Some mothers may experience this and we are seeing this very commonly in most households:
My baby is 2 years now. She is still not eating solid foods. She is not chewing and just feeds on purees and liquid foods. She is just swallowing the food and I’m finding it too hard to feed any kind of solid food to her.
It is normal for a 2-year-old baby. This phase will move on. Don’t bother.
Major mistakes most parents make during the 3rd year
The ultimate desire of every mother is to feed nutritious food throughout the day. Well, every mother is like that and it makes them make some grave mistakes that could affect the health of the baby.
- The desire to feed the baby ends up giving quick fixes which is nothing but empty calories.
- Trying to feed large meals, just like adults
- Cooking separate food recipes for the babies (it is not recommended at all)
- Unhealthy snacking risk is huge
- Just as they turned a year older, it doesn’t mean they should eat more.
- Eating small meals or even bite-size portions can satisfy hunger.
- Children don’t know whether they are full or still feel hungry. They can easily overeat on certain foods and mommies should follow the hunger clues to control the portion size.
What mommies should know about eating patterns of a baby so that they can feed accordingly in the 3rd year?
For some mothers, it is very fortunate that they feed the child with ease, civilized eating.
- The little one learns to use the spoon, cups and feed on his own, using the fingers.
- The child swallows and gulps quickly and eating is not an interesting activity that your child is likely to involve.
- This is the phase your child no longer needs a lot of energy and becomes a fussy eater.
- There is always a hurry to play with toys or friends and go out to play.
- They give more preference to taste, flavor, and aroma. Kids easily fall for junk foods by this phase.
- The risk of choking is relatively high when compared with the previous months.
Nutritional requirements for the baby in 3 years
- Fiber – Grains, vegetables, and fruits
- Vitamins – Vegetables
- Carbohydrates – Grains, pulses and starchy vegetables
- Minerals – Fruits, dry fruits, nuts and seeds
- Calcium – Milk and most of the dairy products
- Proteins – Eggs, meat, cereals, and legumes
Foods to choose more
- Try to feed whole grains, at least one part of the grain as whole grains.
- All fruits
- All vegetables
- All grains, cereals, and pulses
- Eggs, meat, and poultry
There are not many restrictions on choosing healthy foods for the 3-year-old baby.
- Give at least one fruit and one vegetable a day.
- Any choice of cereals (sprouted and steamed) once a day.
- Include nuts as part of snacks.
- Feed two or three glasses of milk (morning and night) daily. Make it no more than 3 cups a day.
- Make snacking healthy, light and choose the options wisely.
It is a misconception that children should be devoid of oils and fats. The truth is different. Feed oils and fats (healthy choices, not fried foods and junk foods) to stimulate brain function. Oils and fats are required for people of all ages for healthy brain function.
- Feed wheat, ragi, rice, millets and avoid plain flour.
- Fruits and veggies are important. If your child loves to eat fruit as a whole, don’t hesitate. Instead, make it a healthy milkshake, as a part of the meal.
- Limit juices to 4 or 5 times a week, whole fruit and purees are healthier than juices.
- Give milk and milk products in any form including yogurt, kheer, shakes, and curd.
Foods to avoid when baby completes 2 years of age
There is nothing you have to avoid when your baby completes 2 years of age. Just make sure that you avoid the following:
- Don’t give skimmed milk. Skimmed milk isn’t healthy at all for any age.
- Avoid large chunks of foods as the risk of choking is high.
- Check for food allergies and avoid respective foods.
- Carbonated beverages, candies, and junk foods
- Do not restrict to any specific choice of foods
- Salads – Raw foods are not still safe for babies at this age.
Diet Tips for 3-year baby
More than the foods you choose and restrict, there is a lot at stake on how you feed the baby.
- After completion of two years, just be watchful about feeding sugar and salt. Kids with a sweet tooth are likely to eat a lot of sweets, gummies, candies, and cakes. Just be cautious in feeding sugar-based sweets.
To meet the sweet cravings, feed alternatives to sugar, like honey, fruits, and jaggery.
- Limit milk consumption to two glasses (or maximum 3 glasses) a day. It could possibly let the baby eat solids. If your baby is completely avoiding solid foods and loves to feed only on liquids and puree foods, limit feeding milk.
Feeding milk during hunger affects appetite.
- Children need balanced nutrients. It is impossible to give a balanced meal every time and equate that they receive every nutrient at every meal. Think big, feed a variety, give healthy options and cook for the family, not just for the kids.
Schedule for regular eating with proper meal and snack time. Variety is the key.
- Always plan your meals ahead and let your baby about the same. It will prevent two things; you won’t become a short order cook and your child won’t be a picky eater!
- Eat and only eat! Don’t do any other activity during the eating schedule.
- It is okay if your baby doesn’t feed well on any specific day. Just think about they are just fasting!
- Become a role model for positive eating. From enjoying food to following table manners, make eating enjoyable and positive.
- Have at least one meal as a family. This is the basic healthy practice that makes the baby feel good. You will know what your baby eats and what he/she avoids.
- Let her/him help you in the kitchen, or keep them watch you as you cook, of course with caution. For instance, wiping plates, stirring cakes, adding sugar, etc. it will give a sense of achievement as well the babies with love to eat something that they worked.
Ask how much the baby wants to eat when you serve the baby.
This age is quite tricky. Babies don’t eat a lot so they may easily go malnourished. Besides, many babies are likely to make an entry in preschool, which affects the eating pattern badly.
Sample Diet Plan for 3 Years Baby
Breakfast – Toast with butter, ragi porridge, french toast, idli, dosa, paratha, puri, upma, Pongal, omelet.
Lunch and dinner – A healthy balance of wheat and rice products. Vegetables and yogurt.
Snacks – fresh fruits, dry fruits, shakes, baked sweet potato, steamed Kerela banana, homemade desserts.