Our body needs energy to perform various functions and physical activities. We get this energy from food, but how much energy should an average person take to carry out their daily tasks? How we can measure the amount of energy necessary for our body. Well! The food energy we take is calculated in calories, and calories measure the energy present in food or a drink. The need for calories varies from person to person and from age to age. A 2-year-old child needs an average of 900 calories in a day, and this amount can vary according to a child’s size, weight, and activity.
What foods should a 2-year-old eat?
Balanced nutrition is required to fuel the toddlers’ activities, and good food is necessary for the smooth functioning of the brain, sharpening the mind, and stabilizing energy needs.
So, what food should a 2-year-old toddler eat to fulfill not only energy needs but to have good nutrition? Every person from a child to an old needs a balanced amount of nutrients such as carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins, and minerals, but in what quantity it varies according to an individual’s age. Parents should give their children vegetables, fruits, milk, cereals, potatoes, rice, and fish.
What food provides?
A portion of good food provides the body’s required nutrients and keeps the children healthy. These foods are filled with nutrients essential for a healthy mind and body. Children want more calories as they are in the developmental and growth stage. For example, the development of bones needs an adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D, and healthy red blood cells need a sufficient amount of iron. Any nutrient in excess or deficiency leads to abnormalities. Therefore, healthy, and balanced nutrition is essential for the healthy growth of children.
Fruits, vegetables, and grains are low in fats and help maintain body weight. Meat, fish, and poultry fulfill the protein requirements, and broiling, baking, and roasting are the best cooking methods to take advantage of its healthy nutrients.
Which foods are rich in nutrients?
A balanced diet contains the imperative amount of nutrients needed by a body in a day for its proper functioning.
Different foods contain different or sometimes the same nutrients; for example, strawberries, lemons, and oranges contain Vitamin C.
If your child does not like a particular food, such as some vegetables or fruits, he can eat some other food to fulfill the body’s nutritional requirements.
Here are some foods rich in nutrients and can be used alternatively to maintain health without compromising taste and flavor.
- Spinach, Almonds, peas, and black beans are rich in magnesium, whereas magnesium helps muscle and nerve function.
- Banana, nuts, cantaloupe, fish, raisins, green vegetables such as spinach are rich in potassium, and it helps regulate heartbeat.
- Grain foods (wheat, rye, crackers, bread), legumes, carrots, strawberries, raspberries, apples, and seeds contain fiber that helps regulate sugar and hunger in the body. To maintain a good health child, need 20-30 grams of fiber per day a 2-year child.
- Sweet potatoes, eggs, carrots, milk, and cantaloupe have vitamin A necessary for the body’s normal vision and the immune system.
- Spinach, dark green vegetables, seeds, avocados, and nuts contain vitamin E, an antioxidant that helps protect the cell from free radicals.
- Tomatoes, Broccoli, oranges, bell pepper (red and green), Kiwi all are rich in vitamin C, which is required for the healthy growth and repair of tissues.
Toddler Feeding Chart
At the age of 2, a child starts doing physical activities such as climbing and walking; therefore, they should be given healthy foods. Please do not force your children to eat all food and do not fix the amount of food but be flexible and let the child eat by themselves. Another critical thing to consider is to give your 2 years child finger food. The fingers of the child release enzymes while eating that helps in the digestion of food.
Here is a tentative feeding chart of a toddler of approximately 13 kg weight. You can change it according to your convenience but replace the food with the required nutrients.
Food per serving:
An average two-year child should have breakfast, two snacks, lunch, and dinner. The measurements are taken in ounces.
- 1 cup = 8 ounces
- 1 tablespoon = ½ ounce
|Four ounces of low-fat milk or fat-free milk. 4 ounces of cereals (containing fortified iron) and one egg
2.6 ounces or 1/3rd cup of fruits such as banana, apples, and cantaloupe.
Half teaspoon butter.
Half slice toast of whole wheat bread.
|4 ounces of water
Four ounces of cut fruits or berries that they could eat using fingers.
|Four ounces of low-fat milk.
One ounce of vegetables such as avocado and lettuce, meat, or cheese.
|4 ounces of low-fat milk
Cut fruits (Half-apple cut in slices, half orange, or 2.6 ounces grapes
|4 ounces of low-fat milk
Lean meat and beans 1.5 ounces
1 ounce of vegetables
2.6 ounces of rice or potatoes.
What are developmental milestones for a 2-year-old child?
Following are the developmental milestones for a toddler.
Social and emotional development
- Learn to copy other people.
- Show excitement to meet with other children.
- Start saying words and short sentences
- Point to body parts when named
- Identify the familiar people
How much should a 2-year-old be eating?
Do not fix the amount or allow your child to eat as much as he can by his own will.
How do I know if my 2-year-old is eating enough?
To know if your child is eating enough is to observe how much and how often they eat food. If he takes a handful of food to eat, it means he is having enough. Check the growth and weight if it is growing fine. It means your child has good food.
What is a portion size for a 2-year-old?
An average portion size of a toddler is 1/4th of an adult size portion.
- Half-slice of bread
- 2 ounces of cereal
- 1 ounce of vegetables
- Cut fruits (half-piece)
- 2.6 ounces of yogurt
What should I feed my 2-year-old for lunch?
- 4 ounces of rice or potatoes,
- Half ounces of curd
- 1 ounce of meat or cooked vegetables (lettuce, spinach, avocado)
Balanced nutrition is extremely important for the growth and development of a 2-year-old child. If you have 2-year-old children at home, you need to feed them vegetables, fruits, meat, or fish during the day. Similarly, a half-cup of water and fat-free milk is compulsory for the healthy growth of a 2-year-old. Parents must encourage children to adopt healthy eating habits to grow into healthy and confident individuals. Taking care of food for children is as necessary as keeping them away from bad habits.