Healthy Meals For Toddlers
Toddlers are children who are between the ages of 1 and 4 years. It is a well-known fact that most toddlers are fussy eaters and therefore, feeding one or planning meals is not exactly an easy task for any parent. In case your toddler is one of the several, who refuse to try new types of food, mealtimes could be a lot more challenging for you. Unfortunately, many parents give in, by allowing their toddler to fill up on unhealthy or junk foods like French fries, sweets, chips, cookies and so on, instead of proper healthy toddler meals. While junk foods may keep your toddler full and happy for a while, do bear in mind that they do not provide the essential vitamins and minerals, protein, carbohydrates, fats, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc and other nutrients that your child needs for proper growth and development.
In fact, these foods could have an adverse effect on your child’s health, and lead to obesity. Fortunately, there are many innovative and healthy ideas for toddler meals that you can use, to make sure that your child gets his or her daily intake of essential nutrients.
Nutritious Meals For Toddlers
- Most toddlers are very active throughout the day, because of which they need a lot of energy. Therefore, you need to make sure that your little one gets at least 5 to 6 nutritious meals at regular intervals during the day.
- Apart from breakfast, lunch and dinner, you need to include at least 3 other easy toddler meals or snacks into your child’s daily schedule. These should comprise of fruits, nuts, milk, juice, yogurt, cheese and so on.
- The main meals should contain at least one serving of fruits or vegetables. It has been seen that the most preferred fruits for toddlers include apples, pears, grapes, bananas and peaches.
- Cucumbers, carrot sticks and broccoli are also favorites with many toddlers.
- To make sure that your diet for toddler’s is wholesome and complete, add one source of protein to it.
- Good sources of protein for children include eggs, beans, chicken, turkey and beef.
- Most children also enjoy muffins, pancakes and whole wheat bagels, so you can include such items in their meals, to make them more enjoyable.
Tips On Toddlers Meals
- While preparing toddler meals for picky eaters make sure that none of the foods have flavors or aromas that are too strong, as children tend to get put off by them.
- One important aspect of toddler friendly meals is to make sure that the foods are cut into bite sized pieces so it makes it easier for the child to eat.
- Also make sure that you arrange the toddler’s food on the plate in such a way that they do not touch one another.
- You can also keep some interesting names for foods as this also is a great way to motivate your child into finishing his or her plate.
Recipes For Toddler’s Meals
There are several different toddler meals recipes that are easily available through various resources. You may need to alter the ingredients a bit, to suit your child’s preferences. Given below are a few types of toddler meals that you may like to try:
Quick Meals:Bull’s Eye:
- 1 Egg
- 1 Teaspoon butter
- 1 Large bread slice
- Salt to taste
- Cut large hole right in the middle of the slice of bread, using a cup or a glass.
- Apply a little butter on both the sides of the remaining bread.
- Place the bread with the hole in a heated frying pan, so that it can cook a bit on one side, before flipping it over.
- Break the egg right over the hole, so that it does not spill.
- Sprinkle a little salt on the egg for taste.
- Cover the frying pan and allow the egg to cook for a couple of minutes on low heat, till it is no longer runny.
- Allow the egg to cool for a few minutes, before feeding your toddler.
For Daycare:Sloppy Joes:
- 3 Pounds ground beef
- ½ Cup finely chopped onion
- 1 Cup tomato ketchup
- 1 Can tomato soup
- 3 Tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 Tablespoons of vinegar
- 4 Whole wheat burger bun
- 4 Teaspoons Butter
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Olive oil
- Heat the oil in a skillet or a large pan and add to finely chopped onions to it.
- After the onions turn golden brown, add the minced beef to the pan and allow it to cook.
- Add the tomato soup, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper to the beef and cook all the ingredients together.
- Cook the beef till it reaches the desired consistency.
- Cut the burger buns into halves and apply some butter on each half.
- Spread some of the beef mixture over one half of the bun, before covering it with the other.
Vegetarian MealsAngel hair pasta with vegetables:
- 1 Ounce angel hair pasta
- ¼ Cup onions chopped
- ½ Cup broccoli (frozen and chopped)
- ½ Cup carrots (frozen)
- ½ Teaspoon garlic, minced
- 2 Teaspoons olive oil
- 4 Cups of water
- Salt to taste
- Bring the water to a boil in a large pot and after a couple of minutes, add the angel hair pasta to it.
- Allow the pasta to cook till it becomes soft, before draining it to get rid of the excess water.
- Run some cold water over the pasta so that the noodles do not stick to each other.
- Place the pasta in a plate and set it aside for a while
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil before adding the garlic and onions.
- Allow them to cook, till the onions turn soft and transparent.
- Add the broccoli and carrots, allowing them to cook for about five to six minutes.
- Sprinkle some salt over the cooked vegetables, before adding the pasta to it.
- Allow the pasta to cool for a couple of minutes, before serving it to your toddler.
- You could add additional vegetables to this recipe, to increase its nutritional value. Some of the other veggies that can enhance the taste of this pasta include mushrooms, green beans and cabbage.