10 Completely Nutritious Nigerian Foods For Toddlers

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Nutritious Nigerian Foods For Toddlers

Toddlers need to eat a lot of foods that are rich in nutrients. These foods would aid their growth and also help strengthen their immune system, keeping them safe from diseases and illnesses.

It is normal for toddlers to be interested in foods that are sweet, mostly processed foods and junk, which do not add anything to the body. Nevertheless, it is very important that they are fed, at all times, with healthy, nutritious foods.

Another thing is that toddlers have to be given foods that they can easily eat. This is why you do not just give a toddler any kind of food to eat. Some foods might be hard or strong for the toddler to enjoy. This is why you have to be deliberate about the kind of foods you give to your child. 

In today’s article, we would be looking at some nutritious Nigerian foods that you can give to your toddler. 

1. Custard 

Although custard is for everyone, regardless of their age, it is often seen as a food that is reserved for toddlers. It is liquid, so it is good for toddlers who do not even have teeth.

It is also very easy to digest. How sweet you want the custard depends entirely on you. You can also add fruits like bananas to it, just to make it more appealing for the child. 

Custard is very rich in carbohydrates because it is made from corn starch. Some brands also fortify theirs with various nutrients and vitamins, including copper and selenium.

Depending on how you make the custard, if you add milk, that would add more nutrients, like calcium, to the food, making it a nutritious feast. 

2. Pap

Pap and custard are very much alike. They are both made from corn, but while custard is dry and in powder form, pap is wet and moulded into a ball.

Pap (Akamu or ogi) can be made using just corn or adding millet to the corn. It is prepared the same way as custard, by adding hot water to it and letting it thicken.

You may then garnish as you would like, although it is best to keep the sugar levels moderate. 

Pap is rich in nutrients like carbohydrates, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, magnesium, and so much more. By adding pap to your kid’s diet, you are introducing a range of nutrients to their system.

Pap is not just among the nutritious nigerian foods for toddlers, it is also affordable.

3. Cereals 

You can also introduce your toddlers to cereals. Cereals, like cornflakes or oats, are very good for kids because they are nutritious and satisfying.

Oat is a popular cereal that is for anybody because of how nutritious it is. It is a type of whole grain and contains a lot of essential nutrients that would aid your toddler’s physical and mental growth.

Some cereals are also specially fortified with the right nutrients for growing children. So make sure to keep your eye out for that when you go shopping for food for your toddler. 

4. Bread 

Who does not like bread? Bread is also another nutritious food you can give to your toddler.

What is great about bread is that you can pair it with other things like tea, eggs, butter, jam, or even stew. Eating bread is something your toddler would never get tired of. 

Bread is very rich in carbohydrates, as it is made of flour. It also contains other nutrients like fats, calcium, protein, iron, and more. This is because it is made with other ingredients like eggs, milk, butter, and so on. 

5. Milk

Instead of giving your toddler soda and other unhealthy drinks, simply give them a glass of milk.

Milk is very rich in calcium, which helps with the growth and development of strong bones and teeth. The importance of calcium to a growing child cannot be overstated.

Some of the foods you feed your child might contain calcium, but you can always give them a glass of milk to supply their body with more calcium. 

6. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are another great option when it comes to nutritious Nigerian foods for toddlers. They are packed with potassium, vitamin C, fiber, and beta-carotene.

Sweet potatoes are also very high in manganese, vitamin B6, and pantothenic acid. The health benefits of sweet potatoes for babies include improving eye health, boosting brain development, and strengthening the immune system.

Furthermore, most babies prefer to eat sweet potatoes over other vegetables because of their naturally sweet taste.

7. Beans 

There are a lot of reasons why beans are one of the healthy Nigerian foods for toddlers. It can be puréed easily, delicious, easily paired with any other meal, and above all, is highly nutritious.

Beans are packed with nutrients that are vital for your toddler’s health, such as iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, and protein — which is critical for growth in toddlers.

8. Vegetable soup

A staple in Nigerian cuisine, vegetable soup is an excellent food for toddlers due to its rich content of essential vitamins and minerals.

The leafy greens and diverse vegetables used in these soups, such as spinach, pumpkin leaves (ugu), and waterleaf, offer a variety of nutrients that support a child’s growth and development.

It can be served with a soft swallow or alongside rice.

9. Yam Purée

Yam, a tuber that is a carbohydrate powerhouse, is a fantastic choice for toddlers who need energy.

When boiled and mashed into a smooth purée, it provides a texture that is perfect for young children who may still be learning to chew properly.

Rich in complex carbohydrates, yams supply sustained energy that is essential for the active days of a toddler.

They are also a source of dietary fiber, which aids digestion, and contain vitamins like vitamin C, which boosts the immune system. You can also give them yam porridge.

10. Fruits

Fruits are always great for toddlers. For instance, bananas, pawpaws, mangoes, and avocados are not only vibrant and appealing to the eye but are also packed with vital nutrients.

Bananas, for example, are a good source of potassium, which is important for heart health and muscle function.

Pawpaw and mangoes are rich in vitamins A and C, antioxidants that support the immune system and eye health.

Avocados offer healthy monounsaturated fats, essential for brain development. Offering these fruits to toddlers not only satisfies their sweet tooth in a healthy way but also helps inculcate a preference for wholesome, unprocessed foods.

Other healthy Nigerian foods for toddlers include rice, eggs, akara, hot chocolate and bread, and peanut butter.

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