Toddlers can be a challenge when it comes to nutritional intake and feeding. This is the time that they begin to develop individuality and endeavour to control what they eat. Such developmental milestones can make mealtime a struggle for parents. It is important to support the baby with planned meals while also setting boundaries on who has control.
Nutrient Requirements for 21 Months Old Child
Listed below are some nutrients that are essential for children at 21 months of age:
Glucose from carbohydrates is used by the brain to fuel itself. The amount of carbohydrate required by a 21-month-old child is around 130 grams. This is the same amount needed for an adult brain to work properly.
Babies require a low protein diet. A toddler requires a mere 13 grams of protein per day.
Fats are an essential nutrient for toddlers. They’re is required by the body for absorption of fat solvable vitamins, cellular building, muscle movement and blood clotting.
Sodium works as an electrolyte in the body, and it is imperative for nerve function, muscle contraction and to regulate blood pressure. An infant requires a minimum of 1 gram per day for optimum functioning.
Iron is required to produce red blood cells that carry oxygen through the blood. Iron insufficiency can lead to frequent infections, fatigue, and pale skin. Toddler requires 7mg of iron per day.
7. Vitamin D
Toddlers at 21 months of age require 1.3 litres of water that should come from mixed sources such as water itself, from food, and water contained in milk. Water forms 70-75% of your body weight and is required to structure large molecules, transport other nutrients, lubricate and cushion organs, and flush toxins from the body.
How Much Food Does a 21-Month-Old Toddler Need?
Toddlers have a lower calorific need than infants due to a slowdown in growth. Toddlers require anywhere between 1,000 to 1,400 calories every day, depending on their size, physical activity level and age. This translates to roughly ½ a cup of rice, 1 small fruit, 1 cup mashed or cooked vegetables, 1 cooked egg, and 1 cup of milk each day. Toddlers also require a healthy amount of oils in their meal.
Best Foods for 21-Month-Old Baby
Homemade food that is processed as little as possible is the best way for children to meet their nutritional needs. Some of the best foods to offer 21-month-old babies are listed below:
1. Cooked eggs
Eggs can be boiled or scrambled and can be served with butter or cheese.
2. Bread rolls
Flatten the slice of bread and butter it. Roll to make finger food.
3. Nut butter and jam sandwiches
Dress up your regular sandwiches by adding a fistful of peanut butter and jam.
4. Cheese quesadillas
Maybe you can add a bit of spinach or tomotoes to them for variety
5. Avocado and boiled egg
Excellent source of a variety of nutrients and good fats
6. Poached chicken with bbq sauce
Great and tasty source of protein that will leave your toddler wanting for more!
7. Cream of tomato soup
Pureed tomato with a dash of cream would make a healthy and tasty meal for your child.
8. Banana pancakes
Mashed banana on pancakes can be served with a drizzle of honey to increase its appeal.
A mixed bowl of whatever fruits are in season will help improve the nutritional intake of your toddler.
10. Lentil Soup
This is a wholesome soup option that can be paired with whole wheat crackers is a hearty dinner option.
21-Month-Old Baby Food Chart/Meal Plan
Encourage your toddlers to try a bite of all new food given to them. Here is a suggested food chart for a 21-month- old baby.
|DAY/ MEAL||PRE-BREAKFAST||BREAKFAST||MORNING SNACK||LUNCH||EVENING SNACK||DINNER|
|MONDAY||1 glass milk+ 4 soaked almonds||French toast with maple syrup and berries||Papaya cubes||Spaghetti with meatballs||Apple and pear cubes||Cheesead tomato omelette|
|TUESDAY||Milk||Banana pancakes||Muskmelon||Chicken nuggets and salsa dip||Bread slice with jam||Eggs on toas|
|WEDNESDAY||Pureed papaya||Peanut butter and jam sandwich||Strawberry Milkshake||Baked Hamour with lemon sauce and rice||Hot milk with 4 biscuits||Koshari with lenit|
|THURSDAY||Milk and poached apples||Cinnamon Waffles||Apple rice cakes||Mixed vegetables with rice and grilled meat||Dry fruits||Cheese and tomato sandwich|
|FRIDAY||Almond milk||Grilled cheese and bell pepper on toast||2 wheat-based biscuits||Cream chicken and mushrooms with brown rice||Mixed fruit bowl||Oatmeal porridge|
|SATURDAY||Pureed carrots and milk||Sweet potato and papaya hash||Small banana||Meat shawarma wap with hummus||Banana porridge||Couscous with peas and onions|
|SUNDAY||Soya Milk||Cereals and Milk with fresh berries||Orange||Vegetable rice with lentils||Milkshake||Green salad with feta cheese and crutons|
Food Recipes for 21 Months Old Baby
Here are some wholesome and nutritious recipes that you can try for your 21-month baby:
1. Chocolate chip pancakes
You can add a handful of shredded zucchini or carrots or any other vegetable that your toddler does not like that can be masked in this delicious treat!
