Nutrition Guide for Toddlers

Introduction

Choosing the right foods for your toddler is important. Healthy foods provide the energy and nutrients that young children need to grow.

It is important to start healthy eating habits once your toddler begins eating solid food, especially since childhood obesity is an increasing problem. This program will help you better understand toddler nutrition. It explains how to introduce new foods to your toddler and reviews how much and what kinds of food your toddler needs.

Introducing New Foods

Before children reach age 1, most of their nutrition comes from breast milk or formula. Toddlers, children who are 1 to 3 years old, need less breast milk and can drink cow’s milk. This is because more of their nutrition comes from solid foods.

Too much milk can be harmful for your toddler. Drinking too much milk causes toddlers to take in more calories than they need. This can result in weight gain. Large amounts of breast milk or cow’s milk may cause a toddler’s body to not absorb enough iron.

To get your toddler to eat new foods, try introducing new foods one at a time. If your toddler resists, do not force them to eat the new food. Do not punish your toddler for refusing to eat new foods.

Try introducing new foods again at a later date if your toddler did not like them the first time. Toddlers may refuse one food for a while, but later accept or ask for it.

New foods should be given in small amounts. Toddlers are more likely to try smaller amounts of new foods. This also allows you to watch for any signs of food allergies.

If a toddler does not like a new food that is offered, they may like it if it is offered again later.

Correct. Toddlers can be picky and may not like a new food at first, but later they may ask for it.

Incorrect. Toddlers can be picky and may not like a new food at first, but later they may ask for it. Don’t give up right away. Try introducing new foods again if your toddler didn’t like them the first time.

Portion Sizes

Toddlers are very active. This could make it seem like they need more food. But toddlers are not growing as fast as they did when they were infants, and they actually need less food.

Aim for about 1,000 calories each day. This is the amount your toddler needs for energy and growth.

Toddlers also eat smaller, more frequent meals. Divide the 1,000 calories among 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks each day.

Keep in mind that your toddler may not get 1,000 calories every day. They may eat a lot at breakfast and not much else the rest of the day. This is normal. Your toddler’s needs depend on their activity level and growth rate.

How many calories does a typical toddler need, on average, each day?:

1. 1,000 calories.

2. 1,250 calories.

3. 1,500 calories.

4. 2,000 calories.

Correct. Divide these calories among 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks each day.

Incorrect. Most toddlers need 1,000 calories per day.

Incorrect. Toddlers need 1,000 calories each day.

Incorrect. Toddlers need 1,000 calories each day.

Give Them Choices

Your toddler may want one food for a few days in a row and then refuse to eat it the next day. This is normal. It is hard to predict what your toddler will want to eat from one day to the next.

Offer a selection of healthy food options to your child. Let your toddler choose which food they want to eat.

If your toddler rejects all of their options, you can save the food to try again later. Do not force your child to eat foods they do not want. This may cause your child to always refuse that food.

Should you force your toddler to eat new foods that they do not like?

Incorrect. Don’t force your child to eat foods that they don’t want. This may cause your child to always refuse that food.

Correct. Forcing a rejected food on your child may cause your child to always refuse it.

Aim for Variety

While toddlers may choose one type of food over others, you should aim for variety in their diets. Do not force your child to eat a planned meal.

When feeding your toddler, offer options including:

1. Meat, poultry, eggs and fish.

2. Milk and other dairy products.

3. Fruits and vegetables.

4. Cereal, bread, rice, potatoes and pasta.

As long as you provide a variety of options for your toddler, your toddler’s diet will balance out. You do not need to force your toddler to eat a wide variety of foods every single day. Some days will have less variety than other days.

If your toddler refuses what you offer, don’t let them eat unhealthy foods like cookies or sweets. These foods are high in calories and don’t provide important nutrients. Letting your toddler eat sweets instead of healthy foods will make your toddler want sweets more often.

You should also avoid foods that have a lot of spices, or foods that are salty or buttered. These additives may be harmful to your toddler’s health over time.

What is the problem with offering cookies and sweets to toddlers?

1. They are high in calories.

2. They don’t include important vitamins and nutrients.

3. Toddlers may want to eat them instead of healthier foods.

4. All of the above.

It is true that sweets and cookies can be high in calories, but there is a better answer.

It is true that sweets and cookies do not include important nutrients, but there is a better answer.

It is true that sweets and cookies can make toddlers request unhealthy foods instead of healthier foods. But there is a better answer.

Correct.

Safety

Safety is important to consider when your toddler eats. Toddlers have a lot of energy and may want to eat while talking or running. Teaching your toddler how to eat properly can help prevent choking.

Toddlers should always be supervised while eating. Your toddler should sit still during meals and snack time. Teach your child to swallow before talking. This helps your toddler focus on eating and decreases their chance of choking.

Before giving your toddler any food, make sure it is not too hot. Toddlers may not think about the temperature of a food before eating it. Hot foods may burn your toddler’s mouth.

