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If your toddler is old enough to try different foods, you need to help him on his journey of food exploration. Ensuring an appropriate calorie intake for toddlers is crucial. Following these guidelines will help make sure your child grows up with healthy and calorie-correct eating habits.
A balanced diet plan is essential for all toddlers above the one-year-old mark. However, ensuring that calorie content is ideal can be a challenge. Here’s a breakdown of the foods your little one needs as well as their calorie content.
Understanding The Recommended Calorie Intake for Toddlers
1. The Milk And Juice Factor
Whole milk is essential for a 15-month-old toddler. It helps meet the dietary fats requirement for brain development and growth. If there are obesity concerns, you can consult a nutritionist to see if your child can be given milk with reduced fats content. By the time your toddler reaches the age of 2, he can switch over to non-fat milk. However, toddlers should have between 6-24 ounces (300-445 calories) of milk every day. As far as juices are concerned, you need to go easy. It’s recommended that toddlers should not consume more than 60-90 calories from juice daily.
2. Iron Will
Iron is as important for tots as it is for adults. Your child needs about 7 milligrams of iron daily. After they hit the 12-month milestone, children may be susceptible to iron deficiency, mainly because they no longer consume the same amounts of iron-fortified formula or cereal as they once did. Switching up their diet to contain more solid foods means they may not get their daily quota of iron-enriched food. Always pay heed to how much iron your toddler consumes even as you consider the calorie requirement of your 15-month-old child.
- Ensure he drinks 16-24 ounces of milk a day (around 2 cups)
- Include meat, fish, and enriched grains in his diet
- Include vitamin C-enriched foods like oranges and broccoli. This ensures that your little one’s body will be able to absorb iron. It might take some getting used to, but be persistent
- Continue giving him fortified cereal till he reaches the 18-24-month mark.
3. Snack Attack
After taking into account 360 and 435 calories for milk and juice respectively, around 600 to 950 calories have to be divided to include snacks and meals. Encouraging him with sweets and chocolates is not the way to go but a balanced meal is. A little sweet treat now and then is fine. Meals and snacks should be planned around the following important food groups: proteins, vegetables, dairy, fruits and carbohydrates. Introducing him to different foodstuffs from each group will also help him appreciate eating various foods.
When calculating how many calories a 15-month-old toddler should eat every day, it’s easy to forget to portion food correctly. After all, toddlers don’t eat as much as adults. The average portion for such an age is about one-fourth of what an adult eats. Too little and he’ll be underfed while too much food may lead to unhealthy weight gain.