Planning meals for fussy children

Planning meals for fussy children

Are you aware of what is recommended for a child to meet nutritional guidelines in your country? Perhaps it might be an idea to look for recommendations from your government health agency.

Here are some reasons why meal planning is important for a picky eating toddler:

  • It helps us to remove unnecessary anxiety, uncertainty and rushed meals.
  • You can make sure all food groups are met with success, what they don’t meet on day 1 you can push on day 2 for example.
  • Plan and cook ahead,
  • Keep exposing food that might be challenging at a steady pace and it also allows us to keep a record of successful meals and how it was served.
  • Eliminates having to cook several meals for different family members

Success shouldn’t be measured on a percentile chart, on the scales or quantity of food consumed. Success should be measured if your child meets his/her daily nutritional requirements.

Below are the recommended serving recommendations for a child in Australia aged 1-3.

Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high fibre cereal varieties.

4 serves / day –  1 serve includes – 1 slice of bread, 1/2 medium bread roll, 1/2 cup of cooked rice, pasta, noodles or porridge, 2/3 cup of breakfast cereal

Vegetables, Legumes, beans

2.5 serve / day – 1 serve includes – 1/2 cup cooked vegetables, 1/2 cup cooked or canned beans, lentils, chick peas or split peas, 1 cup salad vegetables, 1 small potato

Fruit

1 serves / day – 1 serve includes – 1 medium (apple, banana, orange, pear), 2 small (apricots, kiwi fruit, plums), 1 cup diced or canned fruit

Milk, Cheese, Yoghurt

1.5 serves / day – 1 serve includes – 250ml milk (including formula), 40g cheese, 200g yoghurt, 1 cup custard

Protein: Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, legumes

1 serve / day – 1 serve includes – 35-50g cooked lean meat or chicken (Eg. 1/4 cup mince, 1 small chop, 1 slice roast meat), 1/4 cup cooked or canned beans, lentils, chick peas or split peas, 40-60g cooked fish fillet, 1 small egg

Occasional foods are those that are high in sugar, salt or highly refined or processed. Only allow these foods to be given at irregular times and only on occasions or if they meet their nutritional requirements for the day. It is recommended that you don’t use these foods as bribery as it will place a negative association on nutritious food. Get in a habit of calculating sugar and salt content of food on packaging. For example, a regular tub of flavoured yoghurt 120g can contain as much as 6 teaspoons of sugar which would shift it from being an occasional food rather than a calcium / dairy supplement.

If you would like a copy of my meal planner which outlines food group recommendations and includes a sample menu, please email me at beth@littlefusspot.com. Alternatively if you’d like a consultation on effective meal planning to stretch food preferences please contact me at http://littlefusspot.com/how-we-can-help-you/ or click here