How to make a Toddler Meal Plan? Download this Toddler Meal Plan template that will perfectly suit your needs!
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Lessons Learned when making a Meal Plan for Toddlers
Planning ahead allows consideration of the nutritional quality and variety of foods to be purchased for meals and snacks. Families can do this in different ways:
- Some families may plan menus a day or several days in advance and make a shopping list. The advantage is that some foods can be prepared ahead of time and frozen or refrigerated for busier times when there is minimal preparation time available;
- Other families prefer to put together meals or snacks just before mealtimes. For these families, it is more appropriate to keep a store of suitable foods in the cupboard, fridge, or freezer that can be readily accessed. Families may do this through a regular weekly shop, to stock up on the foods and drinks they use routinely.
- Menu planning can help to establish a pattern of nutritionally balanced family meals and snacks
- A combination of foods from the five food groups within a daily menu plan provides a balanced diet for the whole family
- Planning menus in advance can save money and reduce food preparation time
- Using fruits and vegetables when in season in the UK or USA can also reduce food costs
- With good planning and a well-stocked kitchen, balanced meals can be easily put together.
- Always offering two courses at the main meals a savory course and a nutritious pudding based on fruit - enhances the enjoyment of meals and widens the range of nutrients included.
- Simple substitutions of foods within the same food group ensures a nutritional balance when planned foods are unavailable on the day.
- Toddlers who are fussy or faddy eaters may not consume all the foods on the planned menu and must be offered something their parents know they will eat, as well as foods being eaten by others.
Sample Menu for a Preschooler or Toddlers
During the preschool years, your child should be eating the same foods as the rest of the family, with an emphasis on those with nutritional value. This includes fresh vegetables and fruits, nonfat or lowfat dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheeses), lean meats (chicken, turkey, fish, lean hamburger), and whole grain cereals and bread. At the same time, limit or eliminate the junk food in your child's diet, and get rid of sugared beverages as well.
See the following sample menu ideas for a toddler and four-year-old child.
- Two courses at each main meal
- Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta or other starchy foods at each meal and some snacks
- Fruit and vegetables at each meal and some snacks • Three servings of milk, cheese or yogurt
- Two to three servings of meat, fish, eggs, nuts or pulses
- Assessment of A menu plan This uses Day 1 of Table 2 as the example FOODS AND DRINKS with milk Peach slices Cup of milk Breadsticks with cheese cubes and water to drink Food Group 1: Bread, rice 3: Milk, potatoes, 2: Fruit and cheese pasta and vegetables and other yogurt starchy foods Breakfast 1/2 1 1 1 Snack 1 Drinks 4: Meat, fish, eggs, nuts, and pulses 5: Foods high in fat and sugar 1 1 1 Light meal Baked beans on toast Cucumber sticks Fruit salad with yogurt Water to drink 1 1 1 1 1 1 Snack Pancakes and water to drink 1 1 1 Family meal Shepherd’s pie with green beans Chocolate mousse.
This Toddler Meal Plan is intuitive, ready-to-use and structured in a smart way. Try it now and let this template inspire you to complete your task quickly.
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