All parents want their kids to eat healthy and get enough nutrients, but no one likes calculating calories. Below are some of our favorite tips for feeding your child, just don’t forget your own preferences and your child’s appetite.
When your child is three, he/she can start eating the same foods you eat – you only need to give your kid smaller portions and add snacks to fuel his body. However, a child has a different attitude to foods than adults, and here are important things to know about feeding your three-year-old.
Your 3-year-old kid can get full with a small portion of food. Keep this in mind or you can overfeed your child. Just like toddlers and infants, they have smaller stomachs and have lower energy needs. So they need a smaller amount of food.
You could also mention that when adults finish their portions even when full, a child will always stop eating when he’s had enough. Kids aren’t swayed by portions when they eat healthy. However, if you add lots of sugar, salt or fats, they can easily overeat, so keep control of what your child is eating and offer lots of healthy foods.
These Foods Are the Best
When your child is two years old, you can switch to milk and incorporate fats from olive oil, cheeses and nuts into his diet. Starting from that point, you can add whole grains. Little children need a good balance of nutrients but you don’t have to worry about them not getting every single nutrient every day. The diet of your child is like a big picture with a variety of smaller details. Choose different foods each day depending on what meals are enjoyed in your family.
Since your child has a small stomach and he doesn’t need big portions, you should choose foods rich in nutrients. For example, nuts and sweet potatoes are amazing sources of essential nutrients and they give a lot of energy to your child too.
Feeding Tips and Tricks
Your child always looks at your behavior and copies it, so eat together with your kid. You can also teach him table manners and focus on the importance of family time. Don’t focus on how healthy the food is because healthy for a kid means not tasty.
Plan regular meals and let your child choose how much they want to eat. Try to prepare a variety of foods so a child can choose what he likes. When you have a schedule, you won’t become a short-order cook for your kid.
When you serve the food, ask your child how much he wants or let him serve himself. You can also let your child help you out in the kitchen. Cooking together has many benefits from improving the feeling of connection to developing useful skills. A child can help you stir pancakes, clean up or count vegetables and fruits. A 3-year-old child can also use a plastic knife to cut bread.
These are the general guidelines for properly feeding your 3-year-old. Of course, every child is different and your kid may need more or less food depending on his weight, activity level and hunger. Just remember that every child needs fruits, vegetables, protein, grains and fats. They are necessary for growth. Follow the hunger of your child and remember that kids fill up quickly, so choose nutrient-dense foods. And don’t worry about not eating completely healthy – children aren’t adults, they simply don’t need it.
How do you feed your child? Share your menu ideas and tips in the comments section!