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Toddler (1-2 Years) Food Chart - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks Ideas

Amrita Gracias Amrita Gracias 30 Mins Read

Amrita Gracias Amrita Gracias


Toddlers require nutrient-filled meals and a balanced diet. Here is a food chart for toddlers with breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack ideas to promote growth and development.

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Toddler (1-2 Years) Food Chart - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks Ideas

All children have certain nutritional requirements, and fulfilling these is necessary for their physical and mental growth and development. But most toddlers are fussy eaters, and as a parent, you would often find asking yourself questions like, "Where can I find some interesting toddler food ideas?", "How can I come up with an ideal toddler food chart?" and "What are some common foods for toddlers?"

Providing children with a healthy diet is important because of their high metabolic rate and underdeveloped immune system. But, at the same time, we have to ensure that most of a toddler's calorie requirements should be met with foods that are rich in nutrients.

The best way to do this is to provide a balanced diet that comprises both macro and micro nutrients. These are present in foods that belong to the following five major food groups:

  • Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Meat
  • Dairy

We have come up with some healthy breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options which include foods from all the five major food groups. So, cooking a tasty meal for your little one is no longer going to be a cumbersome task. To give you a better idea of how healthy each meal is, we have also listed their nutrition value per 100g.

Breakfast ideas for toddlers

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. For, 'breakfast' means to break the fast from the day before by having the first wholesome meal after a gap of at least eight to ten hours. So, it is imperative that your child's breakfast should be nutritious and re-fuel her for the busy day ahead.

South Indian breakfast ideas

Toddler (1-2 Years) Food Chart - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks Ideas

Idli: This South Indian staple is prepared by steaming small dumplings of a batter made from fermented boiled rice and urad dal (black gram without the skin).

  • Nutritional value of urad dal: Protein 45%, Carbohydrates 45%, Fibre 48%, Iron 95%, Copper 109%
  • Nutritional value of boiled rice: Carbohydrates 45%, Thiamine 10%, Niacin 23%, Vitamin B6 14%
  • Benefits: Idli is one of the most common and healthy foods. Fermented ingredients in the idli allow a smoother breakdown of vitamins and minerals in the body, thereby making them easier to digest.

Whole wheat uttapam: An uttapam is a thicker version of the dosa. Whole wheat is a good alternative to the regular batter.

  • Nutritional value of whole wheat flour: Fibre 49%%, Vitamin B6 17%, Selenium 101%, Manganese 190% and Phosphorus 35%
  • Benefits: Since whole wheat is high in fibre, it aids regular bowel movements and prevents constipation. It also contributes to a healthy gut.

Rava upma: This dish is made from Rava or semolina (coarsely ground husked wheat) which is cooked to a thick porridge-like consistency.

  • Nutritional value of semolina: Iron 24%, Magnesium 12%, Protein 25%, Fibre 16%, Folate 46%, Selenium 128%, Manganese 31% and Thiamine 54%
  • Benefits: Vitamin B contents such as thiamine and folate help convert food into energy. They also prevent complications in the brain and nervous system. Iron and magnesium support red blood cell production and maintain good health of the heart.

Wheat vermicelli semiya: A thin wheat-based noodle, this dish is cooked in a way similar to upma. Adding vegetables to the semiya makes it more nutritious as they are the sources of many nutrients such as Vitamins A and C.

  • Nutritional value of wheat vermicelli: Protein 15%, Iron 7% and Sodium 10%
  • Benefits: The high protein content of this dish helps in building muscles and body tissues. Iron and sodium promote the production of haemoglobin and prevent the risk of anaemia. Vitamin A keeps the eyes healthy while Vitamin C promotes the growth, development and repair of body tissues, cells and bones. These nutrients also boost the immune system and strengthen the blood vessels.

Pongal: Another staple rice dish, this comfort food is a mix of steamed rice and moong dal. The ginger in the preparation helps in digestion and keeps infections at bay, while pepper is rich in vitamins and helps prevent constipation.

