For first-time parents, feeding a toddler can be quite challenging. Toddlers between the age of 18 and 22 months are very active and playful. They can also be picky eaters and getting them to eat healthy foods can be extremely tough for you. If your 22-month-old toddler is giving you trouble when it comes to eating healthy food, read this article. This article will provide you with ideas and recipes that you can try to feed your 22-month-old toddler.
Nutrient Requirements of a 22-month-old Child
Proper nutrition is vital for the healthy growth and development of your baby. As parents, you should make sure that your baby gets all the essential nutrients that your body requires for proper physical and mental development. The various nutrients that a 22-month-old baby needs and the role that each nutrient plays in the baby’s growth and development are as follows:
Protein plays a vital role in the development of body tissues and muscles. It helps in the formation and repair of tissues and muscles of your growing baby. Toddlers should have about 55 grams of protein per day. So, include dairy products, meat, fish, chicken, eggs, lentils, etc. in his diet.
Carbohydrates give toddlers the energy to stay active all day. Carbohydrates also promote healthy brain development of a child. A growing toddler should have six portions of carbs daily. To meet your baby’s carbohydrate requirements, you can give him whole grains, bread, cereal, pasta, rice, corn, wheat, etc.
Fats are essential for the development of a toddler’s brain. Fats also help in muscle movement and build-up of cells. So do not hesitate in feeding healthy fats to your child. You can give ghee, olive oil, peanut oil, sunflower oil, and butter to your baby. Toddlers should get about three teaspoons of fats a day.
Vitamins play a crucial role in body metabolism, bone and tissue repair, immunity development, etc. Hence, it is an essential nutrient for a growing baby. You can give milk, cheese, eggs, fruits, and vegetables to a baby. Toddlers should have at least 1 cup of cooked vegetables and 1 cup of fruits per day.
5. Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D
Vitamin B12 are important for DNA synthesis, red blood cell formation, and brain function. It is not present naturally in plant foods. Hence, vegans should give their toddlers B12 supplements after consulting a doctor. Foods containing vitamin B12 can also be provided, like dairy products, meat, and fish. The body manufactures vitamin D with sunlight being the main catalyst. Make sure your toddler gets enough sunlight exposure in the early morning or evening.
Minerals are vital for various body functions. Iron, calcium, phosphorous, sodium, copper, chloride, sulphur, zinc, selenium, etc. are minerals that a toddler requires for healthy development. Minerals are found in dairy products, fruits, vegetables, meat, fish, nuts, dried fruits, and green leafy vegetables.
7. Dietary Fibre
Dietary fibre is essential for good digestive health. Fibre makes food move through the bowel and thus stimulates bowel movements. Sources of fibre-rich foods for toddlers include unpeeled apples and pears, bananas, berries with seeds, and whole grains like oats, and yoghurt.
It is important for a toddler to stay hydrated. Water makes up around 60% of the average body weight. Toddlers between the age of 1 and 3 years need 1.3 litres of water per day. The child’s fluid intake can also consist of other liquids like soups, juice, and milk. However, water is the best choice.
How Much Food Does a Toddler Need at 22 Months
A 22-month-old toddler has a stomach which is around the same size of his clenched fist. Hence, you cannot expect your toddler to eat quantities of food similar to that of an adult. Keep the meal portions small. On an average, a toddler needs 1000 to 1400 calories of food per day, depending on their size, age and level of activity. This would include around 80-85 grams of whole grains, 1 cup of vegetables, 1 cup of fruits, 2 cups of milk (450 to 500 ml), and about 55 grams of meat and beans.
Best Foods for a 22-month-old Baby
Here are some wholesome and nourishing food ideas for your 22-month-old toddler:
1. Vegetable Spring Rolls
Make tiny, palm-sized parathas stuffed with paneer, carrots, cauliflower, or boiled potatoes. Serve with a small dollop of ghee. This will provide a host of nutrients including essentials carbohydrates, fibre and more to babies for their overall development.
