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Niche Topics (Pregnancy and Kids) is all about practical parenting advice and parenting skills to help you deal with common parenting challenges from toddlerhood to teen years. You’ll find tons of healthy food ideas and easy-to-make kids meals, fun activity ideas and creative crafts projects that kids love to do and play!

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10 Nifty Ideas to Get Kids to Eat Fish

 

7 Popular Baby Gender Myths

 

Top 5 Healthy Peanut Butter Substitutes

 

5 Yummy Non-Fish Sources of Omega 3 Fats Meal Ideas

 

5 Fun Ideas to Keep Preschoolers Busy While You Cook

 

 

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By Martha Sanders

As your baby matures into a toddler, he learns and grows in many ways. During this period, there's increased physical and mental development as the brain prepares for the challenges of more developed walking and talking. To ensure the healthiest growth, a well balanced diet is crucial.

 

When planning a toddler's menu, make sure to include the following foods from the main food groups into your child’s meals and snacks.

 

1. Milk and dairy foods

They provide protein, Vitamins and minerals, and are a good source of calories for your growing toddler.

 

2. Meat, fish, eggs, beans, peas and lentils

They are rich in nutrients including protein, Vitamins and minerals. Some proteins contain essential iron and omega-3 fats which build brain and nerve cells, and can be also found in oily fish, avocado and olive oil.

You can offer boys up to four portions of oily fish per week, such as mackerel, tuna,salmon and sardines, but it's best to give girls no more than two portions.

Meat, green leafy vegetables, apricots, raisins, beans, lentils and chickpeas, iron-fortified breakfast cereals and follow-on formula milk are excellent sources of iron.

Toddlers raised as vegetarians should have three servings of iron and consumed with Vitamin C-rich food or drink to help absorption.

 

3. Bread, and other cereals such as rice, couscous, pasta, cereals, potatoes, yams and sweet potatoes

These starchy foods provide energy, Vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber helps digestion and prevents constipation in children.

 

4. Fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain Vitamin C, and other protective Vitamins and minerals for a healthy body inside and out. In general, include bright colored fruits (unpeeled and washed well) and veggies such as broccoli, green beans, carrot, sweet potato, tomatoes, and spinach in your toddler’s diet. Also, make watermelon, orange, strawberries, banana, peaches, apricots, pears and apples a part of healthy well-balanced diet for young kids.

While fiber is good but it can be very filling for a small tummy. Too much fiber may interfere with your toddler's appetite and hence unable to provide enough of the energy and nutrients he needs.

 

A sample toddler's menu looks something like this:

Breakfast

100 ml orange juice (or apple juice)

25 grams whole-grain breakfast cereal

½ sliced banana

100 ml milk in cereal

 

Mid-morning snack

½ slice wholemeal bread with 2 tablespoons peanut butter (or almond butter)

100 ml milk

 

Lunch

½ toasted cheese sandwich

1 wedge of orange

100 ml milk

 

Afternoon snack

whole grain pretzels

100 ml apple juice (or orange juice)

 

Dinner

25 grains whole-grain or high-protein pasta (with or without tomato sauce)

1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese

25 grams sweet potato mash

100 ml milk

 

Bedtime snack

1 mini bran muffin

100 ml milk

 

A Day's Sample Menu for Toddler

 

 

sample menu toddler

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Foods that Toddler Should Not Eat

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5 Fun Ways to Serve Bananas

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