Jan 06, 2013 No Comments
The Toddler Diet basic principles of healthy eating serves eaters of all ages well; they have been adjusted here only slightly to take into account a toddler’s special needs.
- Every bite counts. With tummies tiny-appetite tender and tastes limited and fickle, there are just so many bites parents can expect their toddlers to take. And with just so many bites in a day, wasted nutritional opportunities (when the peanut butter and jam is not white; when the beverage is a 10% of a juice drink’; when desert is a cake full of empty fat and sugar calories) may not easily be made up. So it’s especially important that each bite toddler take be as nourishing as possible – that the bread be wholegrain; the beverage be 100% real juice; and the dessert be wholesome (fresh fruit or a whole grain fruit-juice-sweetened muffin, for instance).
- All calories are not created equal. The 110 calories in 25 g/1 ounces of sugar-sweetened, refined breakfast cereal are not nutritionally equivalent to the 110 calories in 25 g/1 ounce of juice-sweetened, wholegain breakfast cereal. Always keep the quality of the calories in the mind when preparing your toddler’s meals and snacks.
- Meal-skipping is risky, but it’s a toddler prerogative. Meal-skipping is not recommended at any age, and toddlers who regularly skip meals may not only be deprived of essential energy for get-up-and-go irrational behaviour and temper tantrums. To make sure that your toddler has a steady flow of fuel, serve three meals, as well as snacks in between, each day. But remember that serving a meal to a toddler doesn’t necessarily mean when it will be consumed. Toddlers don’t always eat what is put in front of them when it’s put in front of them. Your toddler may reject an occasional meal; barely eat at others – and that’s his or her prerogative. Just be sure to make up for the missed meal with a nutritious snack later on (but not too close to the next meal, or that one may be rejected, too.) And don’t worry about occasional meals-kipping or pressure your toddler to eat. When healthy children are allowed to eat as much or as little as they like at each meal, the food intake tends to balance out over a week’s time.
- Efficiency is effective. Many toddlers have relatively small stomach capacities, so it makes sense to consider efficiency when selecting your toddler’s foods. When possible offer food that satisfy more than one nutritional requirement (cheese for calcium and protein, cantaloupe for vitamins A and C, whole grains for complex carbohydrate and iron). Efficiency can also work to curb a too-fast weight gain in an overweight toddler with a voracious appetite (for examples serving filling foods that offer more nutrition for fewer calories, such as fresh fruits and vegetables and whole-grains breads and pasta without fattening sauces). Efficiency is effective, too, when a toddler with a pintsized appetite who is underweight or gaining weight too slowly (foods that pack a lot of nutrition and a lot of calories into small packages, such as peanut butter, eat, avocado, cheese and beans, are good choices).
- Carbohydrate are a complex issue. Bread, rolls, and bagels, spaghetti and macaroni, cereal – even the most finicky toddler usually enjoys at least one member of the carbohydrate family and some toddler like nothing else. But not all carbohydrates are equally nutritious – and some, such as chars, honey, refined grain and foods made with them, provide little or nothing but calories. It’s true that the white flour sold for home use or used in commercial breads and in some other baked goods is enriched by the addition of a quarter of nutrients (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and iron)., but it’s also true that the flour has lost twenty or more other nutrients in the refining process which removes the germ and the bran. such complex carbohydrate as whole-grain flours, breads and cereals; brown rice, millet, quinoa and other whole grains; legumes (dried peas and beans); and whole-grain or high-protein pasta, on the other hand, usually provide a wide range of important nutrients – including protein , vitamins, minerals, and fibre The recommendation foe fibre intake is age plus 5; e.g.: 7 grams for 2-year-olds, 8 for 3-years-olds. Always opt for such carbohydrates when shopping, cooking and ordering restaurants; use refined carbohydrate only rarely or when there’s no other choice. Children, who get used to a sprinkling of white germ early on, learn to take it for granted.