  • Nutritional value of moong dal: Protein 6%, Fibre 7%, Folate 15%, Vitamin B6 4%, Iron 5%, Magnesium 5% Copper 8% and Manganese 9%
  • Nutritional value of rice: Carbohydrates 9%, Thiamine 17%, Folate 23%, Manganese 37% and Selenium 17%
  • Benefits: Since the dish has complex carbohydrates with proteins, it is a perfect meal. Pyridoxine is essential for brain development. It also helps in the release of certain chemicals in the brain, which control moods and help in the proper functioning of the nervous system. Magnesium is known to reduce hyperactivity; phosphorus promotes strong bones and teeth; potassium regulates the balance of fluids in the body; and Vitamins C and K help in the clotting of blood.

Aapam: This is similar to dosa but made from fermented rice batter and coconut milk. Fermented rice flour is a rich source of Vitamin B12. Coconut milk is rich in dietary fats and fibre and contains a lipid called lauric acid.

  • Nutritional value of coconut milk: Niacin 4%, Iron 9%, Manganese 46% and Copper 13%
  • Benefits: The nutrient-rich rice flour provides energy and helps maintain a healthy gut. Lauric acid has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, and greatly benefits the immune system. Niacin is said to boost brain function, while copper helps in the absorption of iron and is essential for the production of red blood cells.

Chemba puttu: This steamed staple food from Kerala is known for its super nutritional properties. Red rice is known to be a powerhouse of vitamins and minerals. It is also high in fibre content and antioxidants (which protect healthy cells in the body). The red colour comes from an antioxidant called anthocyanin, which is found in red or purple vegetables.

  • Nutritional value of red rice: Carbohydrates 13%, Fibre 7%, Iron 68%, Zinc 30% and Magnesium 14.3%
  • Benefits: The antioxidants protect the healthy cells in the body while the high level of magnesium prevents breathing difficulties and asthma. Anthocyanin is said to have properties that reduce the risk of allergies.

Akki roti: This popular breakfast item from Karnataka is made with rice flour, which is rich in vitamins and minerals.

  • Nutritional value of rice flour: Carbohydrates 27%, Vitamin B6 22% and Manganese 60%
  • Benefits: Manganese helps in the development of bones and cartilage, and in the absorption of calcium.

Adai: Another dish that is similar to dosa, adai is made of rice and different types of dal or lentils. So, this dish is packed with many nutrients.

  • Nutritional value of mixed dal: Fibre 32%, Protein 18% and Folate 45%
  • Benefits: Mixed lentils are a good option for vegetarians because they pack a high amount of protein. Folate promotes healthy cell and tissue growth and helps improve the body's metabolism.

Ragi (finger millet) dosa: Adding ragi flour to dosa batter makes for another nutritious meal. Ragi, a wonder grain, is a rich source of carbohydrates.

  • Nutritional value of ragi: Carbohydrates 70%, Calcium 34% and Potassium 40%
  • Benefits: Carbohydrates are broken down into simple sugars which circulate through the bloodstream and provide energy to cells. The brain also uses these sugars as the primary energy source. Both calcium and potassium are essential for healthy bones and teeth. Ragi is also gluten-free, making it a perfect food for those who are gluten intolerant.

Sathu mavu porridge: This is a mix of ground moong dal, roasted gram dal, green gram dal, masoor dal, dalia or broken wheat, rice, sago and whole black urad dal. Since this mix contains several grains / pulses, it is a good source of nutrients.

  • Nutritional value of mixed dal: Fibre 32%, Protein 18% and Folate 45%
  • Nutritional value of broken wheat: Fibre 22%, Phosphorus 15%, Manganese 69%, Selenium 36% and Sodium 23%
  • Benefits: The combination of grains and pulses provides a considerable amount of protein, vitamins and minerals. All these boost immunity, improve digestive health and promote the proper functioning of various organs.

North Indian breakfast ideas

Toddler (1-2 Years) Food Chart - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks Ideas

Poha: Considered one of the most nutritious breakfast dishes, poha is a wholesome meal made from flattened rice. It is a rich source of antioxidants and essential vitamins.

  • Nutritional value: Iron 6%, Carbohydrates 6%, Sodium 8% and Vitamin C 11%
  • Benefits: The dish is light and easily digested, and hence an easy choice for toddlers. It is also gluten-free. Sodium helps balance the fluids in the body and the antioxidants protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals.

