Feeding your 1-3 year old: A few guidelines

It’s normal for parents to worry about their little one’s diet. What to feed them, if they’re eating what they should and exactly how much is enough. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends exclusive breastfeeding during the first 6 months of life, with continued breastfeeding along with appropriate complementary foods up to two years of age or beyond. Let’s remember, an ideal diet is always varied and balanced. Your child can learn about all the different flavors and textures through distinct meal preps. The final goal is to provide a personalized varied diet that suits his or her taste buds, while nourishing him or her.

Below are a few guidelines you can follow:

    • Don’t skip breakfast. It’s important, that way your child will feel energized throughout the day.
    • Offer foods with little to no salt or sugar.
    • Provide nutritious and healthy foods – try to avoid cookies, chips or juices during the day seeing as they will probably interfere with his or her appetite during lunch.
    • Try to make family mealtime a pleasant and enjoyable time.
    • Let your child learn to eat by him or herself. It’ll get messy – but it’s worth it.
    • Don’t force your child to eat something he or she doesn’t want to. Try it again in a few weeks.
    • Try not to ban your child from eating junk food unless he or she is intolerant to it. It’s not bad to have a few chocolates or sweets from time to time – banning foods may seem more attractive or desirable as they become something your child “can’t have”.

Regarding fruit and vegetable intake, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggests 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day as they help prevent diseases and ensure proper digestion. They also suggest a diet with a reduced fat consumption of less than 30% of their daily caloric consumption and a reduced amount of salt and sugar intake. Just like we mentioned, parents should promote a healthy, diversified and balanced diet.

Today, it’s extremely common to find products and formulas which have the added nutrients and vitamins such as iron and fatty acids specifically designed to provide health benefits for children.  If you’re in the market for growth formulas, be sure to check out Nestlé ® Excella Gold which can help your child’s digestion, immune system, and visual acuity. When choosing a growth formula that contains some of the key ingredients we mentioned, make sure to talk to your pediatrician to know which may suit your child best.

Sources:

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs394/en/

http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/exclusive_breastfeeding/en/

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