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A practical guide – the healthy eating plan for your toddler

Serving balanced meals to toddlers can be a very challenging event juggling a hectic, busy life style and the unique nutritional requirements of a toddler. The average calorie requirement (relative to per kilogram of body weight) of a toddler is three times that of an adult. For a healthy balanced diet your toddler should eat a variety of foods from each of the food groups listed below on most days.

Proteins:
Dairy products – serve three times per day at meals or as a snack
Milk, yoghurt, cheese, custard, milk pudding

Meat, fish, chicken, eggs & peanut butter – serve once or twice per day
Soft cuts of meat, mince, sausages, pate, fish, eggs, peanut butter, baked beans

Starch:
Serve at each meal and as snacks. Offer a mixture of white and whole wheat varieties
Bread rolls, bread sticks and toast, cooked porridge and breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, cous cous, samp, mealie rice, potatoe, sweet potatoe and mealies, crackers, rice cakes, foods based on flour such as pancakes and muffins

Fruit & Vegetables:
Serve a fruit and/or vegetable with every meal. Aim for 5 toddler-sized servings per day
Includes all fruits and vegetable – fresh, dried or canned

Breakfast Ideas:
Breakfast doesn’t have to be the regular cereal and milk or egg and toast.

French toast, cheese or cold meat sandwich, banana and peanut butter sandwich, smoothie – yoghurt, fruit and milk, pancakes with mince or tuna filling, muffins or scones with cheese, toast with liver pate.

Serve all of the above with a fruit or juice, if fruit is not already included in the meal. Fruit juice should always be diluted with water.

Important Tips:
The most important aspect of serving balanced meals in a hectic life style is planning. The busier we get the better we need to plan. Draw up a quick menu over the weekend and do the shopping. If you don’t have it you can’t serve it. Muffins, pancakes and scones can all be made in advance and be frozen.

By: Alta Kloppers 011-9079973
Registered Dietician (SA)

 
 
 
   
       
 

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