Moong dal cheela: A North-Indian version of the dosa, the cheela is another common quick-fix breakfast dish. Usually made with besan (gram flour), moong dal is a healthier alternative since it is a protein-packed lentil that is rich in antioxidants and other nutrients.

  • Nutritional value of moong dal cheela: Protein 14%, Fibre 13%, Magnesium 12%, Phosphorus 21% and Folic acid 21%
  • Benefits: Phosphorus aids in flushing the waste out of the kidneys and in the growth and repair of cells.

Stuffed whole wheat parathas: The goodness of fibre-rich whole wheat parathas combined with vegetables such as cauliflower, potato or radish makes for a healthy breakfast. Adding vegetables like cauliflower, potatoes or radish makes the parathas tasty and nutritious.

  • Nutritional value of whole wheat parathas: Fibre 10%, Vitamin B1 10%, and Vitamin B3 7%
  • Nutritional value of cauliflower: Manganese 8%, Potassium 9 % and Choline 45.2mg
  • Nutritional value of potato: Vitamin C 33%, Vitamin B6 15%, Iron 4%, Phosphorus 6%, Potassium 12%, Magnesium 6% and Manganese 8%
  • Nutritional value of radish: Vitamin C 14.8 %, Potassium 7% and Fibre 6 %
  • Benefits: Whole wheat helps in digestion and good bowel movement. Vitamins B1 and B3 aid in metabolism while Vitamin B6 improves the functioning of the nervous system. Choline is essential for learning and memory.

Sabudana khichdi: A form of tapioca (the starch extracted from the tapioca roots), sabudana is cooked to a thick porridge-like consistency with mild spices.

  • Nutritional value of sabudana khichdi: Carbohydrates 83g, Zinc 11 % and Resistant starch 7.5%
  • Benefits: This is another natural gluten-free food. Resistant starch remains undigested and is consumed by the gut healthy bacteria, greatly benefiting digestion.

Spinach poori: Palak or spinach is added to the dough to make the pooris more wholesome and nutritious. Spinach is another super food that provides wholesome nourishment.

  • Nutritional value of spinach: Calcium 10%, Iron 10%, Potassium 16%, Vitamin A 188%, Vitamin C 47%, Vitamin K 604% and Fibre 9%
  • Benefits: Calcium aids in bone development and potassium in brain development. While vitamin A improves vision, C boosts immunity, and K aids in the clotting of blood. Overall, these vitamins assist the functioning of various organs.

Masala omelette / scrambled eggs: Beaten and fried with onions and tomatoes or simply scrambled, eggs have much to offer for a toddler's growth and development.

  • Nutritional benefits of eggs: Protein 26%, Vitamin D 21%, Vitamin A 10%, Iron 6%, Selenium 45%, Vitamin B12 22%, Phosphorous 19% and Choline 256g
  • Benefits: Vitamin B12 helps keep the nerve and blood cells healthy, while Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and teeth.

Ragi porridge: This dish is made using ground ragi (finger millet) flour and mixing it with warm milk. Milk provides the daily dose of several nutrients while ragi is a good source of carbohydrates.

  • Nutritional value of milk: Protein 6%, Saturated fat 9% and Calcium 11%
  • Benefits: Calcium from milk is more easily absorbed by the body than from other sources such as vegetables. Fat provides the energy required for growth.

Bombay toast: Bread soaked in a mixture of milk, eggs and sugar and toasted on a pan is what makes your Bombay toast. While milk is rich is calcium, eggs are rich in various minerals and protein.

  • Nutritional value of eggs: Protein 25%, Riboflavin 28%, Selenium 45% and Phosphorus 19%
  • Benefits: Since this preparation is sweet, it is a favourite with most children. The combination of milk and eggs makes Bombay toast a nutrient-rich super food.

Lunch and dinner ideas

Lunch and dinner are the two other main meals of the day. Both provide the much-needed nutrients and energy that the body requires. While lunch can be a heavier meal, you can opt for dishes that are lighter on the stomach for dinner. Here are some options.

