6 Super Foods for Growing Toddlers

(Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews)

(Photo courtesy: AFP Relaxnews)

Make meal-time, your kid's fun time.

Babies and toddlers grow at a fast pace during this stage and they need the right kind of foods to fully develop physically as well as mentally. However, before we share a list of 6 superfoods, here are 5 points to remember before meal times:

1. Choose meal times when children are most active. A sleepy or cranky child will never like to eat and will only create fuss.

2. Do not cook alternative meals for toddlers. Encourage your child to eat whatever is cooked at home or whatever is cooked for them. You just need to use spices wisely, so your child can eat easily and save his gut too.

3. Encourage self-feeding by 7-8 months. This means that you offer food to your child and let him pick, try and eat himself. This teaches them not only how to self-feed but also how to control texture in the mouth. It also reinforces the fact that food is for eating and not playing around.

4. Always keep a gap of at least 2-2.5 hours between meals. If you keep feeding the child always, child will have an aversion towards food and won’t like to eat or on the flip side become a binge eater. A healthy eater can only be raised if the child is given independence to eat and explore on his own.

5. Create a schedule and stick to it daily.

List of 6 Superfoods that must be incorporated in your child’s daily diet:

1. Bananas

These can be introduced from 6 months onwards and can be the first baby foods. You can give it as it is if choosing BLW method of feeding or mash lightly if choosing traditional method of weaning.

2. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are a good source of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber. Give them in steamed - mashed form or make cutlets or finger fries.

3. Eggs

Egg whites are mainly protein and the yolks provide zinc and vitamins A, D, E, and B12. The yolk also has chlorine, which according to science is crucial for brain health and development. Earlier it was believed that eggs should be introduced only after 1 year of age but now that advice is changing. Eggs can be great first foods for babies and can be introduced by 7 months and should only be delayed if a family has a history of allergies.

4. Homemade Curd or Yogurt

Yogurt gives your baby calcium, protein, and phosphorus, which are important for strong, healthy bones and teeth. Give it as it is – preloaded in spoons or let them just get messy.

5. Carrots

Carrots play a vital role in the growth and healthy vision as they contain large amounts of beta-carotene.

6. Citrus Fruits

Citrus fruits including oranges, lemons, clementines are a good source of vitamin C, which helps develop muscles, bones, and other body tissues. Vitamin C also builds your child’s immunity and assists with the absorption of iron from other foods.

  • First Published: October 5, 2017, 15:26 IST
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