Toddlers comprise age group 1 year to 3 years .
Before we start with the meal plan , here are some basic toddler meal rules .
- Practice scheduled meal times and always feed on table and chair / high chair to avoid chaos at meal.
- Toddlers need 3 main meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner and 2/3 snacks .
- Dairy should be restricted to 400-500 ml a day . (I feed milk only thrice / max 4 times : 7am & 8pm and once to induce afternoon nap)
- For picky eater : practice giving them variety.
- If fussy, Follow the rule : Parents provide , Children decide ! Give two healthy options during snack time to kids and then let them decide what they want , instead of forcing your decision on them .
- Snack Time is NOT treat time . Hence do not give unhealthy packaged food at snack time , choose from healthy options mentioned below .
- Snack time should also be fixed and continuous snacking should be discouraged so that child develops good habits from the start and can avoid childhood obesity. Avoid keeping unhealthy junk at home.
- Avoid added sugar for babies till 2 years as much as you can and after 2 years of age limit to 6 tsp a day . This is recommended by American Academy Of Paediatrics (AAP).
- I practice moderation with my twins , so neither I give sugar often nor I completely ban it .
- The only two beverages toddlers need are Milk (pasteurised Cow milk) and Water . Juice / juice drinks are not recommended by AAP . If you do give juice, limit intake to 4 oz / 120 ml a day and avoid giving in sipper.
- Children who consume eggs regularly were found to have better potential to reach good heights and avoid stunting , hence my meal plans often include eggs , however I will include vegetarian options to replace them as well.
- Children should not be made to follow any kind of special diets until their doctor prescribes . Hence do not give gluten-free / vegan / ketogenic diets to children until clinically indicated.
- Toddlers may not be able to obtain all their calories in main meal times , hence snack time helps them compensate.
- If they eat less in one meal , they will eat more in the other and manage to take the required calories by the day ends , hence do not force feed at any meal.
- Avoid giving any beverages (milk/juice etc) except water between 11pm to 7 am to avoid development of dental caries .
- I prefer using Ghee to prepare food for my toddlers . Alternatively I use butter / vegetable oil if the recipe demands.
- I give farm fresh pasteurised cow milk to my twins which I procure locally .
- I make paneer and curd at home for children.
- The main meal times I follow is 9 am – 1pm – 5pm for breakfast-lunch-dinner respectively .
- I use Chicco Pocket Lunch High Chair for my twins and place finger foods directly on tray for convenience.
Snack Time options include :
- Banana / steamed apple / peeled apple / peeled pear / avocado / papaya / oranges /other seasonal fruits
- Homemade Eggless Oatmeal Cookies : Click Here For Recipe
- Steamed carrot / steamed cauliflower
- Fruit Yogurt : Blended fruit (Mango/kiwi/strawberry/blueberry) Purée mixed with Curd (Dahi) .
- Boiled pasta tossed in olive oil
- Wholewheat Banana Bread
- Sliced Hard Boiled Egg
- French Toast / Banana French Toast
- Savoury Spinach And Cheese Muffins
Vegetarian High Protein options to replace eggs are:
- Dal (lentils)
- Stuffed dal Parantha
- Moong Dal Cheela
- Curd / curd Rice
- Fruit yogurt
- Peanut butter
- Paneer rice / paneer Parantha
- Soyabean Nutrela granules / chunks
- Besan Cheela
- Other besan preparations
- Chickpea(chhole )/ Rajma (beans)
- Peas (green matar)
Refer to ‘ Recipe Index For Toddler Meal Plan by Friday Night Column ‘ for recipes mentioned in Meal Plan or reach us on Facebook / Instagram / Twitter.
For Meal Plans for 6 to 8 months old : Click Here
For Meal Plans for 9 to 12 months old : Click Here
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