South Indian preparations

Toddler (1-2 Years) Food Chart - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks Ideas

Curd rice: Another South Indian staple of yogurt mixed with soft rice, this simple dish is loaded with several nutritional benefits.

  • Nutritional value of curd: Proteins 11%, Calcium 20% and Vitamin B12 10%
  • Benefits: Curd helps the good bacteria in the stomach function better. It also cools the body and helps maintain the internal body temperature.

Lemon rice: This dish consists of rice flavoured with lemon juice and tempered with mustard, bengal gram and curry leaves.

  • Nutritional value of lemon: Vitamin C 77% and Potassium 4 %.
  • Benefits: Vitamin C is required to produce collagen, a protein responsible for skin elasticity and providing structural support in the connective tissues, muscles and skin.

Coconut milk rice: This is rice flavoured with coconut milk and vegetables. This dish can also be made with grated coconut and then tempered with mild spices and nuts.

  • Nutritional value of coconut milk: Niacin 4%, Iron 9%, Manganese 46% and Copper 13%
  • Benefits: The antioxidants and minerals present help boost the immune system.

Sambar rice: Toor dal or split pigeon peas cooked with tamarind juice and vegetables is what sambar rice is about. Toor daI is rich in both protein and fibre while tamarind is packed with antioxidants.

  • Nutritional value of toor dal: Protein 43%, Fibre 60%, iron 29%, Folate 114%, Manganese 90% and Magnesium 46%
  • Nutritional value of tamarind: Vitamin C 10%, Niacin 10%, Calcium 7%, Copper 4% and Magnesium 23%
  • Benefits: The combination of dal and vegetables provides the body with ample protein, vitamins and minerals that improve the functioning of the organs.

Idiyappam: This is a steamed noodle-like dish made from rice flour. The rice flour can be replaced with ragi flour. Both rice and ragi flour are rich in carbohydrates and are gluten-free. This preparation can be served with a simple curry or kurma.

  • Nutritional value of rice flour: Carbohydrates 27%, Vitamin B6 22% and Manganese 60%
  • Benefits: The high amount of carbohydrates provides the body with energy, which help in the functioning of the body's systems and internal organs.

Rasam rice: This is a soup-like preparation that contains tamarind juice, tomatoes and dal along with a range of spices. The combination of these ingredients makes rasam a rich source of antioxidants and minerals. Rasam also helps in digestion and prevents constipation.

  • Nutritional value of rasam rice: Fibre 5%, Vitamin A 16% and Vitamin C 21%
  • Benefits: Tamarind is rich in fibre and promotes bowel movements and prevents constipation. The high concentration of minerals and antioxidants keeps the body healthy.

Coriander rice: This dish is made using ground coriander leaves and mild spices mixed with rice. Coriander is a rich source of protein and vitamins.

  • Nutritional value of coriander: Vitamin C 45%, Vitamin K 388% and Potassium 15%
  • Benefits: Consuming plant-based foods reduces the risk of obesity and aids in the growth of healthy hair and skin.

Tomato bath: This is another one-pot Udipi-based dish, a pulao-like preparation made with a tangy mixture of tomatoes, onions and other spices. Tomatoes are a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins.

  • Nutritional value of tomatoes: Vitamin A 17%, Vitamin C 21%, Vitamin K 10%
  • Benefits: All the nutrients present in tomatoes support a healthy heart.

North Indian preparations

Toddler (1-2 Years) Food Chart - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks Ideas

Moong dal khichdi: Another one-pot dish of green gram cooked with rice into a soft mash and tempered with a few spices for flavour. Moong dal is packed with minerals and protein.

  • Nutritional value of moong dal: Protein 6%, Fibre 7%, Folate 15%, Vitamin B6 4%, Iron 5%, Magnesium 5% Copper 8%, Manganese 9%.
  • Benefits: It is a wholesome meal that provides the right balance of carbohydrates and protein.

Vegetable pulao: Yet another one-pot meal made with a variety of vegetables and rice. Common vegetables added to pulao are carrots and peas.

