Toddlers can be picky eaters and this can make it difficult to prepare meals for them. But you still need to make an effort to ensure your child gets as many nutrients as possible. The best way to do this is to put them on an eating schedule that requires them to eat after every 2 or 3 hours. This gives your toddler several opportunities to eat during the day and ensure they get adequate nutrition. Healthy meal plans for toddlers should include three main meals and at least two snacks in a day.
Here are some ideas you can include in your meal plans.
Give your child a balanced meal for breakfast. A nutritious meal should combine grains, protein, and a fruit. Cornflakes with some dates, raisins, and a little milk are a great choice to start your toddler’s day. You can also serve porridge, milk, and a banana for breakfast. Offer breakfast at a specific time everyday. Toddlers can have schedules but their first meal does not have to be the most filling. Their stomachs are still small. Start with small servings and allow your child to determine how much they want to eat.
Give your child a snack at least an hour before their lunch. Snacks are supposed to complement meals. High nutrient snacks such as cottage cheese, wheat crackers, and apples are ideal. Combine two nutrients to make the snacks as nutritious as possible.
Serve nutrients that your child did not get at breakfast. Combine some rice, peas, and egg curry for a nutritious lunch. You can also give them some whole meal bread with avocado spread and black beans.
Toddlers need another snack about 2 to 3 hours after eating lunch to keep up their energy. Apple slices served with some cheddar cheese are a wonderful snack. You can also offer them a hard boiled egg. Remember to give snacks at the same time everyday to create a routine.
A light meal should be served for dinner. Offer them some meatloaf with baked beans, and sweet potatoes. Whole wheat pasta with some baked chicken and broccoli can make a great dinner meal.
Some toddlers need a snack before bed. But this will depend on your child’s appetite. A cup of milk or applesauce can be ideal for an evening snack.
Healthy meal plans for toddlers should aim on offering nutritious foods. Your child’s growth and development depends on the nutrition they get.