2. Cheese Sandwiches
Make cheese sandwiches and different vegetables to them like cucumbers, tomatoes, avocadoes..etc. Your child will love it. However, make small-sized sandwiches for your little one, and he will finish them in one go. Cheese provides calcium which is important for bone health. Ensure that your baby is not allergic to dairy.
3. Vegetable Soups
Make vegetable soups from carrots, mashed peas, spinach, or broccoli. This assortment of vegetables will give your baby ample Vitamin K, Vitamin B6 essential for the growth of hair, nails, etc, along with fibre.
4. Pancakes with Vegetable or Chicken stew
This dish is different from the standard fare and is also nutritious. Chicken stew and vegetable stew along with pancakes, made of rice batter, can be a complete nutrient package for your baby. Stew contains a good amount of fibre which can regulate the baby’s digestive system.
5. Vegetable Koshari
Rice and lentils both are good for a toddler. And a koshari with vegetables will be more beneficial. This is a nutritious staple in most Middle Eastern households and kids will love it too when served warm. Rice and lentils both have useful proteins which are great for baby’s development.
6. Vegetable Fingers with Hummus
Toddlers love hummus and it has many benefits for a child. It helps in the brain and retinal development of a toddler. It is also a good source of iron and your child will relish some cooked veggie fingers with the hummus dip.
7. Seasonal Fruits
Give your toddler seasonal fruits that are easily available in the market. This ensures that they get a variety of nutrients from different fruits. Different fruits have several nutritional benefits that can be associated with good health. A good dose of folic acid can help create red blood cells and fibre can soothe the baby’s digestive tract.
8. Meal Combinations
Try usual meal combinations like shawarma wrap with Hummus, grilled cheese sandwich with vegetables, lentil rice with okra in tomato sauce, etc. Each of these food items come with their benefits be it protein, fibre, etc. This can help your baby develop his muscles and grow up healthy.
9. Scrambled Eggs with Tomatoes, Onions and Cheese
Make scrambled eggs with sautéed tomatoes and onions. Serve with grated cheese on top. Eggs are rich in iron, fat and protein which is essential for a growing baby.
10. Finger Sandwiches
Finger sandwiches with soft cheese, cucumber and carrots are tasty and nutritious for toddlers. Cucumber and carrots are a good source of fibre. Ensure you peel the skin off the cucumber before you give it to your baby.
22-Month-Old Baby’s Food Chart/Meal Plan
Below is a 22-month-old baby’s food chart –:
|After Waking up||Breakfast||Mid-Morning Snack||Lunch||Evening Snack||
|Monday||½ cup plain milk||Scrambled Eggs with bread slices||Watermelon cubes||Lentil Rice with Okra in tomato sauce||Chocolate milkshake||Spinach and cheese quiche|
|Tuesday||½ cup chocolate milk||Banana oats porridge||Fruit yoghurt||Baked almon and rown rice||Strawberry smoothie||Cheese and mushroom omelette|
|Wednesday||½ cup strawberry milk||Banana pancakes||Muskmelon pieces||Spagetti and meatballs||carrot and bell pepper finger cutlets.||Carrot rice seasoned with cumin|
|Thursday||½ cup milk||French Toast||Fresh fruit salad||Spinach and cream cheese pasta||Bowl of fruits||Hash brown potatoes with ketchup|
|Friday||½ cup milk blended with fresh strawberries||Apple and cinnamon waffles||Tangerine and Orange Slices||Grilled meat shawarma with hummus||Cornflakes or fruit loops with milk||lentil rice with peas cauliflower curry|
|Saturday||½ cup milk blended with banana||Soft Boiled eggs||Fresh Fig and Kiwi pieces||Vegetable fingers and backed chicken nuggets||Vegetable soup||Grilled cheese and tomato sandwich|
|Sunday||½ cup milk||Bread with peanut butter spread||Apple and pear pieces||Mixed vegetables and steamed fish with orange sauce||Bread with cheese and vegetable toppings||Cottage cheese sanwich and cucumber slices|
Food Recipes for 22 Months Old Baby
Here are some nutritious recipes for 22-month-old toddlers:
1. Lentil, Rice and Vegetables
This makes a tasty and healthy dinner for a 22-month-old.
