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Feeding the small child (1-3 years). Guide for moms!

Feeding the small child (1-3 years). Guide for moms!

In the first year of life, babies have a fast growth rate, after which their caloric needs begin to drop significantly. In order to ensure your little one a harmonious development in the first three years of life, it is very important to form healthy eating habits. Proper nutrition, specific to age, offers not only the nutrients needed for growth and development, but also protection against nutritional diseases, such as diabetes or obesity.

The principles of healthy eating in young children

Your child is unique, from all points of view. Therefore, his nutritional needs and appetite differ from those of other children. Don't worry, the little boy knows exactly when he is hungry and how much he has to eat to feel the village, so it is not necessary to keep his head to finish everything from the plate or force him to eat something what he doesn't like. After the age of 1 year, some children begin to refuse foods that they once consumed without problems.

To make sure the little one eats as much as he needs and especially what he needs, consider the following simple rules:

1. Make her a menu adapted to her body weight. Children between the ages of 1 and 3 need a daily intake of 100 calories per kilogram of body energy. For example, for a 12 kg baby, the energy requirement is 1,200 calories per day.

2. Make sure you drink enough fluids. On average, the water intake should be 100 ml per kilogram body. Taking the example above, a 12 kg child needs 1.2 liters of fluids every day. Half a liter should be milk, and the rest, plain water, natural fruit juices or teas sweetened with a little acacia honey.

3. The intake of protein, carbohydrates and fats must be balanced. If you are a vegetarian, do not submit your child to the same diet, because it is not suitable for its development requirements. To grow healthy, your child needs high quality protein, also called standard proteins. These are found only in animal products such as meat, eggs and dairy products. The optimal formula is: 55% carbohydrates - 30% fats - 15% protein, representing percent of the total calories.

4. Include fruits and vegetables in the child's daily diet to ensure adequate intake of fiber, vitamins and minerals.

5. Give her 3 main meals and 2 snacks, consisting of fresh fruits, compotes, fruit juices or vegetables or homemade cakes.

The role of proteins in feeding the young child

Proteins play an essential role in the growth and development process, their lack favoring the development of serious diseases such as colon cancer or heart disease.

It is scientifically proven that low protein levels inhibit normal growth and development of children. That is why it is good to provide your child with a balanced diet that will help him to develop harmoniously. Specialists recommend alternating animal proteins with those of vegetable origin, found in bread, beans, peas and whole grains.

Every day, your child should consume about 50 grams of meat, be it chicken, chicken or turkey. Beef and fish are good, as long as the fish comes from the safe source. Never buy frozen fish for baby, especially if it comes from Asian countries.

Besides meat, the little one needs fresh eggs - about 2-3 times a week and milk - half a liter every day. If you do not breastfeed him, give him only milk formulas that meet his nutritional needs. Milk can be supplemented by other dairy products. 150 ml of milk is equivalent to a small yogurt or 30 grams of cream cheese.

The role of carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates and carbohydrates should be the basis of each person's diet. The brain, heart, blood cells and muscles cannot function in their absence. The brain feeds exclusively on glucose, which is why it is good to provide the little one with a consistent carbohydrate and carbohydrate intake.

Simple carbohydrates are rich in fruits and vegetables and have the advantage that they are absorbed immediately to be converted into energy. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, are complex carbohydrates, slow burning and found in foods such as potatoes, rice, pasta and whole grains.

The role of fats

Fats or lipids also play an essential role in the growth and development of the baby, especially in the maturation of the nervous system, brain development, and in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A, D, E and K. Vitamins A and E have, besides the nutritional role, and antioxidant role. In order for the child to assimilate them, they must be associated with fat. For example, vitamins from whole grain bread will absorb much better if you slice bread with a little butter. Be careful, do not give your child margarine, because it contains many E's and hydrogenated fats that are dangerous to health.

The best fats you can offer to the baby are found in eggs, milk, sour cream, yogurt, butter, raw seeds, fish and cold pressed vegetable oils. Instead, avoid refined oils, very fatty cheeses and breaded meat, as they lead to "bad" cholesterol.

Importance of fibers, vitamins and minerals

The fibers contained in fruits and vegetables are essential for the proper functioning of digestion. They facilitate the absorption of nutrients, vitamins and minerals, protecting the little one from diarrhea or constipation. Ideally, any child should consume between 100 and 150 grams of fruit per day, plus 200-300 grams of vegetables. These foods can be consumed as such as heat preparations. If the little one refuses to eat fruits or vegetables, you can resort to a little trick: make them fruit or vegetable purees or camouflage them in homemade rolls and puddings.

What should the menu of a child between 1 and 3 years look like?

The feeding of the small child is based on five 5 unequal meals, each of them offering a certain percentage of the total number of calories:

- breakfast should cover 20-25% of the calorie requirement that the child needs daily;

- the first snack, the one after the morning meal, has the role of providing another 10-15% of the caloric intake;

- lunch should be the most consistent meal, with a contribution of 30% of the caloric requirement;

- afternoon snack complements the child's energy, just like the first snack;

- Dinner should not offer more than 20-25% of the daily calorie requirement.

There are 5 large groups of foods, which must be found in the daily food of the little one:

Group I: dairy products

They are an important source of protein, calcium, phosphorus and fat.