- Sweet nothing are not so sweet. Parents and teachers have asserted for years that children ‘under the influence’ of sugar exhibit hyperactive behaviour. Some studies on the effect of sugar on the behaviors of some studies children have corroborated these claims, and many others have challenged them; much more study still needs to be done before the relations hip between the sugar and behaviour, if any, is fully understood. In the meantime, there are still plenty of reasons to restrict the amount of sugar your toddler consumes. For one, sugar is totally without nutritional value – it provides no vitamins, no minerals, nothing but calories. And the calories that sugar contributes to a toddler’s diet can better come from a more worthy source. For another, sugar often keeps a bad company; it is frequently found in combination with other nutritional undesirables – unhealthy ingredients such as fats and refined gains – largely nutritionally ’empty foods’. For yet another, sugar and sugary foods contribute significantly to tooth decay and may contribute to obesity (many of the foods that contain sugar are fattening without being either filling or nutrition). Sugar may also be used to improve the taste of third-rate ingredients (in a tomato sauce, for example, when the tomatoes lack flavor of their own); and ingredients lacking taste are often also lacking in nutrition. And because it increase the body’s need for chromium, which is involved in the way of body handles sugar, sugar may also be indirectly implicated in the development of diabetes. But possibly the best reason to keep sugar out of the mouth of your babe – as much as possible – is to help him or her avert a lifelong struggle with a demanding sweet tooth hand the problems that come with it. Research show that children who eat a lot of sugary foods early are more likely to grow into sugar-craving adults.In order to minimize the sugar in your toddler’s diet, you need to know where to look for it. Sugar goes by many names, including brown sugar, raw sugar, turbinated sugar, fructose, glucose, honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, corn sweeteners, dextrose and sucrose. Avoid these when shopping for ready-made foods (particularly if they rank high on an ingredient list or if two or more of them are anywhere on a list) and when cooking for your toddler at home. Save exceptions for when there’s no other choice – at birthdays parties, for instance.
- The best foods remember where they came from. The days when we ate what we (or our neighbors grew are gone for most of us. Busy parents can barely manage to remember to buy bread, never mind find the time to bake it. Yet even in these modern times, the closer we stick to the natural food chain, the better; foods that remember their ‘roots’ are much more likely to have retained the nutrients they had when they were harvested. That’s not to say that we must grow our own grain and mil our own flour, but that we should buy bread rolls, and cereals that are made with wholegrain rather than their refined counterparts, which have been robbed of so many of their original nutrients. Nor must we grow our own produce, but we should select fruits and vegetables that are fresh (or fresh-frozen) rather than highly, processed, canned, or overcooked. And we needn’t plant fruit trees in our gardens, but we should limit fruit that’s been cooked (loosing vita mind fibre) or even juiced (loosing much or all of it’s fibre).Remember, it isn’t just what’s lost in the processing of foods (vitamins, minerals and fibre) that poses a threat to growing children – it’s what’s gained in the processing (salt, sugar, chemical additives).So, when shopping for or feeding your toddler, choose foods that can remember where they came from – opt for undefined over refined, and fresh over processed. And do as little processing in your home kitchen at possible; avoid over cooking, long periods of storage and exposing foods unnecessarily in air, water, or heat, which all rob food of its nutrients.
- Healthy eating should be a family affair. A double dining table standard (doughnuts for you, cereal and milk for your toddler) isn’t fair and rarely works. The Toddler Diet stands the best odds of succeeding when the whole family lives by its principles. If everyone eats whole meal bread and unsweetened cereal, limits sugar intake, avoids processed foods, then eating right will become a way of family life to your toddler instead of seeming like a special diet’ foisted on him or her alone. An, of course, your toddler’s not the only one who stands to benefit when good eating becomes a family affair.
- Bad habits can sabotage a good diet. Subversive elements are everywhere – they beckon from supermarket shelves with their seductive packaging, they call out from the television screen with enticing commercials And as your toddler begins getting out a little more – attending play dates at home where junk food is the snack of choice, sitting next to kids at preschool whose lunch boxes flaunt white-bread sandwiches, chocolate biscuits, and sugar-sweetened fruit punch, and in general seeing how the other half eats – the lure of these subversive elements will be toughs and toughs to ignore. But staying true to The Toddle Diet at home will make it easier for your toddler to stay true to it (at least most of the time) outside the home.