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Your child has turned two and now he can eat almost every food item that is on your plate. While this might seem like a blessing, it also means that your child will be even pickier than before, and refuse to eat certain items just because he won’t like the taste. So, you will have to be more careful about his food choices. But there is no need to worry about your child’s food habits as we have some amazing ideas and recipes that you can try for your two-year-old.
Nutrient Requirements of a 24-month-old Child
At 2 years, your child’s appetite would definitely increase and hence you will see him gorging on whatever comes his way. While he eats anything and everything, it is your responsibility as a parent to see if his nutrient requirements are being fulfilled or not. Following are the nutrient requirements of a 24-month-old child:
Between the ages of 1 and 4 years, a child’s calorie requirement does not increase as extensively as you would expect it to. Most children need only about 1200-1300 calories on a daily basis.
The growth of a child’s body and muscles heavily depends on his proteins intake. But that does not mean his diet should constitute only of protein-rich foods. A child gets enough proteins from the usual food products.
These pretty much form the core of each meal a child has at this age. A child needs around 130-150 grams of carbohydrates for a kid to keep functioning properly through the day.
4. Dietary Fibre
Since most meals include processed foods, it is important to maintain an inclusion of whole food items as well. Fruits or grains can incorporate fibre into your child’s diet and keep his digestive system healthy.
Most parents fret about children getting a lot of sodium from the salt. But maintaining about a gram of sodium intake daily is utterly important for children at this age.
Along with sodium, iron is another element that plays a vital role in keeping the circulatory system of a child’s body at an optimal level. When the diet is balanced, there’s no need for iron supplements to be given along with it.
The importance of milk cannot be stressed enough. Milk is necessary for bone development and overall growth and development of a child, so make sure your child drinks a glass of milk daily. You can give him cow’s milk, soy milk, or almond milk too.
The presence of water might seem surprising in the list of nutritive elements but you would be surprised to know that only a few children meet the daily requirement of drinking 1.3 litres of water every day. Hence, you must check if your baby drinks water enough or not.
How Much Food Does a 24-month-old Toddler Need?
Although your child is growing, it does not mean you feed him every hour. As per his current age, he requires no more than 1.5 kilocalories on a daily basis. And this can be easily achieved with a diet that has a good combination of grains, fruits, vegetables, and other food items.
Best Foods for a Twenty-four-month-old Baby
The completion of 24 months puts your child at an important stage in his life. Going ahead, it is important for him to gain a good amount of weight and develop an energy reserve to power him through life. A few specific foods can help him make that happen.
Giving your little one a whole egg, either as an omelette or in the boiled form is a great way to add to his weight and make him a filling meal. Children can eat both the yolk and the whites without any issues.
Since it can get difficult to make kids have a complete meal by themselves, khichdi is a great option that can be made within no time and is full of nutrients, thanks to the presence of both rice and various lentils. Eating khichdi helps in healthy weight gain and stimulates the metabolism as well.
This vegetable can go with nearly any kind of meal preparation. Yes, you must be bored of eating it, it is extremely vital for your kid. Your kid’s diet should include potato. Starchy vegetables are quite essential at this age.
A child needs strength right from an early age. The cream of the milk or curd is a great source of fat and even provides energy to the body, which can be synthesized by the body in the best form and prove beneficial for the child.
Your child may whine when it comes to drinking his daily glass of milk. Combining the same with a fruit can help turn it into a delicious milkshake, which provides added nutrition and would be loved by your little one.
Adding a spoonful of ghee when serving veggies to your child should become a practice at this age. While vegetables should be prepared in ghee itself, you could opt for using olive oil instead to keep your own health intact.
Breakfast is a great time to include a variety of nuts in your child’s diet. Let it be mixed with cereal or let him have a few after he wakes up in the morning. Everything from almonds to cashews and raisins is good if given in moderation.
A healthy combination of proteins, fats, and fibre are essential for a growing baby. To meet these nutrient requirements, you can include flaxseed in his diet. Flaxseeds are immensely popular among those but pumpkin and melon seeds can do the trick as well.
9. Peanut Butter
Yes, this is a healthy food item for your child. Although it is best to keep peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for special occasions, you can use the butter in various preparations, since it is a great source of fats and energy.
Most households make use of refined sugar to bring out the sweetness in their preparations. Replacing it with jaggery is not only a healthy alternative for everyone, but the child receives its health benefits as well.
