A balanced diet is important for children of all ages, but toddlers’ diet need more care and attention as they are at an age where growth is faster. Healthy kid’s diet; combination of calories and nutrients is a great way to help keep them going.
Knowing the importance of balanced diet, I always tried that my son develops healthy eating habits, i.e. no junk food at all, no processed food, scheduled meals, enough liquids and so on. However the major problem that I faced was to bring variety in meals. Every time I asked friends about what meal plan they follow and nothing new was discovered ever. So, I started my own research.
The first and most important finding revealed that “a balanced diet should contain lots of different foods; all in a variety of combinations”.
Stick to this point, because it will help not just in growth, but will also add new flavors, and develop healthy eating habits that will last a lifetime. But, that’s not easy; it’s going to be challenging!
Here in this article I am going to classify the essential food groups which you can use to create your own daily and weekly diet plan.
Here it goes:
1- Carbohydrates (Starchy Foods):
- Sweet Potatoes
2- Fruit and Vegetables:
A diet of vegetables and fruits is important because they contain essential vitamins and minerals to help your toddler grow. Your kido may love certain fruits more than vegetables, but keep on offering him vegies too, so he learns that this is also a good thing to eat.
List all the fruits and vegies here, because there’s no restriction for greens!
3- High Protein & Iron Rich Foods:
Protein is most important for toddlers, so adding protein rich foods in two meals is a must. You may also add a third protein meal if you feel your kido needs additional protein. Some most common food items in this group are:
- Lean Meat
- Chopped or Ground Nuts (also nut products such as peanut butter and almond butter)
4- Dairy Foods:
Dairy products being high in calcium are essential for growing strong bones and teeth. Two to three meals daily are must for better growth!
The list may include:
What Foods to Limit?
Yes, there are some foods which contain unnecessary calories while having no nutritional value, so ideally you should limit all such foods. Such foods can be:
- Ice Cream
- Salty Foods
The best way to avoid unhealthy foods is; not to store them at home. It’s not bad if once a week you treat your child with such snacks, but including such food in meal is a clear NO.
Keep the above mentioned food groups in mind while planning daily diet plan for your kid, and I am sure your child is going to have a balanced diet!