Adequate nutrition in the first years of life is crucial for an optimal development of the physical and mental abilities of children. For this reason, it is normal for us to have doubts about how their diet should be planned for 3 years old children.
During the first year of life, breastfeeding is recommended, as long as it is possible and the child wants it. In addition, since then it is necessary to introduce other foods in the diet, as the nutritional needs increase over the years.
How should calories be distributed? What should be the restrictions? We know that many parents still do not resolve these questions. Taking into account that it is not worth improvising, next we want to share the best feeding tips for children of 3 years.
What should you know about feeding for 3 years old?
One of the changes that food undergoes for 3 years old is that they start to eat 4 meals a day. In fact, this recommendation can begin to be implemented for 2 years, as considered by the pediatrician.
Because the child starts a phase of development with more activity, the caloric needs the increase. However, it is vital to know how to distribute the caloric contributions, since the eating habits that are acquired at this age are a guide for later years.
Nutritional needs for 3-year-old children:
- Calories: 1,300-1,400 Kcal / day
- Proteins: 30-40 g / day
- Carbohydrates: 130-180 g / day
- Fat: 45-55 g / day
Daily caloric intake for each dish:
- Breakfast: 25%
- Food: 30%
- Snack: 15%
- Dinner: 30%
Another aspect to which attention should be paid is to the eating behaviors that children acquire. At this age, it is usual to be capricious and monotonous with the preference for certain foods. It is important to ensure a balanced diet to avoid nutritional deficiencies.
You must read: Childhood obesity: what diet can an overweight child do?
The best feeding tips for 3 years old
The diet for 3-year-old children begins to change substantially. Since they already have the ability to bite and chew, at this stage, you can incorporate different foods. Below we share some generalities of the diet that can be taken into account.
1. Give him a daily breakfast
Breakfast is the most important meal in all stages of life. For this reason, our first feeding advice for 3 years old is to design a complete and balanced breakfast every day.
The consumption of whole grains, fruits, and dairy products is ideal for this meal.
2. Limit the consumption of processed
Good eating habits begin to be taught early. Therefore, it is essential to avoid to the maximum the consumption of precooked food, canned or any type of processed and refined food.
It should exclude fast foods, sausages, and industrial bakery products.
3. Do not force meals
If children refuse food, they should not be forced to eat it. Now, parents are the ones who decide what variety and quality of food they incorporate into their diet. It is not about forcing them to eat, but neither to create whims.
4. Avoid nuts
Almonds, nuts and any variety of nuts can be harmful within the diet for children aged 3 years. Although they are foods full of essential nutrients, they are dangerous because they can cause choking.
5. Eat often
Children need to eat often to meet their needs. The problem is that many parents calm their desire to eat with snacks that do not provide good nutritional values.
It is important to choose nutritious and healthy foods in replacement of those salty package snacks.
6. Avoid sugary drinks
All varieties of sugary drinks are attractive to young children. If they know us well, to them much more. But being aware of how harmful they can be to health, they should be avoided within the diet.
For no reason should this type of liquid be used in the bottle? Whenever you want a different alternative is better to go to natural juices.
7. Do not reward with food
One of the biggest mistakes that are made in the diet of young children is to use food as a reward. Watch out! This can lead to whimsical behaviors that later bring headaches. After a good behavior, avoid prizes like sweets or “trinkets”.
Kind words or sharing a game are good ways to praise them.
As parents, it is essential to guarantee a balanced and complete nutrition from the first stages. Choosing good quality foods and making an optimal combination of them helps guarantee the daily caloric intake required by children.
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