Keep the portions of your child’s food small. Children are learning how to chew their food until they are 4 years old. Mashing or cutting large foods into smaller pieces helps prevent choking.

Foods that adults consider small may be too large for a toddler. Hot dogs, raw carrots, cheese sticks and grapes should be avoided or cut into small pieces.

Do not give your toddler:

• Nuts.

• Spoonfuls of peanut butter.

• Hard candies or gum.

• Raw celery.

• Marshmallows.

These foods easily can get stuck in the windpipe and cause choking.

Which of the following tips can help prevent your toddler from choking?

1. Make sure your toddler is sitting while they eat.

2. Mash or cut up large foods into small pieces.

3. Supervise your toddler while they eat.

4. All of the above.

You should always make sure your child is sitting while they eat to prevent choking. But there is a better answer.

You should always mash or cut up large foods into small pieces to prevent choking. But there is a better answer.

You should always supervise your toddler while they eat. But there is a better answer.

Correct. There are many ways to prevent your toddler from choking while eating.

Vitamins and Supplements

Dietary supplements are pills, powder, or candies that include vitamins and important minerals. Toddlers with a well-balanced diet rarely need supplements. But some toddlers may need an iron or vitamin D supplement.

Toddlers usually receive enough iron from meat, iron-fortified cereal and vegetables in their diet. If your toddler doesn’t eat enough of these foods, your toddler may need a supplement. Talk to your toddler’s health care provider before giving your toddler any supplement.

A large amount of milk may cause a toddler’s body to not absorb enough iron. Limit the amount of milk your toddler drinks to 16 ounces each day.

Toddlers usually receive enough vitamin D from sunlight, vitamin D-fortified milk and daily multivitamins. Toddlers should get at least 400 units of vitamin D every day to prevent rickets.

Rickets is a condition that causes a child’s bones to become soft and deformed.

Food labels may state how many units of vitamin D is included in a serving. The abbreviation is usually IU, short for International Units. A serving is a unit of measuring food. A serving of a cereal is usually one cup or half a cup.

Talk to your child’s health care provider if you are concerned that they are not getting enough iron or vitamin D.

Do most toddlers need supplements?

Incorrect. Toddlers with a well-balanced diet rarely need supplements.

Correct. Most toddlers don’t need dietary supplements.

Childhood Obesity

Babies and young toddlers need cholesterol and other fats for growth. About half of the calories young toddlers take in should be from fat. This slowly decreases once your toddler reaches age 2. By age 4 or 5, one-third of a child’s daily calories should be from fat.

Providing too many foods that are high in fat can cause your toddler to gain weight. Childhood obesity is an increasing problem.

Make sure you provide a well-balanced and varied diet. Healthy eating habits should begin as soon as your child starts eating solid foods.

Be aware of what your child eats when they are not with you. Make sure the people who care for your child are also feeding your child healthy foods.

Time spent in front of a TV or computer can also contribute to childhood obesity. Children who sit for three hours in front of a computer or TV screen each day have an increased risk of obesity.

If a toddler is offered sweets, candy or chips while watching TV, this may become a habit. This can contribute to too much weight gain and childhood obesity.

Limit the amount of screen time your toddler gets each day. Make sure your toddler has other activities to keep them mentally and physically active.

Do not give your toddler fast food. Fast food is high in fat and calories and can lead to obesity.

Giving your toddler too many foods that are high in fat may cause childhood obesity.

Correct.

Incorrect. Providing too many foods that are high in fat can cause your toddler to gain weight. This can lead to obesity.

Summary

Choosing the right foods for your toddler is important. Healthy foods provide the energy and nutrients that young children need to grow.

Let your toddler choose which foods they want to eat by giving your toddler a variety of choices. If your toddler rejects all of their options, you can save the food to try again later. Do not force your child to eat foods they do not want.

Give your child around 1,000 calories each day. This is the amount your toddler needs for energy and growth. Toddlers also eat smaller, more frequent meals. Divide the 1,000 calories among 3 meals and 2 or 3 snacks each day.

If your toddler refuses what you offer, don’t let them eat unhealthy foods like cookies or sweets. These foods are high in calories and don’t provide important nutrients. Letting your toddler eat sweets instead of healthy foods will make your toddler want sweets more often.

Safety is important to consider when your toddler eats. Toddlers should always be supervised while eating. Before giving your toddler any food, make sure it is not too hot. Always mash or cut up large foods into small pieces to prevent choking.

Toddlers with a well-balanced diet rarely need supplements. But some toddlers may need an iron or vitamin D supplement. Talk to your toddler’s health care provider if you are concerned that they are not getting enough iron or vitamin D. 

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Cite this page

Nutrition Guide for Toddlers. (2021, Mar 28). Retrieved December 7, 2021 , from
https://studydriver.com/nutrition-guide-for-toddlers/

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