No doubt, getting your toddler to eat right and healthy can sometimes be challenging for you as a mom, especially when your youngster is a picky one when it comes to meal times.
This struggle is sometimes because toddlers between the ages of 12-48 months are still learning to adapt to the new taste of different foods.
Irrespective of your toddler’s picky habits, you have to make sure they are eating right and getting all the required nutrition their bodies need to grow and stay healthy.
Remember that toddlers are still in their early formative years and they will require adequate nutrition in order to grow and develop healthy bodies.
Therefore, you should regularly offer foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.
After all, good nutrition is one of the keys to a healthy life.
Feeding your toddler healthy meals can help them maintain a healthy weight, avoid certain health problems like stunted growth, obesity, while also benefiting your toddler’s overall health.
Keep in mind that children aren’t born with a craving for unhealthy meals and preference for junk. They pick up preferences from food options they’ve been exposed to. Hence, the sooner you expose them to healthy meal choices, the easier they’ll be able to adopt a healthy relationship with these food options that can last them a lifetime.
So here’s the good news!
There are whole lots of benefits when you feed your toddlers with healthy meals. Find below the 10 health benefits we’ve listed out and thank us later!
- HEALTHY PHYSICAL GROWTH
It’s really an amazing experience watching your baby grow into a toddler.
However, if they are not eating healthy meals, they will likely lack the vital nutrients that enable their normal growth.
Remember that toddlers are still in their formative years; therefore, their body requires good nutrition for continuous growth and also to keep them physically strong, active & healthy always.
- BRAIN DEVELOPMENT
During the first few years of a child’s life, the brain is still in its formative process and it requires enough of nutrients like vitamin C and iron for proper development and functioning.
If a child does not eat healthy meals that contain enough of the nutrients needed by the brain, it can retard the development of brain cells, slow down cognitive efficiency and cause learning difficulties.
Nevertheless, all these can be avoided if you feed your toddler with healthy meals to keep her smart and active.
- BUILDING IMMUNITY
Toddlers have a less developed immune system which makes them quite vulnerable to some viral infections.
That’s why processed foods with preservatives shouldn’t be encouraged as most of them have little or no nutritional value and may not assist in boosting their immunity.
As a matter of fact, a well-nourished diet is capable of boosting a toddler’s immunity thereby reducing the chances of frequent illness.
- FORMATION OF STRONG BONES AND TEETH
Children’s bones grow throughout childhood – their bones keep growing bigger and stronger until when they are adults – but grow fastest during toddlerhood.
Thus, it is essential for children to eat healthy so they can reduce the risk of fragile and poor bones formation, as well as reduce the risk of tooth decay or gum irritation when they are much older.
Meals that are rich in vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and protein are the building blocks for strong bones and teeth.
- LESS PICKY
Toddlers could be picky at the beginning, especially when they are still getting used to the taste of new foods, and it is okay if they are.
However, after a few months of introducing them to a new healthy diet, they should get used to it.
Introducing a healthy diet very early in their life can greatly reduce the chances of being picky or selective as they grow older.
- PREVENT DISEASE
The viruses and bacteria that can cause illness in young children are more dangerous if major nutrients are lacking in their meals – their immune system will be too weak to combat the disease.
Therefore, getting your toddler to eat healthy meals can promote their body’s ability to fight against diseases.
Notably, when children start the first few years of their lives with whole and healthy meals, it can reduce the risk many health issues that can affect them both during childhood and into adulthood.
- PREVENT MALNUTRITION
Do you know that malnutrition can occur in toddlers when their diets have little or no nutritional value?
Malnutrition can have negative effects on your child like weight loss, short stature, weakened immunity, reduced appetite and fatigue.
Hence, your toddler’s meal should contain the essential nutrient that prevents all these risks in toddlers and also enable them meet-up the nutritional requirements needed by their body.
Every parent wants their child to grow up healthy and strong.
However, one of the most important things you can do as a parent is to make sure your child eats not just any meal but a healthy balanced meal – that provides them with the nutrient reserves they need for instant energy – to keep them active, less clumsy and happy.
- PROPER NIGHT’S SLEEP AND ACTIVE DAYS
Healthy meals have a way of helping toddlers sleep better at night.
After a day of playing and jumping around, they become tired, and need to sleep.
Healthy meals can prevent a child’s sleep from being disrupted by reducing the risk of any form of stomach discomfort at night.
Importantly, sleeping at night is essential for a toddler as it helps relax their body system and calm their nerves.
In addition, this can contribute to their being active and full of energy when they wake up in the morning.
10.FEWER CRAVINGS FOR UNHEALTHY FOOD
More often than not, most healthy meals are not artificially sweetened in nature and tend to reduce a child’s cravings for processed meals.
With healthy meals, children are well-satisfied and can remain active during the day without needing any unhealthy snacks between meals.
Importantly, healthy meals are the gateway to healthy living not only for adults but also for babies. The earlier healthy meals are included in their diet, the better chances they have of growing into healthy adults.
Always avoid foods that can be detrimental to the health of your toddler and do not forget to lecture them on the importance of healthy foods as they grow older.