  • Nutritional value of carrots: Fibre 11%, Vitamin A 334%, Vitamin K 16% and Potassium 9%
  • Nutritional value of peas: Fibre 22%, Vitamin C 24%, Vitamin K 32%, Folate 16% and Manganese 26%
  • Benefits: Vegetables are an important source of several essential antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre. Besides, they are also low in fat and calories. This makes vegetable pulao one of the most nutritious foods.

Jeera rice: This is a simple rice dish that is mildly flavoured with jeera or cumin seeds and a few spices. Cumin is a rich source of minerals and vitamins.

  • Nutritional value of cumin: Iron 369%, Calcium 93%, Manganese 167%, Magnesium 92%, Calcium 93%, Vitamin A 25%, Vitamin E 17%, Vitamin C 13%, Thiamine 42%, Niacin 23% and Riboflavin 19%.
  • Benefits: Cumin is known to aid digestion, and thus reduce bloating and gas. It is also known for its anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties.

Palak paneer: A popular and common North-Indian delicacy, palak paneer (spinach with cottage cheese) is a combination of two super foods. While spinach is known for its high contents of iron and calcium, paneer is another dairy product filled with nutrients. It is formed when casein (a slow-digesting milk protein) reacts with acid and coagulates.

  • Nutritional value of paneer: Protein 25%, Vitamin b12 10%, Riboflavin 10%, Calcium 6%, Sodium 17% and Selenium 13%
  • Nutritional value of spinach: Calcium 10%, Iron 10%, Potassium 16%, Vitamin A 188%, Vitamin C 47%, Vitamin K 604% and Fibre 9%
  • Benefits: Paneer provides several amino acids, making it a complete source of protein. The high content of Vitamin A in spinach helps boost the body's immune system.

Rajma rice: This dish has red kidney beans cooked in a thick gravy and served with rice. These are a good source of fibre and essential micronutrients.

  • Nutritional value of rajma: Protein 18%, Folate 18%, Iron 17%, Phosphorus 14%, Copper 12%, Molybdenum 167% and Potassium 12%
  • Benefits: Molybdenum activates enzymes that help break down harmful sulfites and prevent toxins from accumulating in the body. Kidney beans are also known to increase muscle mass, stimulate the immune system and aid in cognitive development.

Poori with chole: This is a combination of chickpeas cooked in a thick gravy and served with deep-fried whole wheat pooris. Chickpeas are an excellent source of plant-based protein, minerals, carbohydrates, antioxidants and vitamins.

  • Nutritional value of chickpeas: Proteins 18%, Fibre 30%, Iron 16 %, Phosphorous 16%, Folate 43%, Thiamine 8%, Riboflavin 4% and Niacin 3%
  • Benefits: The high level of fibre in chickpeas aids digestion and adds bulk to stools. This promotes good bowel movement and prevents constipation. B vitamins are involved in the glucose or energy metabolism and are also known to prevent developmental abnormalities.

Rotis with karamani: This is a combo of black-eyed beans cooked in a thick gravy and served with whole-wheat rotis. Another variety of legumes, these beans are also packed with several nutrients.

  • Nutritional value of karamani: Protein 15%, Fibre 26%, Iron 14%, Magnesium 13%, Phosphorus 16% and Manganese 24%
  • Benefits: The minerals present in the beans help maintain bone density. Although required in small amounts, manganese is essential for the normal functioning of the brain and the nervous system.

Methi and aloo subji: A dish of methi or fenugreek leaves sauted with diced potatoes. Fenugreek leaves taste bitter; so, mixing them with another vegetable like potato is a good idea. They are rich in protein, vitamins and minerals.

  • Nutritional value of fenugreek leaves: Iron 186%, Fibre 98%, Protein 46%, Vitamin B6 30%, Riboflavin 22%, Thiamine %, Copper 56%, Manganese 61% and Magnesium 48%
  • Benefits: B vitamins contribute to general health and well-being. Referred to as the building blocks of the body, they affect energy levels, brain functions and cell metabolism.

Makki ki roti: A Punjabi staple, this roti is made from cornmeal (flour made by grinding dried maize) which is gluten-free and a source of several nutrients.

