Tuesday, October 6, 2009


Which foods should I offer my toddler?

Each day, offer a variety of foods from the four nutritious food groups:

1. Starchy Foods (carbohydrates)
Offer these at every meal and some snack times. They include breakfast cereals, pasta, rice, suji or semolina preparations, potatoes, sweet potatoes, colocasia (arvi), yam, plantain and any foods made from flour such as chapattis, parathas, dosas.

2. Fruits and Vegetables
Toddlers may take some time to learn to eat a wide variety of these, particularly vegetables. Keep offering them at each meal so that your toddler learns that they are always part of a normal meal. Include greens like spinach in dry curries, dals, soups and stuffed into chapattis. Apart from vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, pumpkin, beans and peas, introduce local vegetables like bottlegourd , ash gourd , ridgegourd , chayote squash,snake gourd,okra,eggplant and other beans like broad beans and cluster beans, Fruits are often more popular -- cut them into finger foods to make them easier to eat.

3. High Iron And High Protein Foods
Offer these at one or two meals each day. They include meat, fish, eggs, nuts and pulses. Pulses like kidney beans(rajma),chickpeaskabuli chana),hummus ,dals,soya bean products like tofu and nuts and seeds like almonds, walnuts, sesame seeds.

Vegetarians who are not eating meat should have some pulses, eggs, nuts or beans at two or three meals each day inorder to get enough iron. Introduce different kinds of like toor dal and moong dal, masoor dal, urad dal, Bengal gram ,kala chana. Parathas can also be made with stuffed dal, which has been cooked dry or use left over dal to knead flour and make delicious parathas.

4. Milk, Cheese,Paneer And Yogurt
Dairy products provide plenty of calcium for growing bones but they are extremely low in iron. Toddlers need less milk than they did during their first year of life -- Offer
about 120ml of milk in a cup as a drink rather than a full bottle and aim for about 350ml/12oz a day. Large amounts of milk will reduce your toddler's appetite for other foods, especially those higher in iron.

All toddlers should drink whole (full fat) milk until they are two years old. After two you can change to 2% or skimmed milk(but do so only after consulting a pediatrician).You can continue using formula if ur toddler is a picky or poor eater as the formula is fortified with iron.Check with your pediatrician,they may recommend iron supplements if necessary.

What should my toddler drink?

Offer a drink with each meal and snack.It can be milk,water or diluted fresh juice10 parts water to 1 part juice).Toddlers need more fluids in very hot weather or if they are very active as they can become dehydrated quite quickly.

Try to refrain from giving colas and other fizzy drinks as they cause tooth decay.Donot five milk or water just before mealtimes as they may fill up your
toddler with no appetite left for food.

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