Simple Guide in Designing Healthy Menu For Toddler

Toddlers are usually active to play, they can run and jump everywhere they want to. After having tiring activities, they will take some foods to eat, it is important that we notice about the food pattern for toddlers. In order to make your toddler's development runs optimally, then the right nutritional intake is needed.

You can start by designing a healthy food for toddlers from now on. Not only supports its development, healthy food for toddlers can also prevent obesity, malnutrition, and other health problems in the future.

If you are confused about how to start, see the guide below.

Nutrition is important to support the growth of toddlers

Not much different from adults, healthy eating patterns for toddlers must also adhere to the principle of balanced nutrition. The following are various important nutrients to support toddler growth along with their sources.

Proteins play an important role in building and repairing damaged tissue. Not only that, but protein also plays a role in improving the child's immune system. Therefore, adequate protein intake can make a child's immune system stronger, so they will not easily sick.

You can get this one nutrient from food, both from vegetable and animal sources. Meat, chicken, fish, eggs, seafood, and nuts are protein-rich food sources.


Carbohydrates main function is as the body's main energy supplier. This nutrient is divided into two forms, namely simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates. You can find simple carbohydrates in sugar or sweet foods, while complex carbohydrates can be found in staple foods which are consumed every day, such as rice, potatoes, cassava, corn, pasta, and etc.

Please be notice that your child must limit simple carbohydrates to avoid diabetes and obesity due to eating too many sweet foods.

Fiber helps facilitate the digestive system, lowers cholesterol levels, and controls blood sugar levels. Many fibers are contained in vegetables and fruits. So, make it a habit for your child to eat fruits and vegetables every day.

Choose fresh fruit and avoid eating fruit that has added sugar, such as packaged fruit juices, canned fruit, dried fruit, and fruit sweets. In addition, make it a habit to eat fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors every day.

Because every color in fruits and vegetables contains different nutrients. For example, the yellow color of lemon indicates that this fruit is very rich in vitamin C. While vegetables which have the green color, it means that they contain high iron.

Fat is not always bad, fat is also needed by the body for health. Yes, the right fat intake is needed to help absorb vitamins, regulate body temperature, energy sources, and nutrition for your baby's brain. Make sure your child gets a good fat intake.

You can get good fats, aka unsaturated fats from tuna, sardines, anchovies, cob, snapper, salmon, avocados, nuts and olive oil.

What is the ideal meal for toddlers?
meal portion of toddlers

Toddlers need calories around 1,000-1,500 kcal per day depending on their age, gender, and physical activity. Well, to meet these calorie needs, here are examples of portions of food that can be given to children in one day:

healthy menu for Toddler

Carbohydrates as much as 2-3 servings. One portion is equivalent to 100 grams or same with a ¾  glass of star fruit.

Protein 4-5 servings. One portion is equivalent to 35-50 grams. You can give one chicken thigh or meat half the size of an adult's hand.

Oil 2-5 Tsp.

Fruits ½ -2 servings. One portion is equal to one large orange fruit or a piece of watermelon.

Vegetable ½ -2 servings. One portion is equivalent to one bowl of cooked vegetables without gravy.

Dairy products 1-2 servings. One portion is equivalent to 150-200 ml or a glass of starfruit.

How many times should toddlers eat?

toddler dinner

Toddlers ideally eat as much as 5-6 times every day. Parents can share it into:

Midnight snack
Midday snack
Snack before bed

Night snacks can be skipped if the child is asleep. Some healthy snacks that you can give to your child are fruit, vegetables, pudding, yogurt, cheese, biscuits, and milk.

Various dietary restrictions for toddlers

Following are some dietary restrictions for toddlers that parents should know:

High-sugar foods like candy, juice with added sugar, chocolate, ice cream, soda, and so on. Eating too much sugar will lead to obesity, insulin resistance, and diabetes.

Foods high in saturated and trans fatty acids such as fried foods, pizza, and burger. These types of foods can cause cholesterol increases and the risk of heart disease. Preferably, choose foods with healthy fats such as olive oil, peanuts and avocados.

Junk food or fast food. These foods are usually high in carbohydrates and salt but low in fiber, vitamins and minerals. Therefore, if consumed excessively can cause obesity and other diseases caused by obesity.

Besides causing health problems, obesity can also cause children to become insecure and tend to avoid the surrounding environment.

High Salty food. This type of food can build up water in the body so that the stomach feels more bloated. Foods high in salt can also cause hypertension and blood vessel disorders.

Healthy eating patterns for toddlers must be accustomed from childhood. So that your child is accustomed to applying a healthy food. And please remember, children tend to imitate the parents or closest people around them. So, give a good example of eating good food with choosing the right foods.

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