Now that junior has started to consume solid foods, it is best to get them started on a balanced diet. And if you give them healthy meals and a balanced diet during the first five years of life, it will contribute to their eventual physical and mental development!
SmartParents spoke with Meave Graham, a pediatric dietitian from Children Nutrition Singapore on the importance of food-portion sizes for junior. Remember that, like for adults, food portion guidelines can help you tell if your child is getting enough of everything they need to grow. But portion guidelines are only general. They can and should be modified to cater to your family’s daily nutritional needs, size and ethnicity.
What happens if junior has an unbalanced diet? Over a long period of time, this could be disastrous: For example, if they are not getting enough calcium, they could end up with poor bone formation — how would they be able to play and romp with other kids?
So what should you feed your child?
According to Graham, your little one’s meal should include food items from the main food groups, grain, protein, fruits and vegetables. You should try to ensure that the serving size from these groups are:
• Grain – approximately 80g
• Fruits and Vegetables – 40 to 80g
• Protein – approximately 40g
Here is a sample guide for meals and the portions required to feed your little one.
BREAKFAST Wholemeal toast fingers and scrambled egg with cherry tomatoes
Scrambled egg – 50g
Wholemeal Toast – 20g
Water/Milk – 100ml
LUNCH Salmon broccoli quiche, mashed potato and baked beans
Salmon broccoli quiche – 90g
Mashed potato – 80g
Baked beans – 60g
Water/Milk – 100 ml
SNACK Yoghurt with raspberries and blueberries
Yoghurt – 60g
Raspberries – 20g
Blueberries – 20g
Water/Milk – 100ml
DINNER Chicken fried rice
Rice – 140g
Water – 100ml
It is also important to spread junior’s meals throughout the day. This includes allowing them to snack at scheduled times — we all know that youngsters do best when everything follows a schedule! These snacks will also contribute to their daily intake, so it is important that it follows the portion recommendations as well. Graham recommends fruit and easily munched veggies such as cherry tomatoes or carrot sticks, as the best snacks.
Main Photo: iStock
Photography: Mark Lee
Styling: Lim Jae-Lynn