Menu planning for Diet of Indian Toddlers

baby diet

From 1 to 3 yrs is the stage of toddlerhood. These are crucial years for laying the foundation of your baby’s health. Most babies outgrow the stage of eating mashed and bland foods and now begin to eat more elaborated meals.

Toddlers need a wide variety of healthy foods. You decide what your toddler eats from the 5 food groups. Your child decides whether to eat and how much. Think about what your child eats over a week, rather than a day.

Toddler appetites vary from day to day. Suggested daily serves are 1 serve of fruit; 2½ serves of vegies; 1½ serves of dairy; 4 serves of grains; and 1 serve of lean meats, eggs, nut or seed pastes (like peanut butter, almond butter, or tahini), or legumes.

Toddlers need plenty of water – the cheapest, healthiest, and most thirst-quenching drink. Offer extra water on hot or humid days. Avoid soft drinks, fruit juices, flavoured milk or water, sports drinks, and energy drinks.

  • A full 250ml katori/bowl or more, 3 meals plus 2 snacks between meals, plus breastfeeds
  • Provide snacks in between like mashed banana, dalia or milk, thin khichdi, roti mashed in dal 
  • Continue to encourage your child to eat so that he eats happily.
  • When the child is one year old, let him eat by himself.
  • Continue breastfeeding.
  • Give him a variety of foods to eat.


Aim to provide your toddler with various foods from the four main food groups: fruits and vegetables, grains, protein, and dairy products.

·       Cereal Group:

This group includes cereals like Rawa (semolina), Ragi, Rice, Oats, wheat, and its products like brown bread and wheat-based biscuits. These cereals are easy to digest. Initially, it’s best to grind the food product or mash it well to avoid choking. some kids take time to learn to chew.

·       Milk and Milk Products Group:

As the name suggests, this group includes all varieties of milk. Cows milk has the best digestibility. Hence it is preferable to give your kids cow’s milk.  You can later introduce him to milk products like cheese, curd, buttermilk, and paneer.  Cheese on brown bread is a good snacking option for your 2+ years old toddler. They relish it.

·       Non – Vegetarian Protein Group:

This group includes chicken, eggs, and fish. It’s to start your kid a little late with fish. Maybe after he is 2 +, this will ensure his digestion capacity. There are individual differences and food preferences. All you need to do is ensure your kids’ digestion capacity and allergic reactions to these foods.

·       Dals And Pulses Group:

Start with easily digestible dals like mung dal. once the kid tolerates them well, you can move forward to slowly introduce her to all the other varieties of dals and pulses.  make sure the first time you try any new pulse; it should be diluted enough. If your baby has any sign of intolerance towards these foods, like a change in color of stool, hard stool or  watery stool or gases, or stomach ache after the intake, reintroduce the food after a week in a diluted form

·        Fruits and vegetables:

You can mash the fruits, make juice out of them, pressure cook the fruit for 1 whistle, and then mash it (apple). or you can hand over them as slices to your kids. So they also learn to eat on their own. Use vegetables in soup or cooked vegetables, just like you consume them at home. make sure you add little or no spices to the preparation.

·       Fats and Sugars:

We need to use a very small amount of fats and sugar for our toddlers. Your baby really needs good fats for better digestion. don’t forget that these little ones also require tasty foods like us. We can add sugar or jaggery to their food preparations.

Sample menu

Points to keep in mind

  • Increase the thickness and amount of complementary food gradually.
  • Remember that the food should not be very thin and watery.
  • You or any family member should give the child food on a separate plate. This way, you will know how much food the child has eaten.
  • Along with complementary feeding, breastfeed your child till two years. This way, the child will develop fully; he will be happy, satisfied, and healthy and will gain weight adequately.

Try to know when the child is hungry and feed him yourself.