Jul 20, 2009

Menu for My Toddler

Do you worry about your toddler because he or she doesn't seem to eat enough or eats a limited variety? I do! Miya, like any other toddlers, do have weird eating habits at times. Mama pening trying to think of what to feed Miya sometimes...Adoi, pening, pening...pening...

From my reading and observation on Miya, I found that infant eats like there is no tomorrow, but a toddler begins to realize that if he or she doesn’t eat now there will be another meal later. This is actually a good sign because we know that our child have started to learn to use their brain to think of their choices to make. Also, our child had started to memorize their daily routine that contains mealtimes.

Picky eating habits may last until close to 4 years old in many toddlers. Sometimes it is recognized as toddler appetite slump (as how I’ve wrote earlier in my blog). 1 point on what parents should know is that at 12 to 18 months, growth rate slows and a toddler’s body does not require as many calories or as much protein during the next 2 years.

However, their vitamin and mineral requirements actually do go up. Only giving a toddler healthy food choices is your best start.

Not uncommonly, they will only eat one good meal a day and refuse foods or pick around at other meals. They may eat heavy one day and eat little or nothing for the next day or two. Miya is exactly like that. Example, today she could be eating a lot with great appetite and the next day, she’ll be only interested to eat a few spoonful at each meal. This is normal and toddlers should not be forced to eat. However, they also need some limits set, in case they just refuse to eat because they want to play.

Therefore, I’ve prepared a set of menu as a guide for me, and perhaps an idea to some mommies out there that might be facing the same thing in making sure out toddlers are meeting their nutritional requirements and what it takes to meet those requirements. At some cases, it may be helpful to introduce a good multivitamin/mineral supplement if we fail to get them to eat food fortified with those nutrients. In our case, I will give Miya a bottle of Pediasure Complete on a day when she is eating too little. A bottle should be equivalent to a complete meal of rice, vege and meat.

One-Year Old Miya One-Day Menu (click on the image to have a better view of the menu)

This menu is for a one-year-old child who weighs at around 10kg and above. Their calorie intake requirement is only between 900-1700 calories a day (on average). Anything lesser, they might not gain healthy weight and anything more, they might turn into an obese child.

Like Miya, she will not really 100% consume all of these meals I had prepared for her. Therefore, that is why I still let her have quite a lot of milk in between meals. The milk and drink will usually be around 600-800 calorie a day. Experts might say that toddlers are not eating much because they are having too much milk and leaving no room for solid food. As for me, I believe in the method of “whatever works”. If my little girl is not eating much, is it wrong for me to be supplementing her calorie intake by giving her milk to make it up for the unaccounted calories?

Toddlers usually make up for poor meals later on. If your toddler refuses a certain food today, try offering it again in a week or two and their taste might have changed. Variety is the spice of life, so offer your child a variety of foods. Variety also helps with the odds of your toddler getting the nutritional requirements they need.

Watch your toddler’s over-all eating habits. Sometimes, poor eating habits can be a sign of allergy or illness. Just like the rest of us, a toddler’s appetite may slacken considerably during cold or flu.

Further, here are some tips on preparing Foods that most kids really do enjoy:

• Fruit gives crunchy fibre, vitamins and energy. Young babies and toddlers enjoy finger food. Cut fruit into pieces.

• Vegetables give colour, vitamins, minerals and important fibre. Cut into bite size pieces so they can be held and chewed. Start with one or two pieces on the plate and let the toddler experience new textures and tastes. Vegetables can be used as in-between snacks.

• Yoghurt of many yummy flavour (chocolate, vanilla, fruits) is high in calcium and protein with friendly bacteria which can boost the immune system; an ideal dessert or in-between snack.

• Bread-It is satisfying, soft, easy to digest and has no need for spread. It encourages babies to chew. Have as toast, sandwiches or incorporate in cooking.

• Breakfast Cereals-Try and aim for less than 10% fat and 10% sugar and greater than 6% fibre per 100g of cereal. Cereals are good for breakfast and snacks and encourages the consumption of milk.

• Pasta may be presented in different sizes and shapes or noodles. Sometimes these can form the basis of soups or main meal with sauces. The small alphabet pasta with the varying shapes will appeal to children. Combined with small quantities of meat, fish or chicken and vegetables for an inexpensive and balanced meal.

• Eggs are high in protein, iron, folate and B12. They are easy to digest and eat and make a convenient meal. Combine soldiers (toasted bread fingers) with a soft cooked egg and some carrot sticks for a balanced combination.

• Mince Beef-This is high in iron and protein and easy to chew. It forms the basis of dishes like savoury mince, mince patties, spaghetti bolognaise and mini meatballs.

• Baked Beans-High in protein, fibre and low in fat; they are handy for a quick lunch or as an addition to breakfast.

• Cheese and vegemite fingers-A good snack food for toddlers 9 months and onward.

Avoid as many processed foods as you can for your toddler, avoid sugary, empty calorie snacks. But remember, "Everything in Moderation" when choosing foods, snacks and meal routines for your toddler and you will be well on your way to raising a happy, healthy child.

