Nutrition for toddlers
Nutrition For Toddlers. Moms of toddlers will tell you that, after blowing out their first birthday candle, their little ones often “lose interest” in food. It may seem like they’ve lost their desire to eat everything in sight — but it’s actually a normal thing. In fact, it’s expected! That’s because growth starts to slow down when babies hit 12 months, which means they don’t require that much food anymore.
Moms of toddlers will tell you that, after blowing out their first birthday candle, their little ones often “lose interest” in food. It may seem like they’ve lost their desire to eat everything in sight — but it’s actually a normal thing. In fact, it’s expected! That’s because growth starts to slow down when babies hit 12 months, which means they don’t require that much food anymore.
Toddlers need about 1,000 calories a day. And if you’ve ever counted calories before, you can tell that 1,000 isn’t a lot. And when you space it out into three full meals and two snacks, well, it’s no surprise your little one didn’t finish all that spaghetti on his plate!
Toddlers need well-balanced meals that contain essential nutrients to aid in their growth and development. And since they can only take in so much food in a day, it’s important to give them food that’s packed with the good stuff their body needs.
Here’s a rundown of some of the essential nutrients that your little tyke needs:
Your baby may have relied on milk— but he doesn’t need that much milk now. Milk basically gave him all the nutrients he needed back then, which he can now get from other foods. What about calcium, you ask? Kids ages 1 to 3 only need about 500 mg of calcium, which two glasses of milk can provide. In fact, drinking too much milk may not be such a good idea, as it takes up space allotted for other nutrients in his little tummy. Other sources of calcium for toddlers: natural or processed cheese, yogurt, spinach, calcium-fortified orange juice.
Heads up: drink too much milk, and you could be putting your child at risk for anaemia. That’s because milk and calcium have been shown to hamper the body’s absorption of iron. Generally, toddlers need about 7 to 10 mg of iron a day to help create haemoglobin. Pump your little one with iron from these sources: red meat, fish and poultry, iron-fortified cereal, beans, green veggies, and dried fruits.
This vitamin helps repair body tissues and fights off viral infections. What’s more, it’s known to improve vision, and keeps the skin, nails, and hair healthy. Get your kids to scarf down the recommended daily allowance of 4,000 IUs in fruits and veggies that contain cartenoids, which the body converts into Vitamin A. Some of these include: broccoli, cooked carrots, peaches and milk.
Boost your child's immune system with this vitamin. It helps ward off colds and infections, and has been known to hold back diseases. Vitamin C is the easiest vitamin your little one gets, as it’s found in so many foods. Some foods that could fill his vitamin C RDA are: broccoli, orange juice, bananas and strawberries.
Our body needs Vitamin D in order to build strong bones, teeth, and muscles. That’s because Vitamin D is what helps our body absorb calcium. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that kids take in about 400 IUs of Vitamin D—which is conveniently absorbed by the skin via the sun’s rays. So let your toddler get his dose of Vitamin D instead through these foods: salmon, tuna, milk and orange juice.