All Parents who care about their baby will want to food them well to give them a balanced diet for toddlers a good start in life. Sensible breast-feeding begins through pregnancy when the excited mother eats sufficient protein, fresh fruit, and vegetables. Supply enough nourishment for herself and the increasing baby.
After the birth, the baby fed completely on milk for the first few months, then weaned on to other foods. The child will then get nourishment from a variety of foods containing different types and amounts of nutrients. A child who is to grow into a healthy adult needs a balanced diet.
A Balanced Diet
The word diet means the usual type of food that eaten. For example, a young baby has a diet of milk, whereas the balanced diet of an older child in a combination of foods. ‘Going on a diet’ is rather dissimilar.
When someone ‘goes on a diet’ that person limited to eating certain foods, perhaps because of a disease such as diabetes, or in order to lose or increase weight.
A balanced diet is one which contains enough of all the necessary food substances. This does not mean that every meal has to be balanced’ or that the correct amounts, of each of the seven substances recorded on, have to be eaten each day.
It means that over the course of several days, the body needs to take in enough of the right kinds of food substances to grow and to stay healthy. Children who eat a balanced diet more likely to:
- Develop a strong, well-formed body.
- Have the energy to keep warm and active
- Keep healthy
- Grow to their full potential height (the height which their genes will allow)
- Maintain a suitable weight for their height an age.
A Rough Guide to a Balanced Diet
Parents do not need to worry too much about giving their child a balanced diet. If they offer a variety of food during the day, the child will eat what his body needs.
Generally speaking, a child should have each day:
- Some milk
- Protein foods; meat, poultry, fish, cheese, an egg, or beans
- Vegetables- raw or cooked
- Bread, whole grain cereals, potatoes, pasta, or rice.
Variations Balanced Diet for Toddlers
Likes and dislikes: The list given is only a rough guide. A good diet obtained in a number of ways. For example.
- A child who won’t meat or fish can get sufficient protein for milk, eggs, cheese, beans, peas, and nuts.
- Some children do not like vegetables. They will come to no harm as long as other foods containing minerals, vitamins and fiber eaten.
- Other children do not like fruit, but they may like fruit juice drinks such as blackcurrant or rose hip.
- Children who do not like drinking milk given in the form of milk puddings, custard, yogurt, cheese or ice-cream.
Cost of Good Balanced Diet
Good eating does not have to be expensive. Nourishing foods are often less expensive than the high-calorie foods mentioned. When a parent knows which foods are nourishing (i.e. supply proteins. vitamins and minerals), good meals can be served which may well cost less than meals of poorer quality.
An Unbalanced Diet for baby
The diet can be unbalanced because of a shortage of food. too much food or lack of essential substances in the food. Children whose health could be improved by more food or better food are suffering from malnutrition. Such children fail to thrive, lack energy, and are less able to resist infections.
When particular items in the diet are absent or in short supply (are deficient), illnesses called deficiency diseases to develop.
Shortage of Deficiency disease
Iron or Vitamin B
Anemia: The lack of red pigment (hemoglobin) in the blood results in a shortage of oxygen throughout the body and feelings of ‘no energy’.
Calcium or Vitamin D
Rickets: Children’s bones do not form properly, are soft and weak and bend under pressure.
Scurvy: The gums become soft and bleed. Teeth become loose, and wounds fail to heal properly.
Night blindness: (not being able to see in dim light). There is also, reduced resistance to diseases, especially those affecting those affections the skin.
Kwashiorkor: This is a disease of severe malnutrition. The starving children have pot0bellies which are swollen with water.
There are some foods which are high in calories but have very little other nutritional value. They contain a great deal of sugar, starch or fat and include sweet, chocolate, cakes, biscuits, and pastry.
Children often love them because they are sweet and cast to eat. There is no cause why they should not be part of the diet in small amounts. When this type of food is eaten in large amounts, a child has less desire for more sustaining foods. Too much high-calorie food may also cause a child to put on too much weight.
Fat babies and children are often not strong. They take less exercise and are more likely to pick up toxicities such as bronchitis. Being overweight is caused by eating extra food than body essentials.
Overeating is a habit which, once attained, is difficult to break. Children (like adults) vary in the amount of food they can eat before receiving fat and some seem to put on weight very easily.
The tendency to be overweight often seem like to fun in families. So also does the tendency to give children lots of high-calorie foods.