Meal planning for a one-year-old requires a lot of research and patience. The baby may eat well on a particular day and offer resistance to eat the same dish on the next day. Planning for a balanced diet by keeping in mind different varieties to be served to them may pose to be a challenge for the mommy.
Few tips to be considered at the time of planning meal for a one-year-old
1. A one year old should be fed small portions at regular frequencies. It would be right to plan at least five to six meals per day.
2. Meals should comprise of different food items so that the baby may develop taste for varieties.
3. It is important to note that a one year old baby needs approximately one thousand calories per day. “Fat” is the most important component for one year old baby’s growth and development. It is important to keep in mind that a minimum of 50% of calories should come from fats consumed.
4. The diet should comprise of all food groups as are required by an adult. An attempt should be made to include vitamins, proteins, fats, minerals, carbohydrates, etc. to ensure it is a balanced diet.
5. It is of utmost importance to introduce new foods but care should be exercised that this is done only one at a time. It is primary to consider a child’s taste towards a particular food and also check for allergic proneness.
6. It is best to add a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables to a child’s meal. These may be boiled, mashed and offered as broth or stew so that the one year old may easily eat it up.
7. A one year old baby should be fed very little pieces of food or preferable mashed food to ensure choking does not occur.
8. Breast milk should be continued on demand.
Foods that should be avoided strictly
1. Soft drinks, chocolates, chips and other junk food should not be served to a growing baby. These might be addictive and the harmful chemicals present in these food items may be detrimental to a baby’s growth.
2. Foods like nuts and popcorns should not be offered to one year olds. There is a danger of getting choked if these get stuck in the baby’s food pipe.
3. Both salt and sugar should be added to food in moderation only. Too much salt or sugar may have ill effects. Masalas and spices should also be added only after a baby has crossed two years of age. However, small quantities of cumin, hing, cloves may be considered for a one year old’s meal.
Healthy food options for different meals
A child’s dietary regime should be divided into three main meals and two to three snack meals.
1. Non-vegetarian food comprising of egg, chicken soup or fish rice may be served for any one of the meals for the day.
2. Options like besan cheela, poha, suji upma, ragi dosa or aloo parantha may be offered for breakfast.
3. Fruits may be altered and offered as mid day snacks. Apple, banana, water melon, papaya are extremely healthy for a growing baby.
4. A meal comprising of chappatis, rice, pulses and vegetables should be offered for dinner.
5. Breast feed or milk may be added to the meals as and when required.
A pediatrician may be also be consulted while deciding a perfect meal menu.