A pinch of turmeric, 3 tablespoons of rice, 1 small carrot, diced, some washed and chopped spinach, peeled diced potatoes, ½ teaspoon ghee and water.
How to Prepare
Soak the rice and lentil together for ½ an hour. Put the rice and lentil along with carrots, turmeric, and water into a pressure cooker. Cook for about 3 whistles until it is soft and mushy. Allow it to cool. Add some mustard and cumin seeds and serve.
2. Vegetable and Red Split lentil
Red Split lentil cooks very quickly and is high in proteins. Your toddler can easily digest it.
1 small carrot, diced, ½ an onion, finely chopped, 1 small potato, cubed; ½ teaspoon ghee, water, 2 tablespoons red split lentil.
How to Prepare
Add ghee to a pan and heat it on low flame. Add chopped onions and sauté until transparent. Add the carrot and potato and sauté for a few minutes. Add the red split lentil and water. Bring it to a boil. Cook for roughly 20 minutes until the lentil is cooked and the vegetables become soft. Puree this mixture in a food processor. Serve warm.
3. Mixed Vegetable Soup
This dish is flavourful and nutritious for toddlers.
5-6 spinach leaves, 2-3 beans, 1 small potato, a teaspoon of peas, 1 clove of garlic, ½ a carrot, water, ½ teaspoon ghee.
How to Make
Chop the vegetables and pressure cook them with water and a pinch of salt. Cook for 3 whistles until vegetables are soft. Add the ghee and blend the mixture until smooth. Vegetable soup is ready.
4. Strawberry milkshake
Toddlers find this nutritious milkshake very tasty.
1 cup of washed strawberries, 150 ml milk, a teaspoon of yoghurt, a teaspoon of sugar.
How to Prepare
Blend all the ingredients in a blender until smooth. Strain out the seeds and serve.
5. Bread Pizza
This dish is flavourful and healthy for toddlers.
Bread slices with edges cut off, grated cheddar or mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, green and yellow capsicum chopped into small pieces, grated carrot, peas.
How to Prepare
Toast the bread and lightly butter it. Add the grated cheese evenly over it. Sauté the vegetables until they are cooked. Spread them over the grated cheese. Melt the cheese in an oven for a few minutes. Bread pizza is ready.
Here are some feeding tips for a 22-month-old:
- The diet for a 22-month-old baby should include fruits and vegetables. Cut the fruit into small pieces and chop vegetables and cook them until soft to avoid choking.
- Keep the portions small. Do not try to feed your toddler too much food.
- If the toddler does not want to eat more, accept her wishes and don’t force her to eat. Babies have a mechanism that prevents them from overeating. If you overfeed the toddler, it interferes with their ability to stop when full.
- Toddlers may have to be offered new foods at least 7 to 10 times before they decide to try it. So, be patient and introduce new foods 1 spoon at a time.
- Toddlers are messy and tend to play with their food. Do not let that worry you. Put the food on a plate in before the baby. Let her have her fill. Clean up later.
- 22-month-old should drink full fat cow’s milk. They can have 100 to 150 ml twice a day.
- Make sure your toddler is getting adequate amounts of iron and calcium in her diet. If you are concerned about nutritional deficiency, talk to your doctor about vitamin supplements.
- Let the toddler sit at the table and eat with the family. This will encourage her to eat better and try new foods.
- Give your toddler 2 to 3 different options to try for the main meals. Toddlers decide on their likes and dislike depending on the colour, texture and taste of the food.
- Toddler meal plans are just rough guidelines. Each toddler is unique and has different tastes and nutritional requirements. What works for one toddler may not necessarily work for another.
Toddler’s appetites vary vastly. They could change based on growth, teething, and developmental milestones. Hence, do not compare the food intake of different toddlers. If you feel that your toddler is not getting adequate nutrition, talk to the paediatrician about it.
Also Read: Blueberries for Babies