Group II: meat, fish, organs, eggs

It provides quality protein and represents a considerable source of iron, far superior to the iron contained in vegetables.

Group III: fats of animal and vegetable origin

They are necessary for the intake of essential fatty acids.

Group IV: cereals

Cereals, especially whole grains, provide both an important intake of carbohydrates and vitamins, proteins and a high percentage of dietary fiber.

Group V: fruits and vegetables

They are needed to supplement the necessary vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber.

Food forbidden in the feeding of the small child

Never use margarine instead of butter if you want to make a puree or cake for the little one. Margarine is one of the most unhealthy products used in children's nutrition.

Processed foods that can be found in commerce, minced meat, melted cheese, as well as pastry-based products should not be offered to a small child as a food item. Even commercial fruit yogurts are not indicated, as they have a lot of sugar, food starch and artificial dyes.

Chocolate should also be avoided, until the youngest is 3 years old.

Here are the most dangerous foods for the health of your child and which you should avoid:

- sausages canned meat or fish, pate;

- pork, smokes, lamb, sheep or game meat;

- margarine;

- Chocolate;

- spices of the vegetable type, which contain a lot of salt and harmful E's;

- cow's milk, up to the age of 2 years.

Feeding rules

1. Do not bury him with large gates. Have them eat in the chestnut. The portion of a small child is usually a quarter of that of an adult.

2. Be an example for the little one. If you eat healthy, he will learn the same eating habits.

3. Never use water in meat, boiled chicken or turkey meat for soup preparation. This first pope contains many toxins, therefore it is advisable to throw it away.

4. Never give the little fried food a try. Prepare meat and vegetables for steaming, grilling or baking, in heat-resistant pots.

5. Never let the child eat alone. Avoid giving them large pieces of meat, cheese or vegetables, small and hard foods or soft and sticky foods. The child can drown very easily with them.

6. Change the brand of flat water you buy every two weeks, because each brand has a different composition of mineral salts. By alternating the type of water the little one drinks, avoid the accumulation of salts in the kidneys of the child.

7. Offer her only fresh and even cooked food on that day.

8. Try to make them homemade bread, using only the yeast of beer to facilitate the growth of the dough. You can also use black bread, but do not exceed two slices a day.

9. Take at least one meal in the family, to strengthen the affective relationship between the child and the parent to create a family environment as pleasant as possible. Do not let your child eat in front of the TV or while playing. The meal is a ritual, first of all and must be respected as such.

10. Increase the broths with lemon or fresh stock, from known sources.

11. Add a little olive oil or sunflower in the soup, only after it is ready and will put out the fire.

12. Always respect meal times. Routine is very important for the child, helping him to learn healthy habits. When setting meal times, take into account the rest hours and the child's daily activities schedule. Dinner should always be easier than the rest of the meals, to help the little one sleep better.

Menu examples

a. For the child between 1 year and 1 year and 6 months:

On waking: breast milk or 250 ml of junior powdered milk formula, sweetened with acacia honey


- 1 glass of fresh fruit juice, obtained from apples, grapefruit, oranges, tangerines or carrots - single or in combination;

- 1 soft boiled egg or sweet cheese

- 1 slice of bread with butter and acacia honey


- fruit with cow cheese or a yogurt with fresh fruits and cereals


- cream soup with vegetables

- vegetable puree with fish fillets

Afternoon snack:

- rice with milk or apple pie or sweet cheese


- stuffed with cheese and cream or baked potatoes with butter

At bedtime: put him on a breast or give him a bottle of 250 ml of milk powder

b. For the child between 1 year and 6 months and 2 years:


- 200-250 ml milk

- the omelet from an egg

- a slice of bread


- 100-150 grams of fresh fruit, cut into slices or fruit puree with seeds


- chicken soup with beef or beef;

- 60 grams of chicken, chicken, turkey, rabbit, fish, or liver, with rice or natural potato topping;

- some slices of tomatoes, cucumbers or bell peppers

Afternoon snack:

- cow cheese with fruits, cereals or seeds.


- macaroni pudding or rice with cheese;

- 200 ml milk.

c. For the child between the ages of 2 and 3:


- milk with whole grains;


- 150 grams of natural yogurt with added fruits, cereals and seeds.


- vegetable soup;

- meat pie;

Afternoon snack:

- fresh fruits.


- gray with milk.

What mistakes in nutrition you should avoid

Do not get used to the child with large quantities of milk (over 700 ml), because he can refuse other foods. Milk, in itself, is an essential food in a child's diet, but it cannot cover all the nutrients a child needs.

Sweet juices from the trade, with or without acid, are not indicated for young children. Equally, you should not put sugar in fresh, home-made juices, or add too much apple in them. Very important to remember is that juices should not be consumed between meals, but only at breakfast.

Many parents take their children to fast food. This is one of the biggest mistakes you can make in terms of nutrition. Fast-food foods have a lot of salt, are soaked in fat and are lacking in nutrients. Nutritionists refer to them using the term "empty calories". Although it has many calories, it does not offer the child the vitamins and minerals it needs.

Do not force the child to eat if he refuses. Specialists have observed that the little ones who are fed up with eating more than they can develop psychogenic anorexia over time.

How did you proceed with your child's menu for up to 3 years? What other tips do you know about nutrition?

Tags Baby food small