Their always busy, exploring schedule, with nibbling only little in-betweens becomes the cause of worry for parents.
Why are Toddlers Picky Eaters?
Picky eater is the other definition for toddlers. Kids between one to three years of age gain weight much slowly than the rapid growth of first year. These developmental changes are the real cause of such fussy food behavior. Secondly, since they are always on the go for something, snacking becomes more compatible than a full fledge meal. Most toddlers will eat 1 to 2 meals in a day rather than complete 3 meals and this is absolutely fine as long as their weight gain is within the range.
Small kids whose weight is well below the recommended range can suffer from fatigue, drowsiness, irritability and could have delayed development. Those kids necessarily should follow a healthy, balanced diet of weight gaining foods to speed up weight gaining process in the body.
List of Healthy Weight Gaining Foods for Toddlers
Milk and Cheese are rich in fat and calories and play very important role as bulking agents in diet for toddlers. These provide nutrients of vitamin D and calcium, which are very essential for infant growth and well being. Add shredded cheese to toast and sliced cheese to biscuits and sandwiches. Make use of curd or yogurt as integral part of the diet. For preparation of hot cereals, vegetables, soups include milk or curd wherever possible. Offer milkshakes, smoothies, and fruit custards for more benefits.
Peanut Butter is a good source of unsaturated fats and also has adequate amounts of proteins and fiber. Though, peanut alone is healthy but not suitable for toddlers, since allowing small children to eat nuts can put them at risk of getting choked by obstructing the airway passage.
Starchy carbohydrates provide energy and satisfy the appetite fully. Include macaroni as positive meal since it offers benefits of fat, calcium and starchy carbohydrates. Pasta made in tomato sauce provides various minerals and vitamins in addition to starchy carbohydrate content. Cereals and whole grain bread can be included later, once the child begins gaining reasonable amount of weight.
Arrange an interesting nibble tray full of apple moons, wheels of bananas, swords of carrot, broccoli trees, full boiled egg wedges and crescent orange that will surely tempt the kid to at least taste each of these healthy fruits and in turn build a strong immunity that keeps all diseases away.
Rule of Thumb
The stomach of child is very small, equal to size of his/her fist. So offer small portions in the first go and refill more once it gets finished. Less is more meal plan is more successful with picky eaters and have added benefits of managing blood sugar levels that in turn reduces mood swings.
Make use of ‘bite rule’ to motivate reluctant eaters. By counting number of bites, it makes eating playful and child will at least try tasting every new food and there is chance that he/she may develop taste for the new food.