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Feeding Guide For Your Baby And Toddler

It can be hard to know how to feed your baby or toddler. What do they need? How much should they eat? When should they eat?

The first years of life are a time of incredible growth. Babies double their birth weight in just five months. By the time they’re one year old, they’ve tripled it. Toddlers grow even faster, gaining up to 4.5 pounds and adding three inches to their height each year from ages one to two. All that growth requires a lot of energy and nutrients.

A well-balanced diet is essential for your child’s health, development, and growth. It will also help them maintain a healthy weight as they get older. This guide can help you ensure that your baby or toddler is getting the nutrients they need.

What Do Babies and Toddlers Need to Eat?

Babies and toddlers need a diet that includes:

  • Protein: for growth and development
  • Carbohydrates: for energy
  • Fat: for energy, absorption of vitamins, and brain development
  • Vitamins and minerals: for overall health
  • Water: for hydration

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How Much Should They Eat?

The amount that your baby or toddler needs to eat will depend on their age, weight, and activity level. Your pediatrician can help you determine how much food your child needs. In general, babies and toddlers should eat the following amounts each day:

  • Babies aged 0-6 months: 2-4 ounces per feeding
  • Babies aged 6-9 months: 4-6 ounces per feeding
  • Toddlers aged 9-12 months: 6-8 ounces per feeding
  • Toddlers aged 1-2 years: 8-10 ounces per feeding

When Should They Eat?

Babies and toddlers should eat every few hours. This usually works out to 3-5 meals per day. It’s important to listen to your child’s cues, though. Some babies and toddlers may be ready for more frequent feedings, while others may be able to space their meals a bit further apart.

What Should They Eat?

The best way to ensure that your baby or toddler is getting the nutrients they need is to feed them a variety of healthy foods from each food group.

Protein

Protein is essential for growth and development. It can be found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, peas, tofu, nuts, and seeds. Babies and toddlers need about 2 ounces of protein per day.

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. They can be found in grains (bread, cereal, rice, pasta), vegetables (potatoes, corn, carrots), fruits (apples, bananas, oranges), and milk products (yogurt, cheese, milk). Babies and toddlers need about 4 ounces of carbohydrates per day.

Fat

Fat is important for energy, absorption of vitamins, and brain development. It can be found in meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, seeds, peanut butter, avocados, oils (olive oil, vegetable oil), and milk products (yogurt, cheese, milk). Babies and toddlers need about 1 ounce of fat per day.

Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are essential for overall health. They can be found in fruits (apples, bananas, oranges), vegetables (potatoes, corn carrots), meat, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, peas, tofu, nuts, seeds, and milk products (yogurt, cheese, milk), and water. Babies and toddlers need about 1-2 cups of fruits and vegetables per day.

Water

Water is essential for hydration. It can be found in… well, water! Babies and toddlers need about 4-8 ounces of water per day.

Feeding Tips

Here are a few tips to help you ensure that your baby or toddler is getting the nutrients they need:

  • Start with small amounts of food and gradually increase as your child’s appetite grows.
  • Offer a variety of foods from each food group at each meal to make sure they’re getting all the nutrients they need.
  • If your child is picky, try offering the same food multiple times. It can take 10-15 tries for a child to acquire a taste for new food.
  • Be patient! Feeding babies and toddlers can be a slow process. It’s important to let them eat at their own pace and not rush them.
  • Make mealtime fun! Encourage your child to play with their food and explore different textures and tastes.

What if My Child Isn’t Eating Enough?

If you’re concerned that your child isn’t eating enough, talk to your pediatrician. They can help you determine if your child is getting the nutrients they need and make recommendations for how to increase their intake.

Conclusion

Babies and toddlers need to eat often throughout the day to get the nutrients they need for growth and development. A variety of healthy foods from each food group should be offered at each meal. If you’re concerned that your child isn’t eating enough, talk to your pediatrician.

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Emma White

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Her controversial yet heartfelt writing has become a lifeline to many.