- 1 Cup all-purpose flour
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 Cup milk (can use coconut, almond or dairy milk)
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ Cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
How to Prepare
- In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar, salt and baking powder. Add the egg, milk, vanilla extract and vegetable oil and stir until combined but lumpy.
- Fold in the chocolate chips.
- Heat a skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray. Pour ¼ cup of batter for each pancake onto the skillet. When the top starts to get bubbly, flip over and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes.
- Serve with pure maple syrup.
2. Wheat Pancakes with Honey
Wheat pancakes make a soft and fluffy food item that your toddler would love.
- 1 cup wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup milk
- 1 egg
- 1 spoon melted butter
How to Prepare
In a mixing bowl, add together the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and mix well. Make a well in the centre and pour the milk, beaten egg and melted butter. Mix until you have a smooth batter. Heat a griddle or pan and pour out a scoop of the batter. Brown on both sides and serve warm with honey.
3. Tortilla pizza
Tortilla pizza is wholesome because it contains proteins, calcium carbohydrates and fats.
- 1/2 cup Picante Sauce
- 1 large tomato, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
- 6 flour tortilla
- 1/2 cup chopped beef pepperoni
- 1 small green pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
How to Prepare
- Heat the oven to 400°F. Stir the picante sauce, tomato and oregano in a small bowl.
- Place the tortillas onto 2 baking sheets. Spread about 1/4 cup picante sauce mixture on each tortilla to within 1/2-inch of the edge. Top each with the pepperoni, pepper and cheese.
- Bake for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Cut each pizza into 4 wedges.
4. Chicken Soup
A warm cup of chicken soup is as good for health as it is said to be for the soul.
- ¼ kg chicken with bones
- 1 small bay leaf
- 1 medium cinnamon
- 2 cloves
- ¼ tsp cumin seeds
- ¼ tsp ginger grated
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 1 tsp coriander leaves
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp ghee
- 2 cups water
How to Prepare
Clean and chop chicken into small pieces. Finely chop or grate ginger, garlic and onions. Grind together the cumin, half the onion, and coriander leaves to a fine paste. Heat ghee in a cooker and splutter the cumin and sauté the cinnamon and cloves. Add remaining onions, chopped ginger and garlic and ground paste. Fry until it doesn’t smell raw. Now add rest of the ingredients and sauté for a few minutes. Add water and pressure cook for 4 whistles. Simmer for 2-3 minutes and turn the flame off. Strain the soup using a sieve before serving to a toddler.
5. Pasta in Cream Sauce
Whole-wheat pasta cooked with cream sauce is a health and tasty option for your young ones.
- 1 cup macaroni or fusilli
- ½ cup fresh cream
- ½ cup cheese
- 1 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp butter
- ½ cup milk
- salt to taste
- 1 tsp olives
How to Prepare
Boil the pasta with salt and a spoon of oil. Run under cold water and set aside. Add butter to a pan and melt it. Add in the flour and stir. Don’t let it burn. Add the milk to the flour and stir without lumps. Let it come to a boil and then simmer to thicken and reduce the sauce. Add the peas, salt, grated cheese and fresh cream and let it simmer until the peas are soft. Add the pasta and toss it in the sauce. Cool and add a few olives as garnish.
Here are some feeding tips to help reduce the struggle during mealtime:
- As a toddler is looking for control, they want foods that they can eat by themselves. Give them bite-sized foods or finger foods.
- Ensure that foods are rich in Vitamin C to enable absorption of iron.
- Do not make mealtime a battlefield. When you try to force your toddler to eat, there will be a natural resistance.
- Limit the intake of juice and given them fruits instead.
- Do not bribe your toddler them sweets as rewards for finishing the food.
- Have several small meals or snacks rather than 3 big meals. It provides variety and makes sure that your toddler doesn’t feel hungry.
- Start with soft foods and slowly add chewy or tough foods like meat.
- Let your child sit during the meal and do not encourage running around.
- Make mealtime fun by telling stories. Do not encourage eating in front of a television as it hinders the processing of taste and texture.
- Appreciate your toddler for trying new foods but don’t force what they don’t like.
Toddlers at 21 months of age can experimental and tough. Do not let it stress you out. Understand that all children are not alike, and their appetites and tastes vary according to their temperament. You will lose some battles, but with patience, you will nurture a toddler who has a varied interest in food and grows up with an adaptable palate.
Also Read: Healthy Food for 2-Year-Old Baby