24 Month Old Baby Food Chart/Meal Plan
Figuring out what to give your 24-month toddler can take up an entire day. Make use of a simple meal plan to get a foothold, and plan your own chart accordingly. The following meal plan is great for children who are 2.
|Monday||Methi paratha with butter and a glass of milk||Chana curry with beans, roti and curd||An apple with soya milk||Capsicum curry with soybeans and rice|
|Tuesday||Oats porridge with banana and a glass of milk||Rajma and jeera rice with cucumber raita||A pear||Aloo mutter curry with roti|
|Wednesday||Onion utappam with coconut chutney and buttermilk||Paneer pulao with beetroot and lauki raita||Pineapple chunks||Khichdi with carrot raita|
|Thursday||Moong dal dosa with veggies and a glass of milk||Udad dal with arbi and curd rice||A bunch of grapes||Potato onion paratha with curd|
|Friday||Sambar dosa with buttermilk||Chhole and parwal with rice and curd||Orange pieces||Pulao with cucumber raita|
|Saturday||Vegetable upma with buttermilk||Aloo sabzi with kadhi and rice||A banana||Mushroom, peas and corn curry with roti|
|Sunday||Paneer bhurji with toast and a glass of milk||Sarso preparation with roti||A chikoo||Sambar rice|
Food Recipes For a 24-months-old Baby
In order to make sure your little kid eats his meals properly, here are a few recipes you can make to ensure that he gets the right nutrients.
1. Spinach and Beetroot Cutlets
These make for a great breakfast item on weekdays and even on weekends.
- Spinach puree, 2 tablespoon
- Beetroot puree, 2 tablespoon
- Whole wheat flour, 0.5 cup
- Jaggery, 0.5 cup
- Butter, 2 tablespoon
How To Prepare
- Begin by preheating the oven at a temperature of 200 degrees.
- Mix together jaggery and butter in a bowl along with spinach puree.
- In another bowl, mix beetroot puree with jaggery and butter.
- Add the flour to both the bowls with some water, and make the dough.
- You can even mix spinach and beetroot puree and make their cutlets.
- Make cookie shapes from the dough and line them on a greased baking tray.
- Place them in the oven and let them bake for about 8-10 minutes.
- Serve warm with curd or chutney.
2. Ragi Cake
Satiate your little one’s sweet cravings with this healthy and delicious ragi cake.
- Olive oil, 0.5 cup
- Vanilla essence, 1 teaspoon
- Milk, 1 cup
- Yoghurt, 1 cup
- Baking soda, 1 teaspoon
- Brown sugar, 1 cup
- Cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons
- Whole wheat flour, 1 cup
- Ragi flour, 0.5 cup
How To Prepare
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Take wheat flour in a big bowl and add ragi flour, brown sugar, baking soda, salt, cocoa powder to it. Mix it thoroughly.
- Add yoghurt, oil, milk, and vanilla essence to it and mix well again.
- Pour this mixture in a baking tray and place it in the oven for about half an hour. Serve it with some nice chocolate syrup.
3. Egg Dosa
When a simple uttapam does not fill your child’s tummy, give it a twist. Make egg dosa and he will finish it in no time.
- An egg
- Dosa batter
How To Prepare
- Heat the pan and sprinkle a little oil on it.
- Pour dosa batter in the centre and spread it around. Now crack an egg exactly over it.
- Let each side be cooked properly and add salt and pepper for additional taste.
4. Sweet Potato Puffs
This food items is a great evening snack and can even be a major side dish for a light dinner.
- Flour, 0.5 cup
- Cereal, 1 cup
- Applesauce, 1 tablespoon
- Water, 2 tablespoons
- Vegetable oil, 2 tablespoons
- Sweet potato, mashed, 4 cups
How To Prepare
- Preheat the oven at a temperature of 350 degrees.
- Mix together oil, potato mash, and applesauce in a bowl. Add water gently till the mixture blends fully.
- Follow it up with cereal and flour as needed.
- Use the dough to make small ball-like portions. Poke a small hole in the middle to let the trapped air out, allowing it to puff up.
- Apply oil on a baking tray and arrange the puffs on it. Bake them for about 15 minutes and serve.
5. Fried Bananas
For little kids who turn their face away at the sight of a banana, this fried delicacy would be hard to resist.
- Cardamom powder, 1 teaspoon
- Bananas, 2
How To Prepare
- Slice the bananas after peeling them.
- Add some ghee on a pan and fry the pieces. Sprinkle cardamom powder over those and enjoy.
A few handy tips for feeding your child can go a long way in making the entire meal experience a memorable one.
- Do not reward or punish your child when it comes to his eating habits. He will learn in time what is healthy and what is not, so don’t force him to eat anything.
- Do not feed spicy food items early in life.
- Refrain from giving anything that is extremely hot or cold.
- Make it a habit to sit together at the dining table and enjoy a meal.
- When giving him snacks, choose nutritious options.
- Keep meals frequent and small in quantity.
- Let children take small portions of the food.
- Avoid rushing through the meals.
- Maintain a combination of vegetables, fruits, and milk.
- When introducing any food, check if it provides him energy or not. Do not give foods containing empty calories.
Introducing healthy and nutritious foods at the right age can help your child pick good habits in the future too. Most kids warm up to the foods once they see the entire family enjoying it together and work towards developing a habit of doing the same. So, make sure that you eat with your family every day.
Also Read: Finger Foods for Babies