid pressuring them to eat, as it can create negative associations with toddler food. Instead, provide a variety of appealing toddler food options and let them explore and decide how much to eat.
Remember, each child is unique, and their preferences for toddler food may vary. Trust your instincts as a parent and continue offering a wide range of nutritious toddler food choices. By fostering a positive relationship with toddler food, you’re setting your little one on the path to developing healthy eating habits and ensuring their overall well-being.
Keep up the fantastic work, mommies! Your dedication and love in providing nourishing toddler food options will contribute to your child’s healthy growth and development.
Food chart for Fussy toddler ?
At least every 2 hours the toddler should eat or drink for retaining his energy.
Morning (7am to 7.30am)
For the morning:
- One glass of milk (roughly 200-250ml): Milk serves as a great source of essential nutrients for your toddler. You can add a health drink mix to enhance the taste and nutritional value. (Calorie intake – 42 calories)
- If your kid doesn’t like milk, you can offer a whole fruit as an alternative: Options like apple, mossambi, or any fruit of your choice can provide essential vitamins and fiber to kick-start their day.
Additional suggestions to make the morning meal more interesting and nutritious:
- Offer a bowl of fortified cereal with milk: Choose a cereal suitable for toddlers that provides important nutrients like iron and vitamins.
- Prepare a healthy breakfast smoothie: Blend together fruits, yogurt, and a spoonful of nut butter to create a delicious and nutritious morning beverage.
- Consider homemade pancakes or waffles: Use whole wheat flour and add mashed bananas or grated carrots for added nutrition and flavor.
- Prepare a vegetable omelet: Incorporate finely chopped vegetables like spinach, bell peppers, and tomatoes into a fluffy omelet for a balanced breakfast option.
- Toast with a spread: Offer whole wheat toast with toppings like nut butter, avocado, or cottage cheese for a satisfying and nutritious start to the day.
Remember to adapt these options based on your toddler’s preferences and dietary needs. Providing a varied and nutrient-rich morning meal will set the foundation for a day filled with energy and nourishment.
Breakfast (8 am to 9.30 am)
Breakfast can vary according to your food habits here are some examples
- 1 Idli with milk, sugar or with chutney (Calorie Intake is 150 calories, it may vary according to size of idli)
- 1/2 Dosa with milk or chutney (CI is 120 calories)
- 125ml of oatmeal with the fruit of your choice. ( CI is 100 calories)
- 1/2 cup of cornflakes with milk (CI is 150 calories)
- 1/2 cup of Broken Wheat porridge or Dalia Kheer (CI is 150 calories)
- 1 cup of Poha (CI is 150 calories)
- 1/2 cup of sooji upma (CI is 130 calories)
- 1 small Poori (CI is 170 calories)
- 1 Roti with veggies (CI is 100 calories)
- 1/2 cup of Ven Pongal (CI is 125 calories)
When creating a food chart for a fussy toddler, it’s essential to consider their preferences and introduce a variety of flavors and textures in their toddler food. Offer foods that are visually appealing and creatively presented. Sometimes, involving your toddler in the meal preparation process can increase their interest in trying new toddler food. You can also try sneaking in nutritious ingredients by blending vegetables into sauces, adding fruits to smoothies, or incorporating whole grains into pancakes or muffins.For mid-morning snacks, aim for a light and nutritious option to keep your toddler energized until lunchtime. Consider offering a small portion of fruit slices, such as watermelon or grapes, or a handful of dry fruits like almonds or raisins as a healthy toddler food choice. You can also provide a yogurt cup or a small portion of cheese cubes for a protein boost. Encourage your child to drink water throughout the day to stay hydrated.Moving on to lunch, focus on providing a balanced meal with a combination of carbohydrates, proteins, and vegetables in their toddler food. Some lunch options for your fussy toddler could include dal rice with a side of cooked vegetables, chapati with a lentil curry, or pasta with a vegetable sauce. Experiment with different flavors and spices to cater to your toddler’s taste preferences and make the toddler food experience enjoyable.
Afternoon snacks can be light and refreshing toddler food. Offer a small bowl of vegetable sticks with a yogurt dip, a homemade fruit smoothie, or a slice of whole grain bread with peanut butter as healthy snack choices. These snacks should provide a nutritional boost while keeping your toddler satisfied until dinner.
For dinner, aim for a light meal that is easily digestible for your fussy toddler. Some toddler food options include vegetable khichdi, rice with a lentil soup, or a small portion of chicken or fish with steamed vegetables. Make the dinner experience enjoyable by incorporating colorful toddler food and creating a pleasant atmosphere at the dining table.
