Your baby is now able to walk, run, climb, and effectively communicate with you. Milestones such as these indicate a change in nutritional requirements as well. Ironically, toddlers who tend to have much more active lives than newborns, require fewer calories. However, this does not mean nutrition is not absolutely crucial. Generally, solid foods are started when the baby is around six months old, with a slow increase in variety, flavours and textures as they grow older. Around the age of two, your little one can eat almost anything you can with some minor exceptions. This article will help you understand the food requirements of your toddler, along with a few ideas and recipes you can use.
Nutrient Requirements for 23 Months Old Child
While the nutrients required by all human beings are basically the same, the quality and proportions differ when it comes to toddlers and young children.
Carbs or sugars provide energy for metabolic processes, making them an absolute necessity. As your toddler is going through rapid growth and development, reducing carbohydrates at this point is extremely dangerous. Carbs are also used by the brain in order to function.
Sodium is touted as a dangerous substance in excess, especially those with high blood pressure. But it is also an essential nutrient, as it maintains blood pressure by controlling the buffer levels of blood electrolytes.
Fats, especially from healthy sources, is important in growth, organ development, the formation of nervous tissue and so on. Further, fats like omega-3 fatty acids, DHA and EPA, are among the most important dietary nutrients for a growing child.
As you already know, protein is required to build muscles, perform various body functions, act as enzymes, and so on. However, toddlers function better on a high carb low protein diet, as their growth spurts are not imminent at this age.
Iron is required in the formation of blood and efficient functioning of the circulatory system. Deficiency of iron is very common among children across the world. Initially, breastfeeding provides the iron required by the baby, but as they are weaned, they need better sources.
Water is not technically a nutrient but is more important than all the others combined. Water acts as a solvent, without which not even a single metabolic reaction can occur in the body. Even the production of proteins, fats and carbohydrates in the body requires water.
Fibre can be obtained from most carbohydrate-rich whole foods. It regulates the digestive system and helps in easy waste removal from the body.
Vitamins are chemical molecules that perform a wide range of bodily functions. They are responsible for blood clotting, skin maintenance, bone growth, energy production, and innumerable other activities.
How Much Food Does a 23 Months Old Toddler Needs?
Toddlers around the age of two, require approximately 1000-1300 calories every day, but this can change based on how active they are. Coming to the other nutrients, per day they require around 1 g of Sodium, 7 mg of iron, 12 g of protein, 140 g of carbs, 19 grams of fibre, 40 g of fat, and around 1.5 litres of water.
Best Foods for Twenty-Three-Old Baby
Here is a list of the best foods for twenty-three-month-old babies:
Fruits are a delicious snack and come in countless colours, flavours and textures. They provide carbohydrates, antioxidants, fibre, vitamins, minerals and water. These nutrients are great for building the immune system and protecting your baby from infections.
Yoghurt and laban are a great food for children, especially those who find it difficult to process milk or have lactose intolerance. Yoghurt and laban are rich in probiotics, that is healthy intestinal microflora or bacteria. These bacteria are known to strengthen the immune and digestive systems.
3. Grains and Cereals
These foods include rice, wheat, barley, maize, quinoa, oats, millets and so on. They are great when it comes to energy, as they are rich in complex carbs. Ideally, you should feed your child whole grains, as the refined or processed versions have a lot of the surface nutrients degraded.
Vegetables, like fruits, provide energy, fibre, minerals, water, fibre and antioxidants. They support metabolic functions as well as protect against diseases. Please ensure you wash them beforehand as there might be pesticides on the skins. Ideally, you should retain the skin as it contains a great deal of the nutrients.
Eggs are an important source of protein and support your toddler’s growth and development. Eggs also contain important nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, Vitamin B12, iron and so on.
6. Lean Meat
Meats are also a great source of protein, much like eggs. In addition to supporting muscle development, lean meats like chicken and fish are rich in selenium, niacin, folate, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, phosphorus, iron and so on.
Bread, preferable the whole-grain kind, is both tasty and nutritious. Brown bread or multigrain bread contain fibre, vitamins, antioxidants, minerals, and protein in addition to energy-producing complex carbohydrates.
Milk is considered a whole food, as it is rich in proteins, fats, carbs, minerals, as well as vitamins. Further, the calcium and phosphorus in milk are essential in the formation of teeth and bones.
Dairy products like ghee have the same properties as milk, but can be used in a variety of ways. Further, ghee can be used by kids with milk allergies, as the allergens, namely casein and lactose, have been removed during preparation.
