The nutritional needs of an individual depend on several factors like age, sex, amount of physical activity, immunity and environmental conditions. When it comes to chalking out a nutritional plan for a two years old baby, the following lesson plan can be helpful.
- Learning Objectives: The foundation of a child’s immunity shall be defined in a strong way. The parents will not only learn about the essentials of nutrition for their child but also, keep in check the food habits of their child for his/her overall development of health and strength. This will keep the child strong enough to fight the unfavourable health woes on his own. A strong resistance to diseases can only be achieved through proper food and lifestyle. For a 2 years old child, it can be done through the following steps:
- Having a fairly good idea of child’s health, the amount of physical activities he/she does, allergies if any and body mass index
- Knowing about the dietary requirements of the child based on the above factors
- Access to the market of fresh vegetables and fruits, grocery and doctors
- Knowing about the taste preferences of the child
- Time Duration: 40 minutes
- Supplies Needed: A quick cookbook which can suggest effective recipes for kids under the age of three, supply of fresh cereals, vegetables and fruits daily, a nutritional chart for the young child
- The Plan: The only objective of a nutrition plan is to ensure a healthy, complete and interesting meal for an individual of a particular individual. A 2 years old child is neither too ignorant nor too knowledgeable about the ways of the world. Hence, parents need to take care of the following points:
- A diet regime that comprises at least 3 meals and 2 snacks (American Academy of Pediatrics, 2009).
- At least 1000 to 1400 calories per day (Kidshealth.org)
- Not including foods which may result into choking like carrots, hot dogs, whole grapes, celery sticks etc. These foods can be given in puree or paste forms.
- Including the foods such as cereals and processed whole grain products in 2 to 3 serving, 1 cup each of vegetables and fruits, 2 cups of milk and 1small serving of meat foods (kidshealth.org).
- The following meal pattern can be suggested:
- Enough carbohydrates should be provided through brown breads, whole wheat flat breads, broken cereals (porridge), stuffed flat bread, whole wheat crackers, wholegrain pasta and noodles, a small serving of boiled rice. It is to be seen if the child is given small pieces of breads or crackers for no risk of choking. Potatoes and carrots too can be boiled and stuffed in bread. One to two serving of these carbohydrate-rich foods with either vegetables or healthy sauces should be given for breakfast and lunch
- Lots of vitamins and minerals should be provided through vegetable puddings, thick soups with interesting flavours, boiled and sautéed vegetables in fresh home-made sauces, mildly spiced or herbed thick vegetable curries can be provided with breads or rice so that the kids can lick it with finger and eat.
- Fruits are a must. Diced banana, kiwi, apples, pineapples, deseeded oranges and seeds of pomegranate can be presented in a colourful dish to attract the child’s attention. It can be given around 4pm.
- Milk should be given- two cups daily. Milk products such a fresh yoghurt, curd or homemade cottage cheese should be given for calcium. It can be given in the day, but not before bed.
- If the mother is still lactating, the child must be breastfed. This can be done in the day or before bed.
- Pulses, beans, meat or eggs can be given in small quantities for protein.
- If the child does not eat vegetables or fruits, these should be boiled and pureed to mix in soups, curries or pulses.
- Soups are one of the most wholesome foods. Even if the child does not like soups, he/she should be given soups daily in order to develop a habit. It shall help in future.
- Pancakes made of wholewheat, vegetable puree or shreds and some seasoning should be made daily and seared with little oil. These contain carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and fats, hence are a complete meal.
- Water, fruit juices or tender coconut water must be given to the child several times.
- It is good if a distance from refined flour, artificial sweeteners and preservatives is maintained.
- Fats are important part of diet. A spoonful or two of olive oil, rice bran oil, mustard oil or butter can be used to sauté veggies, sear breads, pancakes or temper curries.
- It is crucial to keep the child under regular medical check up so that allergies, if any can be observed and avoided in future. Also, whenever a particular food seems to have harmed the child’s health, it should be noted down. If its intake in future again hampers the child’s health, it should be avoided.
- The child should be given freedom to choose food from the table at this age. Colourful presentation, mixed flavours, finger foods and chutneys are liked by kids. So, parents can give some efforts to make interesting and wholesome recipes to make the child eat it willingly.
- It is to be taken care of that the child eats safely. Else, choking can be fatal as well.
- This is the age where proper food habits can be developed and a foundation of good health can be made. So, parents should be careful about the nutritional plan.
- The Materials: The parents need some guide books on nutrition for child, recipes for children and interesting plates to serve foods. These little things matter to grab the child’s interest. Other than that, fresh supply of food is needed; preserved or canned foods must be avoided.
Feeding and Nutrition: your Two Years Old. healthy children.org. American Academy of Pediatrics. 2009. Retrieved on 25 Mar 2013
Nutrition Guide for Toddlers. Kids Health. Org. The Nemours Foundation. Retrieved on 25 Mar 2013. from Web http://kidshealth.org/parent/nutrition_center/healthy_eating/toddler_food.html