Feeding babies is a challenge. When they are infants, it’s easy to make them eat anything we want them to. Once they start growing up, they realize that they have options and hence want to choose for themselves. Your baby might be a healthy eater at first, but may suddenly turn into a fussy eater.
The cure to this is giving them finger bites. Finger bites are nothing but small portions of various types of foods. This will help them get nutrition from various foods, while at the same time help you to gauge their likes and dislikes.
Take a look at the following food chart for a 17 month old year:
Bottle of whole milk, cheerios, fruits, raisins, toast with cream cheese, oatmeal with cinnamon, fruit yoghurt, porridge, etc. these items are great for a morning breakfast. You don’t have to give your kids 3-4 items on the same day. You can alternate these items between days that are convenient for you. Sometimes, parents tend to skip breakfast and induce the same habit within their kids. Breakfast gives your kids the morning energy that they require to start their day; hence it is essential for them.
Usually, after their morning breakfast, kids take a nap. On waking from this nap, they get hungry. Since they are not completely hungry yet, it would be advisable to keep the food at this time a little on the lighter side. Banana slices, watermelon scoops, veggie sticks, strawberry pieces, crackers, dry fruits, etc can be given to them. Make sure you accompany this with a bottle of whole milk.
Since the schedule of you infant revolves around sleep and feeding sessions, lunch becomes one of the major components in their daily diet. Lunch should be a heavy meal with or without the accompaniment of a bottle of milk. Also, since children happen to take a long nap after their lunch and directly get up in the evening, parents tend to feed them a little more that what they can handle at times. Veggies, boiled potato, whole wheat bread, meat, green beans, paneer, rice, parantha, etc can be fed to them for lunch. At 17 month old, kids are at a growing stage and require as much nourishment as the can derive from the food that they eat. So try to avoid giving them junk as much as possible.
After a hefty lunch and a dose of good sleep, it would be better to give your kids something refreshing to drink. Yoghurt, banana or papaya smoothie, crackers, strawberry or chickoo milkshake, etc. keeping the evening snacks light will help your kids save up some space for their dinner.
Being the last course of the day, dinner too, forms an important part of your infant’s diet. The golden rule for dinner is to give your children whatever you are eating. At 17 months, their digestive systems are relatively developed and can digest most forms of food. This will not only help induce a habit of eating healthy but it will also help your family to bond. Children will learn that everyone has the same kind of food in their plate which they are expected to finish.