Healthy eating for toddlers and young children

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Healthy eating for toddlers and young children

Postby healthydecode » Thu Dec 11, 2014 2:39 am

oddlers can be introduced to new tastes and textures as they transition from baby food to “real” food. Keep in mind that toddlers have very small stomachs. It may be better to feed them 5-6 small meals a day, rather than three large ones.

Depending on age, size, and activity level, your toddler needs between 1,000-1,400 calories a day. It is perfectly normal for your child to be ravenous one day and shun food the next. Don’t worry if your child’s diet isn’t up to par every day—as long as he or she seems satisfied and is getting a well-rounded diet.

Nutritional needs of toddlers and young children

An important part of a toddler’s diet is calcium (they need about 500 mg/day), and the best source of this nutrient is milk. Until the age of two they should drink whole milk, but older toddlers can usually switch to 2% or skim milk if approved by your pediatrician. If your kids are lactose intolerant or don’t like dairy, incorporate calcium-rich foods like fortified soy products, cereals, and orange juice.

Toddlers need 7mg a day to prevent iron deficiency, which can affect growth, learning, and behavior. In infancy, breast-milk has a readily-absorbed type of iron, and baby formula and food is usually iron-fortified, so babies don’t need to worry about getting enough iron. After switching to “real” food, it's important to ensure that your child is eating good sources of iron like fortified cereals, small amounts of red meat (like soft meatballs), or eggs.

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