According to the Childrens Heart Center, how much healthy fat in the form of omega 3 fatty acids a child gets in his or her diet can directly influence his or her brain function later in life. The Childrens Heart Center also asserts that children with diets that are low in cholesterol and fat are less likely to have cardiovascular problems as adults. So, clearly, nutrition is important for your child’s growing body. Teaching toddlers good nutrition habits will set them up for healthy lives as adults.
The most difficult part about planning toddler meals is making the right food choices. There are so many authoritative sources on this subject. Trying to learn and keep up with all these sources can be very overwhelming for new parents. Coming up with meal ideas for kids doesn’t have to be difficult.
Nutrition in Your Toddlers’ Meals
During your child’s early formative years, it’s very critical that your meals for toddlers have a lot of nutritional substance in the form of lean protein, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Since toddlers are constantly growing, it’s important that you feed your toddler the best fuel so that he or she may grow properly. What tastes good to a toddler isn’t always what’s healthiest. Snacks meant for children are often loaded with sugar and fat and should generally only be eaten in moderation. Parents should focus on providing their toddlers with three healthy, balanced meals a day with a few healthy snacks added in the mix throughout the day.
Breakfast Ideas for Toddlers
In order to start your child’s day out right, he needs an excellent breakfast. Including eggs in your toddler’s breakfast is usually a good idea. Eggs are a great source of protein and chromium, and they can also be mixed in with a variety of other foods. Another great breakfast option is fruit. Almost all fruit can be eaten for breakfast, but bananas, oranges, and apples are probably the ones your toddler will like the most. Pancakes and cereal are popular breakfast choices for toddlers, but they’re usually less healthy than other options. Consider serving your child some whole grain toast topped with organic, all-natural fruit preserves instead of pancakes.
Lunch Ideas for Toddlers
There are a variety of foods that you can feed your toddler for lunch. Since kids’ metabolisms are so fast, most healthy meals for kids can be pretty flexible. Your toddler’s lunch could include some carrots, applesauce, and a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread. Making lunch for your toddler doesn’t have to be difficult or time-consuming. Sometimes some of the healthiest lunches are also the easiest to make. Kids can be picky when they’re younger. So, half the battle is discovering what they like to eat. Experiment with different healthy lunch options for your child, and you’ll be able to discover what he or she likes. What your child likes can become the basis of the lunch menus you plan for him throughout the week.
Dinner Ideas for Toddlers
Some easy dinner meals for your toddler could begin with pasta. Pasta is easy to eat and simple to cook. One healthy dinner option your toddler might like is fish. Fish is the best meat for you; it’s extra lean, and it has been considered a brain food for years because it’s loaded with omega 3 fatty acids. For dinner, it might also be a good idea to include a vegetable in all your meals. Don’t be afraid to season vegetables to make them more appealing to your toddler. Your child may be reluctant to eat raw, unseasoned broccoli. However, your child will find steamed broccoli seasoned with lemon juice and garlic a lot more appealing.
Toddlers may be picky eaters, but that doesn’t mean they can’t learn to love to eat healthy foods. Take some time to figure out what healthy meals your little one likes, and you’ll help pave the way to health for your child as an adult.