At three, your child not only has higher nutritional needs but also has preferences for food. So, what can you do to ensure that he gets his daily dose of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins and minerals without creating a fuss over what is presented to him?
Here, we present a sample one-day menu that will help you meet your three-year-old’s dietary needs and at the same time provide him with the taste and variety he wants.
Start the day with a glass of milk.
Health benefits: Milk is rich in calcium, which is necessary for the normal functioning of all the body cells and formation of healthy bones. It is also a great source of energy.
Time: Within half an hour of waking up
- Potato parathas with pudina chutney/ appam with coconut milk
Non-veg option: Scrambled eggs
Health benefits: Appam provides your child with adequate amount of carbohydrates. Potatoes are also a good source of carbohydrates. But make sure that when you make parathas, you do not smear them with excess butter or ghee.
Time: Two hours after breakfast
- Grapes or pomegranates
Health benefits: Grapes are a good source of Vitamin C, and pomegranates are rich in iron and improve blood circulation.
Time: Two hours after the mid-morning snacks
- Rice with soya beans/ Butter naan with side dish
Options for side dish: Cabbage fry/ brinjal curry
Health benefits: Soya beans are a good source of iron, calcium and proteins.
Cabbage is rich in Vitamin K, C and B6. It also contains several other useful minerals. All these nutrients are good for the brain and the nerves.
Brinjal is rich in vitamin B6, potassium and fibre besides other minerals, which are good for the heart and blood flow.
Time: Three hours after lunch
- Apple bread rolls
Health benefit: Apples contain flavonoids, antioxidants and dietary fibres. Making apples a part of your child’s everyday diet will make him physically robust. The nutrients in apple help to harden bones and give energy.
Time: Three hours after evening snacks
- Akki roti / rava dosa with side dish
Options for side dish: Dal fry/ a dish made from paneer/ sambhar
Health benefits: Akki roti is a variety of roti popular in Karnataka. It is made from rice flour mixed with several vegetables. This takes care of your child’s needs for carbohydrates as well as vitamins and minerals. It will give your child a break from the usual types of rotis. The side dish of dal and paneer are also a storehouse of proteins.
This is only a sample menu. You can consult a dietician to get a better idea of your child’s nutritional requirements and accordingly plan his menu.
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