Your Nutritional Guide to Child's Weight Gain
Toddlers are notoriously busy individuals and given their restless energy, they often burn far more calories than they consume. In order to ensure that your little ones gain healthy weight, you need to provide them with food that’s nutritionally dense. This would help them get the calories they need to maintain the correct weight for their age.
In order to make the best dietary choices for your toddler, you can consider consulting a pediatric nutritionist to build a customized diet chart and get your toddler’s weight on the right track. Also maintain a weight chart to keep a tab on the progress that your little one’s body is making.
Let’s talk Protein
If your toddler has started eating solid food, you can start experimenting with a variety of protein rich food items. Chicken, fish, and eggs are all rich sources of protein and would help in your little one’s overall development.
Make it digestible
Make a soft, easy to digest porridge or gruel by running rice and chunks of lightly cooked chicken or boiled egg through the mixer. This is one of the safest ways to introduce children to protein, as their sensitive tummies would easily be able to accomplish its first attempt at digesting concentrated protein.
Special Tips for Vegetarian Families
Legumes, nuts and beans are all rich vegetarian sources of protein. However, toddlers can often find it difficult to digest them if cooked in ‘adult’ style. As such, it would be advisable to cook legumes like Kidney beans (rajma) and chickpeas (chole) only after you have soaked them in warm water for at least 48 hours. The longer you soak your beans the easier it would be for your toddler to digest them.
Introduce some milk and milk products
Dairy products like milk and cheese in addition to being rich in protein are storehouses of essential minerals like calcium, which helps in the development of strong bones.
As far as milk is concerned, if your child is underweight you should provide him or her with whole milk, to get the most out of it.
Healthy Breakfast Ideas for Kids
Traditional breakfast recipes can easily be made more nutritious by adding one or more ingredients which your toddler may not even notice. For example, you can add some grated cheese, a scoop of peanut butter or even few spoonful of powdered milk to your child’s breakfast porridge and make it nutrient dense.
Special Tip: Every time you introduce a new ingredient to your little one’s diet, add it in small quantities to test your toddler’s digestive capacity.
Along with providing the right nutrition to your toddler, you need to work to ensure that mealtimes are pleasant and not rushed. This would definitely go a long way in ensuring that your little ones look forward to the mealtimes with anticipation and enjoys that ‘grown up’ feeling of eating alongside the rest of the family.