Features of nutrition for a child from 1 to 3 years old


Your excitement is understandable. If up to one year old everything is more or less unambiguous, then the nutrition of a child from 1 to 3 years old is shrouded in an abundance of advice and myths.

For full development, the baby needs to eat right. Regime moments play an important role here.

Often moms complain of poor appetite. What could be the reason? Do I need to feed mashed potatoes after a year? Let’s figure it out.

Diet for children 1-3 years old

International and Russian nutritional recommendations for children from one to three years of age agree that a suitable regimen is 3 main meals and 2-3 snacks. This gives you 5-6 feedings during your waking periods.

In the diet of a one-year-old child, attachments to the breast remain. Of course, they are already much less than that of a newborn, they can be short. Basic breastfeeding around dreams and on awakening.

Physiologically, babies from one to three years old find it difficult to cope with large amounts of food, so we feed the child every 2–2.5 hours. It is normal for a child to eat small portions, but often. Serving size – about the size of a baby’s fist.

Recently I received a letter from my mother, in which she asked for advice – her daughter ate every 2 hours, and the doctor advised to remove all snacks and feed every 4–4.5 hours.

Where do pediatricians have such considerations? Again they confuse the norms of the artificial. Yes, there are 2-3 feedings on the 1-year-old can. Only this is about the mixture! And not about food.

For these 2 formula feeds, the baby gets 3 main meals and 2-3 snacks.

What kind of beast is this – a snack

Let’s dwell a little on snacks. Of course, you wish your child health, which can be preserved and increased with proper nutrition.

The formation of healthy eating habits begins from early childhood. Meals at 1 year and older should contain no more than 2-3 snacks. However, they should be healthy, and not include rolls and cookies.

Important ! The best foods for intermediate meals are fruits, vegetables, cottage cheese, cheese, and fermented milk drinks.

Causes of poor appetite at 1-3 years

Often mothers write to me and ask what to do if the child eats little. We begin to find out and it turns out that he eats little – this is just a personal representation of the mother.

The child is active, cheerful, grows and develops according to age norms, there is no claim to him from the pediatrician, but the mother has a different picture in her head.

And then the pressure on the child begins, they force him to eat, they turn on cartoons if only he ate 2 more spoons of porridge. And thus they knock down his interest in food and begin food violence.

Why does a healthy child eat less than his peers:

  1. Different temperaments.

Children, like all people, by the way, have a different nervous organization, or temperament. One runs headlong all day, the other prefers quiet games, sits more.

The expenditure of energy in each case will be significantly different. The need for nutrition in an active child is higher than in a passive one.

  1. Individual characteristics.

At 1 year, it is already clear that one will be tall and thin, and the other has a more dense physique. For two children of the same age, large and small physique, the difference in nutritional requirements can differ by half.

  1. Floor.

Boys and girls have different energy needs. However, up to three years of age, the differences are minimal, and in preschool and primary school age they can reach 20-30%.

  1. Mode. Some children eat 3-4 times a day, others 5-6. In this case, the total amount of energy is approximately the same.
  2. Food preferences.

For example, my friend’s daughter loves fruits and vegetables – this is her basis of nutrition, and her son is a meat-eater and respects buckwheat and cutlet. It is logical that the energy component of their food will be different and the amount of food eaten too.

Take a close look at your child:

  • if he is active, he is full of strength;
  • wakes up refreshed in the morning;
  • the mood is often good, it does not need to be persuaded and cunning to feed.

You can be congratulated! There is no reason to be upset. The child is getting enough food.

Is it possible to feed mashed potatoes after 1 year

A baby’s nutrition at 1–2 years old cannot consist only of breast milk and puree foods.


  1. The baby’s energy needs are growing and breast milk alone is indispensable.
  2. The number of breastfeeding increases to 12-15 per day, which provokes a constant “hanging on the chest”;.
  3. Deficiency of vitamins and minerals can reach 80–90%;
  4. The child does not develop the skill of chewing, which will result in a delay in the development of speech;
  5. The child’s gastrointestinal tract is not trained to digest dense foods;

What can a child 1 year old and older eat?

Normally, the child already goes to the adult table and eats the foods and dishes that you cook.

Of course, this is possible if your food is natural and safe for the baby, does not contain a lot of salt and spices.

On a note! When preparing food, set aside some of the food for the baby during the readiness stage, and then add spices, salt and other additives that are not suitable for the baby’s nutrition.

Prohibited foods in the diet of a child from 1 to 3 years old remain:

  • nuts;
  • mushrooms;
  • honey ;
  • and all those foods to which the child may give out or show allergic reactions.

By the age of 3, the child already eats well, cleans up after himself from the table, perfectly controls cutlery and has no problems with appetite.

In the period from 1 to 3 years, everything can be corrected, but after 3 years the situation is corrected very hard and for a long time.

Happy motherhood!

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