Like many other parents, sometimes you may wonder if your kid is eating enough. As you continue reading, you will find information and suggestions that will help to keep your mind at ease.
Toddlers are incredibly good at reacting to their hunger and satiety. It is important for parents to acknowledge their child’s hunger. It is natural for your young child’s appetite to fluctuate from day to day and meal to meal. Your toddler’s appetite may also be affected by their level of activity, their level of excitement, their level of fatigue, where they are eating (at home or day-care, for example), and whether they are experiencing a growth spurt. Consider your toddler’s eating habits over the course of a week rather than on a daily basis to determine how well he or she is eating. Do not be concerned if your child sometimes misses a meal, if they are growing and healthy, they are receiving enough to eat.
My Toddler’s Appetite Has Decreased. What Should I Do?
How Much Food Is Enough for Toddlers?
During the toddler stage, children often consume solid foods while also having breast milk or formula milk. Consider the following information on the number of meals that your child needs.
- Approximately three-quarters to one cup of food are required for every meal for every toddler.
- They should eat 3 to 4 meals per day.
- You also may prepare 1 or 2 snacks between meals for your child.
- Once the toddler is able to walk without assistance, you may give 4 to 5 small meals and two snacks daily.
- One to two glasses of milk should be served daily
Depending on their age and condition, toddlers may need between 1,000 and 1,400 calories per day. Consult your nutritionist or ph
ysician to decide how much your kid should consume to avoid nutritional deficiencies. Below is a basic estimate of how much of each food category your toddler should consume.
|FOOD GROUP||RECOMMENDED QUANTITY PER DAY||VARIETIES TO ADD/ AVOID|
|Grains||3-5oz of whole grains||Include an assortment of grains, like wheat, rice, millet, pulses.|
|Vegetables||1 to 1½ cups of raw or cooked vegetables||Add a variety of vegetables with an assortment of colours.|
|Fruits||1 to 1½ cups of fresh fruits You can also give canned, frozen, or dried fruits||Avoid giving fruit juice to a toddler since commercial fruit juices contain added sugar and preservatives. Whole fruits are the best since they are a source of fibre.|
|Milk||2 to 2½ cups||Only serve whole milk since it is rich in calcium and fat that are needed by growing toddlers. Also, include a serving of dairy products, such as cheese, yogurt, and butter.|
|Meat||2-4oz||An assortment of meat, such as red meat, lean meat, poultry, and seafood.|
Follow these tips to help your toddler eat well:
Allow your toddler to determine the quantity of the meals you provide. Do not compel them to eat or limit the quantity of food they can consume. Establish set meal and snack times. Provide three meals and up to three snacks at regular times daily. Do not provide snacks too close to meals. This will encourage your child to arrive at the table hungry. Offer water between meals. Consuming milk or other drinks between meals reduces available space for food.
Set a positive example. If your child sees you consuming nutritious meals, they may be more inclined to accept them. Maintain a nice and relaxing atmosphere at mealtimes. During meal and snack times, turn off the TV and remove toys and other distractions. Avoid putting pressure on, encouraging, or bribing your child to eat. Encourage children to play everyday. Physical exercise may assist to stimulate the appetite.
If your toddler’s appetite suddenly drops or you have worries about their development, call your child’s health care provider. Try to make a healthy meal and snack ideas your toddler will love.
How can a dietitian help?
A dietician will ensure that your kid is developing properly and receiving essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, iron, and calcium. They may provide you with a customized plan for developing lifelong good eating habits in your kid. A dietitian may also assist you in developing skills such as meal planning and label reading. Contact a dietician today!
A toddler’s appetite might change from meal to meal or day to day. To determine how well your child is eating, look at eating patterns across the week rather than each day. Follow the advice in this article to develop healthy eating habits for your kids.