Before bedtime, you can offer a small cup of warm milk or a bedtime snack, such as a slice of whole grain toast with a spread of nut butter or a small serving of yogurt as comforting toddler food choices. The goal is to provide a light and comforting option that helps your toddler settle down for a good night’s sleep.
Remember, every child is unique, and their preferences may change over time. Be patient and persistent in offering a variety of healthy toddler food options, and encourage your fussy toddler to explore new foods gradually. By creating a balanced and appealing food chart, you can help ensure your little one receives the necessary nutrients for their growth and development.
Keep up the great work, and remember that with time and perseverance, your fussy toddler will gradually expand their palate and develop a positive relationship with toddler food.
Mid Morning Snack (11 am to 11.30 am)
During the mid-morning snack time, there are several options you can consider to cater to your toddler’s taste preferences and provide them with nourishing toddler food. Here are some ideas to keep your little one satisfied:
One boiled egg can be a great source of protein for your toddler, providing them with essential nutrients. (CI is 87 calories).
When it comes to fruit juices, you can offer a 100ml serving of different varieties. For example:
- Apple juice mixed with milk (100 calories)
- Mossambi (60 calories)
- Mango milkshake (100 calories)
- Orange juice (60 calories)
Including whole fruits in your toddler’s snack is also a nutritious choice. You can offer half of any fruit, providing them with approximately 100 calories and a range of vitamins and minerals.
If your toddler enjoys biscuits, you can opt for homemade biscuits as a healthier alternative. Offer them two toddler food biscuits, ensuring that they are made with wholesome ingredients suitable for their age.
Another option is to create a snack mix tailored to your little one’s taste. Combine one cashew, one dry grape, and other dry fruits of your choice to create a personalized toddler food snack mix that your toddler will enjoy. This provides a good blend of flavors and textures while offering additional nutritional value.
Remember to supervise your toddler during snack time to ensure they are eating safely and comfortably. By providing a variety of toddler food options, you can keep their mid-morning snack interesting and nutritious.
Continue to explore different snack ideas and observe what your fussy toddler enjoys the most. Encourage healthy eating habits and allow them to develop their preferences while ensuring they receive the necessary nutrients to support their growth and development.
Keep up the great work, mommies, and continue to provide your little ones with nourishing toddler food options during their mid-morning snack time.
Lunch (12.30 pm to 1.30 pm)
Lunch should compulsorily contain:
- Dal and veggies as they provide the right nourishment and meet the vitamin requirements for the growing toddler.
Consider the following lunch options for your toddler:
- 1 cup of rice with Dal, ghee, and veggies (approx 200 to 250 calories): Boil the veggies nicely with a pinch of salt and pepper, and create a semi-solid mixture by mashing them with your hand. Avoid blending them in a mixer to preserve the taste.
- Curd or buttermilk can also be given with dal and rice: These dairy products offer probiotics and calcium, beneficial for digestion and bone health.
- Non-vegetarian options like chicken or fish (boiled): Include them in the lunch at least thrice a week, ensuring they are well-boiled before feeding.
- Egg: Consider adding boiled or scrambled eggs instead of veggies. Limit it to one egg per day and avoid half-boiled or raw eggs in milk to prevent indigestion and loose stools.
Expanding the lunchtime options for your toddler ensures a balanced and nutritious meal. Incorporating dal, veggies, dairy products, and occasional non-vegetarian items or eggs provides essential nutrients for their growth and development.
Remember to customize the portion sizes and flavors according to your toddler’s preferences and dietary requirements. With a diverse and wholesome lunch menu, you can ensure your little one receives the necessary nourishment for their well-being.
Evening (4 pm)
After napping, it’s essential to provide your toddler with a nourishing snack to recharge their energy levels. Consider the following options:
- One glass of milk: Offer your toddler a refreshing glass of milk, which provides essential nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamins. A glass of milk typically amounts to 200-250ml, contributing to their overall daily calorie intake. You can also add a health drink mix to enhance the taste and nutritional value.
Additional suggestions to make the evening snack more appealing and nutritious:
- Fruit smoothie: Blend together a combination of fruits, yogurt, and a small amount of honey for a delicious and nourishing beverage. Experiment with different fruit combinations like banana-strawberry, mango-pineapple, or mixed berries.
- Homemade snacks: Prepare healthy and homemade snacks that your toddler will enjoy. Some options include:
- Vegetable sticks with a dip: Offer sliced cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, or cherry tomatoes with a side of hummus or yogurt-based dip for added flavor and nutrition.
- Whole grain crackers with cheese: Provide whole grain crackers and a serving of cheese for a combination of carbohydrates, protein, and calcium.
