The Nutritional Needs of a Toddler (my most recent grief!)

What are the nutritional requirements of a 12-24 month old? This has been my most recent plaguing question. It is very important for my to feed my daughter a healthy diet- and since she is extremely active, I know it is important for her to fill up her tank in a healthy manner before play. So what exactly does a toddler need to eat? I found a great website for the 2+ year old child… but since my sweetie is almost 17 months I wanted something more fitting for her age group. (some of those daily menus for toddlers/ preschoolers are quite frightening! I think I would have to spend most of the day in the kitchen preparing food! And since that is really not my forte, I will wait until my daughter is 2 before attempting such a hearty daily food schedule!)
After googling toddler nutrition, I found this website that broke down what an average 1-2 year old dietary needs.

Milk/Dairy: Servings: 16-20 ounces of milk per day. Whole milk, soy or rice milk are recommended. Other equivalents: 1/2-3/4 ounce of cheese = 4 ounces of milk. 1/4 cup of yogurt = 2 ounces of milk.

Fruits and veggies: Servings: 5 or more per day. Serving size: 1-2 tablespoons – Pureed, mashed, or cubed.

Grains: Servings: 3-4 per day. Serving sizes: 1/2 slice of bread, 1/4 cup of cooked cereal, 1/4 cup of dry cereal. 1/4 cup of pasta, 2-3 saltine crackers, or 1/2 tortilla.

Non-dairy Proteins (meat, fish, beans, eggs): Servings: 2 per day. Serving sizes: 1/2 egg, 2-3 tablespoons beans (i.e. black, pinto, edamame, etc…), 1 tablespoon peanut butter, or 1 ounce of fish, lean beef, pork or chicken.

So now that I know this information, what am I going to do with it? Thoughts are spinning through my mind of creating a really cute magnetic menu board with clipart graphics of fruits, veggies, and other food items and let Jacs help me create our daily meals…. but instead I am going to take a deep breathe, realize I can’t do everything, and secretly wish for a live in cook.

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