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Monday, February 15, 2016

Essential nutrients for toddlers

When we talk about food for toddlers as i have said already, it by itself a big topic to discuss. One thing I noticed is, in order to keep healthy they have to eat right rather than eat plenty. So we have to concentrate of what they eat first and then how much they eat. 

For a toddler its important that they get all the essential nutrients as this is their crucial growth period. They need all the nutrients like carbohydrate, protein, vitamins and minerals, fat, sugar and water in correct proportions. I have done a mini research on internet to figure out the same.




This is a food pyramid which show the order of need and proportion of each of the nutrient for not only toddlers but for adults too. Lets see one by one what they are and how to add them in our diet.

1.Carbohydrate

The major percentage of your the diet should be carbohydrate. Carbohydrates cause unnecessary weight gain only when they exceed the required quantity. They provide energy, prevents diseases and controls weight.

Carbohydrates are divided mainly as sugar, starch and fiber. It is the simplest form of carbohydrate. Its available in milk, fruits and vegetables. Sugar units bond together to form starch. Its available in rice, beans, peas and grains. Fiber is also made of sugar units. They help is good metabolism. 

2. Protein

Next big proportion of the diet should be protein. They are essential for building and repairing body cells and tissue, producing enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals. its an important building block of bones, muscles, cartilages, skin and blood.

Protein rich foods are fish, poultry, beans, nuts and whole grains.

Teenage boys and active men need upto 7 ounces. Children from 2 years to 6 years, most women and older people need upto 5 ounces. Older children, teenage girls, active women and most men need upto 6 ounces of protein.

3. Fats

Next important part of diet is fats and oils. They are important for many body processes, helps move some vitamins around the body and helps make hormones in the form of healthy cholesterol in the blood. 

Dietary fat is grouped as saturated, monounsaturated, polyunsaturated and trans. Each behave differently. 

Saturated fat contribute to the risk of heart disease and stroke by increasing LDL blood cholesterol level. They are in some fast food, commercial products, deep fried food, over heated / reused oil. They are also in the natural food like high fat milk, high fat cheese. 

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats tend to lower LDL blood cholesterol when they replace saturated fats in diet. Olive oil, plain nuts, sandwich or wrap or burger with lean meat and salad have mono/poly unsaturated fats. 

Trans fat are similar to saturated fats contribute to risk of heart diseases and stroke. They are more dangerous as they also reduce the HDL cholesterol level. It is created in the stomach of cow and sheep  and hence present in very small quantity in natural food like milk, cheese, beef and lamb. It is more in some factory made pies, pastries, cakes and biscuits which should be most concerned about rather than that present in small quantity in natural food.

4. High sugar food

Soda and carbonated drink have nothing but helps in hydration and add the calories up quickly. But other that than they only have lots of disadvantages like weaken bones, cause tooth decay, type-2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease.

We should consider these while preparing food. This will help us lead a healthy and happy life.