- Yogurt with fruits: Serve a portion of yogurt topped with fresh fruits like berries, diced mango, or sliced banana for a balanced and tasty snack.
- Energy balls: Create homemade energy balls using ingredients like oats, nut butter, seeds, and dried fruits. These bite-sized treats are packed with nutrients and can be customized to suit your toddler’s preferences.
- Baked snacks: Prepare baked snacks like mini muffins or vegetable fritters using whole grain flour and incorporating vegetables like zucchini, carrots, or spinach. These snacks are a healthier alternative to fried options.
Remember to consider your toddler’s preferences and any dietary restrictions when preparing the evening snack. By offering a variety of nutritious options, you can ensure that your little one receives the energy and nutrients they need for their active day.
Evening snack (5.30 pm to 6 pm)
- Home made Biscuits: Offer 2 to 3 homemade biscuits, which can be prepared using whole wheat flour and other nutritious ingredients. You can explore different flavors and shapes to make them more appealing to your toddler.
- Ragi Kheer: Prepare a delicious and healthy ragi (finger millet) kheer by cooking ragi flour with milk and a touch of sweetener like jaggery or dates. This nutritious dessert provides important nutrients like calcium and iron.
- 1 bread slice with either jam or butter: Toast a bread slice and spread a thin layer of jam or butter on top. This quick and easy snack provides carbohydrates and a touch of sweetness. (Calorie intake is approximately 50 to 70)
- A slice of any cake: Offer a small slice of homemade or store-bought cake. Opt for healthier cake options made with whole grains and minimal added sugar. You can also incorporate fruits or vegetables into the cake for added nutrition. (Calorie intake is approximately 100)
- 1/2 cup Boiled Channa: Boil channa (chickpeas) until tender and flavor them with a little onion and coriander leaves. This protein-rich snack can be enjoyed by your toddler. You can also explore other boiled grams like moong or black-eyed peas for variety.
Additional suggestions for the evening snack:
- Vegetable Bhujia with Green Chutney: Provide sliced cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, or cherry tomatoes with a side of homemade or store-bought hummus. This combination offers a balance of vegetables, fiber, and protein.
- Fruit salad: Prepare a colorful fruit salad using a variety of seasonal fruits. This refreshing snack provides vitamins, minerals, and natural sweetness.
- Curd with Poha : Serve a portion of yogurt topped with a sprinkle of granola or homemade cereal for added texture and nutrition.
Remember to consider portion sizes and your toddler’s preferences when offering the evening snack. By incorporating a range of nutritious options, you can ensure that your little one enjoys a balanced and satisfying snack to fuel their evening activities.
Dinner (8 pm)
When it comes to dinner for your toddler, it’s important to provide a meal that is filling yet light and nutritious. Here are some options to consider:
- 1 Idli: Offer a soft and fluffy idli, which is a traditional South Indian dish made from fermented rice and lentil batter. It is light on the stomach and easy to digest.
- 1/2 Dosa: Serve a half portion of dosa, a thin and crispy pancake-like dish also made from fermented rice and lentil batter. You can choose to serve it plain or with a side of chutney for added flavor.
- 1/2 cup of oatmeal: Cook a small portion of oatmeal, which is a healthy and nourishing cereal option. You can prepare it with milk and a touch of sweetener, or add fruits and nuts for added taste and texture.
- 1/2 cup of Wheat porridge: Prepare a comforting wheat porridge by cooking cracked wheat in water or milk. It provides carbohydrates and fiber, keeping your toddler satisfied without being heavy on the stomach.
If your little one is too tired to eat a regular meal, consider offering a glass of milk as an alternative. However, it is important not to make it a daily habit as it’s essential for your child to consume a balanced variety of foods for their overall nutrition.
Remember to monitor portion sizes according to your toddler’s age and appetite, and aim to provide a well-rounded meal that includes a mix of carbohydrates, proteins, and vitamins from different food groups. This will ensure they receive the necessary nutrients for their growth and development.
By offering a light yet nourishing dinner, you can support your toddler’s digestion and provide them with a satisfying meal to end the day.
Let us not forget the most important aspect of your toddler’s meal plan, Water !!!!!
Children from age 1 to age 3 will need at least 1.3 litre of water, so be sure that your little one is adequately hydrated.
Nowadays most of the families eat in the restaurant at least twice or once in a week, here are some tips for eating out.
- Always take water for the kids from home, never rely on the mineral water bottles as there is a possibility that they might be tampered with.
- Never give the kid junk food (french fries too)
- Always choose the food item that is boiled, avoid salads, chutneys likewise.
- Avoid sugary Desserts
Hope this article helped you to sort out your toddler eating habits.
Read more on How much should your toddler eat?
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