There is nothing more daunting for a parent then to pack a healthy lunch for their toddler who attends a day care. It becomes even tougher when your little one is a picky eater or is allergic to certain foods. What’s more childcare these days have a policy about not sending certain food items to school either. So what do you do about it?
Dieticians suggest that all toddlers aged 14 to 35 months can eat solid foods which are modified in a safe to chew texture. This means boiling or steaming the food so that it’s easier to swallow. However, parents should avoid giving food which is too salty or has too much sugar. Also food like popcorn needs to be avoided because of the choking hazard which is presents. Instead the food should be cut in mall bite sized pieces. This goes for meat as well as fruits and vegetables. Also try to keep the portion sizes mall. Toddlers don’t eat a great deal. An ideal portion size is less than 50% of what an adult might eat in a single sitting.
Worried about what you should be packing for your toddler? Don’t worry, the following lunch ideas from the expert caregivers at Clayton childcare have you covered. The next time you find yourself wondering on what to pack for lunch, do consider the following:
- Chicken which is cut into bite sized pieces or shredded is a good source of iron and protein plus it would help keep your child active during the time they spend at daycare.
- Raw vegetables like zucchini which is peeled and cut into small pieces are a good option as well. These are packed with water and are a healthy source of fiber. Cherry tomatoes are a good option as well.
- Yogurt and fruit slices are also a good option. Children can easily dip their fruit in their favorite yogurt and enjoy a healthy meal. Yogurt contains good bacteria which helps keep their stomach stronger. Also the calcium in yogurt helps make their bones grow stronger.
- Different shaped pasta is always appealing to children. Toss in a few cooked veggie and meat and you would have a meal which you little one would surely love. The perfect balance of carbs and protein a stir fry pasta is a good meal to pack for your toddler.
- Sandwiches with a number of fillings are a good option too. Now is a good time to introduce whole wheat bread to your little one. They would enjoy the taste and the texture as well. You can choose to add cheese or dressing or even avocado spread into the sandwich. The option are endless and make up for a really filling meal.
- Homemade muffins are good too. Children get to enjoy a little bit of sweetened cake.
The above mentioned are a few simple ideas from the teachers at a child care centre in Clayton. They know that a well fed toddler is a happy toddler.