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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!
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:
100 ml orange juice (or apple juice)
25 grams whole-grain breakfast cereal
½ sliced banana
100 ml milk in cereal
½ slice wholemeal bread with 2 tablespoons peanut butter (or almond butter)
100 ml milk
½ toasted cheese sandwich
1 wedge of orange
100 ml milk
whole grain pretzels
100 ml apple juice (or orange juice)
25 grains whole-grain or high-protein pasta (with or without tomato sauce)
Is your toddler stuck in a food jag and won't eat meat? Find out how you can get
your super picky eater to try new foods and receive the essential nutrients to support
overall mental and physical development.
If your child won't drink milk no matter what you do, use these ideas to encourage
milk consumption and ensure adequate calcium intake. Learn what are good non-milk
calcium food sources to offer, if your kids simply hate milk.