Because you are likely to have a very active 2-year-old child and have your hands full at home, you may find it difficult to know what kinds of foods you should serve to your child as well as how much you should feed her – you could end up in a situation where you are tempted to slide a bag of cookies her way, just to keep her fed and happy.
But fret you shouldn’t – this article tells you all that is necessary in feeding a 2-year-old child so you can give your growing tot with the proper amounts of healthy food, while keeping your sanity intact. Snacks and small meals are usually becoming the norm for a 2-year-old child, who prefers to have numerous small meals in a day, as she is not quite ready for a regular three-meal-a-day plan yet.
As a matter of fact, eating three small meals a day and healthy snacks in-between is good for adults as well, however we tend to have three bigger meals a day as they are more convenient in our busy lifestyle. Your child, however, eats when she’s hungry, which can happen every couple of hours. During this phase of life, you need to continue offering three more balanced meals each day with healthy, balanced snacks in-between. Always remember that young children are active, so they need a good deal of energy and may quickly seem to be very tired. This is why well-balanced meals with nutritious snacks are very essential.
One of the big questions that parents frequently face with 2-years-old kids is “How should I give her a typical meal?” Your child won’t need as much as food as you may think, but it is important to give her the right amount. Feeding her too little food may cause her feels exhausted quickly, which means she should have another mini-meal in a few hours or so. If you feed her too much, she may become completely overwhelmed, feels weak and refuse to eat for much of the day. You could have this issue with one of your child, if she has too much food on her plate, even it is her favorite food she won’t eat well. Don’t overwhelm your children with a full plate, so keep it in mind while making your child’s meal. Determining the right amount of food you should give to your child is usually as easy as using the “one-third of a cup rule”.
Generally, giving your child one-third of a cup of any dish is adequate to satisfy her hunger and nutritional needs. If she wants more, just give her an extra meal after the initial serving – remember, though, that it should be around 1/6 cup, because it is likely that her belly will be nearly full after the first serving. Avoid giving your kid too much food or she’ll form the habit of eating excessively. Naturally, this behavior will lead to obesity and subsequently low self-esteem. At this stage in life, a child can form an eating habit that last for the rest of her life. Other than keeping track of the types and amount of food you are giving to your kid, you should also monitor her drinking habit. Because she is so active, she will likely drink like a camel, meaning your child could tank up on water before or after the meal, particularly if you serve fruit juice or some other beverage your child loves. In the end, your child could drink more than she eats, which could mean her nutritional needs can’t be met, and she will be starved again quickly. To avoid drinking too much before a mealtime, always limit your kid’s drinks before a mealtime – she will be more likely to eat more than drinking.
Like any growing child, your 2-year-old also has some specific nutritional requirements. Generally, a well-balanced diet plan for a 2-year-old child is roughly similar to a balanced diet for adults. Try to strike a balance between vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy-products. If you are wondering what your kid needs each days, keep these things in mind:
Fruits and vegetables: Five servings per day, including a variety of different veggies and fruits.
Grains: Five servings of starches, cereals, or bread, such as a slice of whole-wheat bread or half cup of cereal, or brown rice. Remember to include more whole-wheat food products for better nutritional value.
Milk or any dairy product: Five ounce servings; with one serving roughly about one glass of milk or maybe half cup of yogurt. For 2-years-old, it is a good idea to plan ahead to give your child low-fat milk, that contains less than 2 percent fat.
Beans and meat: Two one-ounce servings of chicken breast or fish. You may give your child red meat, as some amount of cholesterol is actually beneficial at this stage in life. However, chicken breast and fish are better choices. Oils or fats: Two teaspoons a day. It is recommended by many nutrition experts, yet you don’t have to feed her two teaspoons of oil each day. You don’t need to worry about it, if your child has a balanced diet as the oil requirements will be met with a standard diet. Just remember that certain oils, such as olive and fish oils, are important part of a normal diet and your child can still get good oils from condiments like salad dressings and mayonnaise.