They then entrust the care of their babies on babysitter. Unfortunately, either because of time constraints or assuming babysitters have got sufficient knowledge about parenting toddlers, the mother hands almost completely including the matter of food.
In fact, without a good guidance from parents, the food given by babysitter can't necessarily meet the nutritional needs of toddlers. Wouldn't nutrition be a very important factor for growing toddlers?
The provision of adequate nutrition is one way to provide the best possible environment in order to achieve the potential of the child determined by genetic factors. Enough good nutrition is also a part of the three basic needs which include physical, emotional, and mental. Thus, setting a toddler eating is very important known by mother or caregiver.
Type of food in addition to breast milk for infants and toddlers can be made from the following by observing the pattern of balanced nutrition:
1. Staple food for energy source, consisting of rice, bread, potatoes, etc.
2. The side dishes from animal protein sources, such as meat, fish, eggs, and chicken, and vegetable proteins, such as beans, tempeh, and tofu.
3. Vegetables for sources of minerals and vitamins.
4. Fruits for sources of minerals and vitamins.
5. Breastfeeding until the child is two years old or formula.
In addition, children should also be given snacks in the form of street food. Of course, it's more healthier when made by yourself.
In feeding toddlers, there are three aspects achieved, namely:
1. Physiological, which meets the nutrient requirements for the process of metabolism, survival, activity, and growth and development.
2. Educational, which educates infants and children clever or skillful in food, to develop eating habits, and to choose the good.
3. Psychological, which gives satisfactions to hunger or thirst in children. For the mother, it gives the satisfaction of having done duties.
So, while eating (physical), the child also gets mental aspect by taking to speak and, at the same time, emotional.
Food should be given in stages and gradually according to the type, quantity, and consistency. Whenever the child is introduced new foods, keep in mind three things: acceptance, gastrointestinal tolerance, and presence or absence of allergic symptoms.
The result of an adequate feeding is reflected from optimum growth, such as increasing in body weight and head circumference according to age, and gaining height. Accordingly, certain nutrients can affect the development process.
Energy and protein affect the growth and development of brain tissue. Various micronutrients also influence the development of brain tissue. Deficiency of zinc and iron, for example, directly cause stunted growth and brain development.
On the other hand, psychomotor developmental processes, such as crawling, sitting, and walking, and the process of cognitive development are affected by the brain. Various studies reveal, a state of anemia due to iron deficiency affects both psychomotor and cognitive functioning of children.
Thus, nutrition is one important part for optimal growth and development of infants. Parents hold a very important and decisive role. It requires a mother with physical, mental, and social health as well as adequate education.
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