  • Nutritional value of cornmeal: Carbohydrates 26%, Protein 16%, Fibre 29%, Thiamine 26%, Iron 19%, Phosphorus 24%, Magnesium 32% and Zinc 12%
  • Benefits: Although high in carbohydrates, cornmeal is a good source of minerals. Zinc is the second-most abundant mineral in the body, and is also an essential one. It is vital for the development of immune cells and helps the body heal wounds. It is also required for the senses of taste and smell, and aids in the process of DNA synthesis and protein production.

Snack ideas

In addition to the three main meals, most children require at least a snack or two during the day (mid-morning and / or evening). Keeping in mind a balanced diet, it is important to ensure that the snacks are as nutritious as the main meals. Foods that are unprocessed and fresh are always a healthier snack option.

South Indian snacks

Toddler (1-2 Years) Food Chart - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks Ideas

Chickpea sundal: This is a simple stir-fry of boiled chickpeas tempered with grated coconut, curry leaves and mustard seeds.

  • Nutritional value of chickpeas: Proteins 18%, Fibre 30%, Iron 16 %, phosphorous 16% and Folate 43%
  • Benefits: Since chickpeas have a high protein content, they are a great alternative to meat, especially for vegetarians.

Paniyaram: These are steamed dumplings made from a batter similar to that of idli/dosa.

  • Nutritional value: Protein 45%, Carbohydrates 45%, Fibre 48%, Iron 95% and Copper 109%
  • Benefits: Since the dal is rich in fibre, it aids in digestion and is known to promote liver health.

Nei appam: It is a fried fritter made from rice flour, milk and jaggery.

  • Nutritional value of jaggery: Carbohydrates 33%, Vitamin B6 20%, Iron 30% and Magnesium 40%
  • Benefits: Not only is jaggery high in calories, but also contains molasses, a source of several nutrients. Since it contains almost no fibre or water, jaggery is said to aid in bowel movement.

Banana fritters: Sweet bananas dipped in a batter of milk and flour and fried. One of the most popular fruits, bananas are highly nutritious.

  • Nutritional value of banana: Fibre 10%, Vitamin B6 18%, Manganese 13% and Potassium 10%
  • Benefits: The nutrients in bananas help promote heart health and digestion.

Fruit salad: This is a mixture of diced cubes of fruits such as apple, papaya, banana, pomegranate, pineapple and so on. All these fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibre and antioxidants.

  • Nutritional value of apple: Fibre 10%, Vitamin C 8% and Potassium 3 %
  • Nutritional value of papaya: Fibre 7%, Vitamin C 103%, Vitamin A 22% and Potassium 7%
  • Nutritional value of pomegranate: Fibre 16%, Vitamin C 17%, Vitamin K 21% and Copper 8%
  • Nutritional value of pineapple: Fibre 6%, Vitamin C 80% and Manganese 46%
  • Benefits: Most fruits are low in calories and high in nutrients. The high fibre content is good for gut health while the multiple vitamins, minerals and antioxidants contribute to the improvement of overall health and well-being.

North Indian snacks

Toddler (1-2 Years) Food Chart - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Snacks Ideas

Dhokla: A popular steamed dish from Gujarat, dhokla is made from fermented batter of besan (gram flour made from Bengal gram). The fermented dal is a rich source of protein and fibre.

  • Nutritional value of besan: Protein 18%, Fibre 30% and Folate 43%
  • Benefits: Fermented foods improve digestion which, in turn, leads to healthy skin, increased energy levels and good sleep. The good bacteria present in these foods help the body get rid of harmful toxins.

Makhana (Fox nuts): These are actually a part of the lotus flower. They can be roasted in some ghee and some salt and pepper sprinkled on them. Fox nuts are protein-rich and contain thiamine, folate and several minerals such as manganese, potassium, magnesium and phosphorous.

  • Nutritional value: Proteins 31%, Magnesium 52%, Potassium 39%, , Phosphorus 63% and Manganese 116%
  • Benefits: Fox nuts have astringent properties (causing contraction of tissues) and are, therefore, beneficial for the kidneys.

Curd sandwich: This snack has yogurt mixed with vegetables like carrot, corn and capsicum, and layered between slices of bread. Being a milk product, curd is a good source of calcium, Vitamin B12 and protein.

