As the years go by and children get older, their nutritional needs change, both in terms of energy, quantity and choices. It is very important for parents to pay special attention to what food they offer children, especially during the sensitive ages between 1-5 years old. If a child's diet does not include all the necessary nutrients, there is a high risk that a chronic lack of these ingredients will have an impact on their development and health.
Children with an incorrect diet for years are more likely as they get older to develop health issues, especially in the metabolism-weight area, but also much more serious ones such as diabetes and heart disease (especially if there is such a history in the family).
Let's take a closer look at the ideal food choices for children between 1-5 years old:
1) Basic foods that the child can eat using their hands:
- Fruit peeled and cut into small pieces (banana, apple, pear, orange, strawberry)
- Bread/pies cut into very small pieces
- Roasted or raw vegetables in small portions (cucumber, carrot, tomato)
- Various low-fat cheeses in small cubes (cheese, feta, cheese, cheddar)
2) Dairy products:
- Milk is very for all ages even up to adulthood. I recommend a daily dose of at least 300 ml of milk to cover calcium needs. You can also supplement this need by providing small amounts of yogurt.
- Foods rich in starch, are imperative for proper nutrition and growth of our babies. Create small meal portions based on rice, pasta, oatmeal, barley, etc. At the same time, combine meals with boiled or baked potatoes as they are a strong source of starch and vitamin C.
4) Vegetables and fruits:
- A rich source of vitamins, salts and fibre. Choose small and varied portions and ideally combine them after main meals. Melon, strawberries, apple, orange, bananas, grapefruit, grapefruit, cauliflower, broccoli, tomatoes, cucumber, carrot, beans are some of our top choices.
- Animal proteins are the fuel of our body. Especially at this tender age the daily requirement is at 1.1 g of protein per kg of body weight. Therefore, if our baby weighs 10 kg, he should ideally receive around 11 g of protein per day. Prefer raw meat, fish, chicken breast, turkey and a little pork with a little fat.