Don’t be too stressed out and have too much “pantang” for your child’s meal, or else you are going to turn into one stressed out mom. Also believe me, the more we feel like “mempantang” food intake anak, the more forces yang akan go against our will and want to sabotage our mission.

(the menu I've set is suitable for lil kids with no teeth and as u can see from this mug shot... Miya still have zero teeth)

20/7/09-12.53noon- edited as adviced by Qay- 1700 calorie is too much for toddler. 1700 almost to adult's intake.

22/7/09- 11.15am- i read KKM suggest healthy calorie intake utk toddler 1-4yrs old of asian roots is 900-1300 calories. so dah sah la my info of 900-1700 calorie ni utk anak2 mat salleh.


Adwindaa said...

huhuhuuuu.... mane gigi miya??? muah cyg die...

Victuals for first said...

Avoid buying outside food, it might not be healthy. If you are buying outside food then check the list of ingredients on the jar or tin, carefully see expiry date. For home made food, use wholegrain cereals like wheat germ, cottage cheese, yoghurt or mashed potato, cut fruits and vegetables only when you will use it immediately else vitamin C will get destroyed. Avoid copper pans, it breaks vitamin C. Use safflower or corn oil.

QM said...

You meal plan is superb however I am a bit concerned about the eggs part.

Do you use the whole egg or just the egg yolk?

Unfortunately for me, I have a serious case of allergies (seafood) and my husband's family has a history of asthma and eczema in his. So I have to follow the strict "pantang" my Ped has given for my children...especially the 3-4 day wait in introducing new food.

Many children tend to be allergic to egg whites, doctors advise that you avoid egg whites altogether for the first year. If there is a family history of food allergy, then it might be worth excluding egg whites from your baby's diet for the first 2 years. (http://www.homemade-baby-food-recipes.com/when-can-my-baby-eat-eggs.html)

Even so,I know a blogger friend who has a cousin who went tru an awful experience with an egg allergy


Mama-Miya a.k.a MiuMiu a.k.a "Jedi Hopeful" said...

QM--> eversince my kid turn 1, i've been using whole egg coz my toddler have no allergies problem with animal protein.

even during the whole course of "infant's introduction to solid" 6months to 12months, i followed the rules set out in the stages to introduction of types of food and followed the 4 days wait rule. thank god no allergies. i used http://www.wholesomebabyfood.com/ af my guide.

i was also a bit worry during those 6months coz my family does have many weird allergier. my younger bro is allergic to any animal protein. he grew up with soy and usually a quarter bar of choc can puff up his face. even dah tua ni he got those allergies but not as severe as when he's young. as for me & my mom, i have problem with not so fresh seafood. one bite of udang kurang fresh, my gum will be itchy & my lips will be bigger than angelina jolie's. my youngers bro, weirdest...allergies from acids in fruits and vege.

luckyly Miya got not much prob with food allergies, maybe taken on Papa Miya's side of "ilmu kebal". hehehehhe..

Unfortunately,she does follow some of my skin allergies. We got prob with dust, skin products & many more. But milder than eczema. We usually just turn red and started an itching monkey routine. Hehehehehe..

yatie chomeyl said...

dapnyer menu miya...aunty pon terliur hehe

kakyong said...

i love the menu.. bila dok ralit perati each menu.. baru teringat kakyong dah lama tak masak pasta untk anak2...

thanks for sharing.. kakyong copy yer.. buat reference... heheh.. tp kakyong tak penah sukat brp kalori anak2 makn sehari... may b sud spent time utk sit down & do the calori counting... ;)

mirah said...

mama-miya, oh i pun duk pening buat menu hari2 nak masak apa. Dah lama plan nak buat weekly menu like yours tu tp tak terbuat lagi. Ok i shall do it soon after this. Thanx for the info. nnt boleh i cilok resepi u sama k.. heheh..

Lan0stZz said...

Hi 1st time bloghopping, this is a great idea to do a menu routine jadual for the toddlers. Besides arranging the weekly menu for mom's reference, u can as well check the nutrition intakes of the kiddo. Brilliant. THanks for the idea!

Mama-Miya a.k.a MiuMiu a.k.a "Jedi Hopeful" said...

yes mommies sekalian, menu ni penting utk pastikan anak kita cukup nutri intake. kurangnye kita keep track & pastikan anak kita dpt all vitamins & mineral kan?

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Disclaimer: I am not a medical doctor nor am I a lawyer. I am not a scientist nor am I an expert. I am just a wife and a mother, who is putting her thoughts and findings in a blog. All of the posting on this website & my blogs were written by me for educational purposes and as my sentimental library, but are not meant to diagnose nor treat any medical disorders. Any other materials that I may have quote from other published materials are for educational purposes only and not for any other manipulative reasons. Anyway, whatever weird stuff that I published are the real stuff that I believe works for me. Tips and tricks that might work for me. You are free to put it in your head if you thinks its valuable, but if you think its rubbish... Please don't mock me. Do please shut your pie hole.
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