  • Nutritional value of curd: Proteins 11%, Calcium 20% and Vitamin B12 10%
  • Benefits: A probiotic food (live microorganisms - usually bacteria - found in the food), curd is one of the best sources of essential bacteria which keeps the gut and digestive tract healthy.

Baked sweet potato fries: These are strips of sweet potato baked in an oven.

  • Nutritional value of sweet potato: Fibre 13%, Vitamin A 384%, Vitamin C 33% and Vitamin B6 14%
  • Benefits: Sweet potatoes also have a high amount of an antioxidant called beta-carotene, which changes to Vitamin A after consumption and promotes good vision.

Steamed sweet corn: The corn is steamed either with the kernels on the cob or removed from the cob. Sweet corn is rich in minerals (folic acid and iron), antioxidants and two phytochemicals (chemical compounds produced by plants) - lutein and zeaxanthin.

  • Nutritional value of corn: Fibre 11% and Vitamin C 11%
  • Benefits: Both lutein and zeaxanthin accumulate in the macula of the eye and protect the eyes from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. They also reduce the risk of cataract in later years.

Chutney sandwich: This snack has a paste of ground coriander and mint leaves, ginger and cumin, spread between two slices of bread. Coriander and mint leaves are rich in antioxidants and minerals.

  • Nutritional value of coriander: Vitamin C 45%, Vitamin K 388% and Potassium 15%
  • Nutritional value of mint: Vitamin A 81%, Folate 26%, Iron 66% and Manganese 56%
  • Benefits: Both the herbs aid in digestion. Mint promotes secretion of bile while coriander promotes secretion of other digestive juices.

Chicken / tomato soup: This dish has pured chicken or tomatoes in a warm broth. It is a rich source of protein, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

  • Nutritional value of chicken: Protein 62%, Vitamin b6 30%, Phosphorus 23% and Selenium 39%
  • Nutritional value of tomatoes: Vitamin A 17%, Vitamin C 21% and Vitamin K 10%
  • Benefits: Chicken soup helps the body fight against infections and helps boost the immune system.

General tips for feeding toddlers

Getting your toddler to eat can sometimes prove challenging. To make sure mealtimes are fun and pleasant, here are some handy tips for feeding your toddler:

  • Try to give your child a variety of foods from all the major food groups to get him used to the various tastes and textures.
  • Avoid force-feeding your child, especially when he is full or not hungry.
  • If your child doesn't like a particular food, try offering it to him in another form.
  • Your child is bound to refuse some of the foods you offer him; respect his likes and dislikes.
  • Get an idea of the appropriate portion size for your child. Always begin with a smaller serving and increase the portion size as your child grows.
  • Encourage your child to feed himself even if it is going to be a messy affair.
  • Avoid using food as a reward, especially sweet treats. This can turn into an unhealthy habit in the growing years.
  • Avoid screen time while eating. If you have to keep your child occupied while eating, encourage other activities.

Good hygiene is another important practice to impart to your child. Here are a few tips:

  • Make sure both you and your child wash hands thoroughly, especially before mealtimes.
  • Teach your child habits like covering his mouth or nose when coughing or sneezing.
  • Fingernails are a breeding ground for bacteria. And, when using hands to eat, these bacteria can enter the body with the food and make your child fall sick. So, clip the nails frequently to keep them clean.
  • Teach your child to wash her hands after playing outside, using the toilet, touching or petting an animal, or whenever they get dirty.

We hope that this comprehensive list of foods, their nutritional values and benefits help you plan your toddler's meals with ease. Do make it a point to consume nutrient-rich foods yourself; after all, your little one is sure to model your eating habits!

About the author:

Written by Amrita Gracias on 12 September 2019

Amrita Gracias holds a degree in English Literature from Stella Maris College, Chennai, and a Post Graduate Diploma in Journalism (specialising in Print Media) from the Asian College of Journalism, Chennai. She takes to writing and editing when she isn't answering to the duties of motherhood!

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Elizabeth Bunmi ALFRED Feb 18 2020

Well done the admin and everyone on this platform, I just joined this platform and I find it helpful but I am an African woman, a Nigerian woman precisely. Please can you help on Nigerians diet meal for children? Thank.

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