Any healthy food ideas for a toddler?

by Colleen

could you send me some recipies for cooking for a 1 to 2 years old toddler? I have a baby girl who is quite fussy on food and prefer soft smooth fruit.
What is the best healthy food for her. Can she take without meat?

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Healthy food for a fussy toddler

by Olga

Hello Colleen,

thank you for your question.
Let me share some of my experience as well as dietitian's advice.
First of all, children do quite well not only on a vegetarian, but even on a vegan diet. The key is to focus on foods that are optimal for growth and development.The formula for success, according to Brenda Davis, R.D., is not much different that it is for nonvegetarian babies:

Breast milk + Vitamins B12 and D + Appropriate Solids +Sufficient Calories =
One Healthy Baby :)

Please consider B12-enriched foods or B12 supplement if you don't give meat to your daughter. Aim for 1 mcg B12 in fortified foods.

As your baby begins to eat less of the breast milk and more of solid foods, it is important to ensure that food is calorie-dense and provides appropriate balance of fat, energy and nutrients. More fats, carbs and
protein, no excess fiber. That's where smoothies and healthy puddings and vegetable-nut bars and crackers work the best, assuming there is no allergy for nuts.

Did you try smoothies and creamy soups for your daughter? This is an excellent way to sneak in healthy fats, vitamins and minerals.
Here are some ideas for you:
- Try blending banana and strawberry with yogurt or kefir. Kefir is far
superior to yogurt, and provides healthy probiotics. You can make it yourself
- Instead of banana and strawberry, use mango with parsley (although she may be suspicious of the color :)) or any other fruit she likes.
- Consider adding carrots and broccoli to the smoothie
- Instead of yougurt or kefir, you could use almond milk or soymilk. Try adding ice.
- Now, blend in a teaspoon of high quality flax oil ( quality affect the taste. Oil from the glass bottle is the best) or hemp nuts. They are one of the nature's superfoods, they are seeds, not nuts really, and have a
pleasant nutty taste.

Here is my favourite recipe for a fussy eater:

Sneaky Dad's Pudding

1,5 cups frozen strawberries
1 banana, cut into 4 pieces
1-2 tsp of carob or cocoa powder
2 tsp flaxseed oil
3-5 tbsp of nut butter (preferably, cashew or almond)
2-3 tbsp of orange juice or other healthy juice ( i.e. carrot)
2 tbsp fortified soymilk (almond milk...hemp milk)
1/8-1/4 avocado, peeled and cut into a wedge
Optional ingredients: 2 tbsp cooked carrots, 1/4 tsp spirulina, 1/8 tsp

Makes 2 servings.

Set your little helper up on the stool beside you, ready to toss the ingredients and push the button... Place all the ingredients into the food processor - you might need to add a little bit more soymilk if you use blender. Let her push the button and blend until smooth!
For a toddler 1-3 years a serving of this recipe (given 3 tbsp nut butter was used) provides:
-the entire day's supplement for magnesium,folate, vitamin C and essential fatty acids
-2/3 of the requirment for copper and potassium
-1/2 of the requirement pyridoxine and fiber, and 42% of protein;
-a quater of the requirment for calories, iron and selenium
-17% of zinc

Best of luck with raising your daughter!

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