Nuts like almonds, cashews, walnuts, and so on are rich in healthy fats, which are essential for growth, development, circulatory health, the functioning of the brain, and so on. Fats also provide some amount of energy in slow-release form.
23 Month Old Baby Food Chart / Meal Plan
Here’s a food chart you can follow for your little one.
|Type of Food||Servings Per Day
|Servings Per Day
|Cereals||At least three, preferably whole-grain||At least five, preferably whole-grain||A slice of brown bread; half cup pasta or brown rice; one cup oatmeal|
|Proteins||Two||Two to four||One boiled egg; half cup chicken or fish; half cup boiled lentils|
|Vegetables||One||Two||One cup cooked and diced veggies, such as tomatoes, onions, legumes, carrots, and so on|
|Dairy||Two||Two||One cup milk or yoghurt ; half cup cheese|
|Water||Four||Four||One glass of water|
|Fruits||One||Two||One diced apple; one banana; half cup of grapes|
Food Recipes for 23 Months Old Baby
Here are a few food recipes for your 23-month-old baby that they will enjoy:
1. Breakfast Cereal
Breakfast cereal is a standard meal that can be varied to provide different flavours.
- Half cup oats
- Half cup milk
- Half cup fruit juice
- One tbsp honey
How to Prepare
Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl. Drizzle honey over the mixture. You can top it with nuts and raisins if you want.
2. Mixed Salad
This is a yummy meal that offers a wide range of health benefits.
- Half cup milk
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
- Half cup berries, diced
- Half cup boiled carrots
- One sliced banana
- One small cube of cheese
- Two tbsp bran
How to Prepare
Boil the milk beforehand. Mix all the ingredients together and toss for even consistency. Add honey or ghee for taste.
3. Bean Rice
This lunch recipe is filling as well as delicious.
- Half cup rice
- Four tbsp cooked rajma beans
- Half cup diced onions and carrots
- Two tbsp milk
- One tsp cinnamon
How to Prepare
Once the rice and beans have been cooked, mix them together. Then add the veggies, milk and cinnamon and mix well. You can also add a small pinch of garam masala, but only if your child can tolerate spices.
4. Macaroni and Cheese
This common recipe is employed around the world, and it is quite simple to prepare.
- Half cup macaroni
- Two tbsp grated cheese
- Half cup chopped veggies like broccoli, bell peppers and carrots
- Half cup milk
How to Prepare
Cook the macaroni until ready. Before it cools, add the cheese and allow it to melt. Then mix in the remaining ingredients until an even consistency is obtained.
5. Chicken Noodles
This non-vegetarian meal is high-protein. You can replace the chicken with vegetarian substitutes like tofu, soybeans, legumes, and so on.
- Half cup chicken, cooked well
- Half cup noodles
- Two tbsp chopped carrots
- Two tbsp shelled green peas
- Half cup Greek yoghurt
How to Prepare
Cook the noodles, carrots and green peas together until ready. Mix in the chicken and yoghurt. You can add a pinch of pepper or turmeric for added flavour.
You can follow the below tips while feeding your little one.
- Don’t allow your toddler to have sweet drinks during the day, especially between meals. Water is the preferred choice if they are thirsty.
- Food items which are choking hazards include crisps, whole vegetables, nuts, bony meat, candy, chewing gum, popcorn, ice cubes and so on. If you need to use any of these, make sure they are sliced up well beforehand.
- Ensure your toddler is sitting up while having their meals.
- Allow them to indulge in physical activities as they provide various health benefits.
- It’s fine if your baby spills while drinking. Simply replace their cups with a spill-proof one.
- When serving fruits and veggies, make sure you extract cores, pits, seeds and rough peels.
- Teach your toddler how to take smaller bites and make sure they chew their food properly before swallowing.
- Establish a routine for mealtime, as this will avoid any hunger pangs or eating between meals.
- Please ensure your child does not overeat during their meals, as this can cause weight gain, constipation, and various other complications.
- Encourage your toddler to try different kinds of food, with unique tastes and textures.
Children know exactly when and how much they want to eat. As long as they are not too fussy, you should feed them according to their instincts. If they show disinterest, such as pushing away the food, turning their heads, spitting food out, refusing to open their mouth and so on, don’t force them to eat that food at that time. Just like us, babies and toddlers have their own tastes and act on them.
Also Read: 2 Year (12 to 24 month) Old Baby Food Chart