Hi Everyone.

Sorry, it’s been a while since I was last in touch – must be something to do with all the Bank Holidays we’ve had recently!

For those of you whose little ones have already reached the toddler stage, you’ve probably already read about the importance of healthy eating for your toddler and the influence their eating habits now can have on their future health.  No doubt you’re trying to make sure your toddler has a healthy eating routine and you’re offering a good variety of nutrient-dense foods to make sure they meet all their nutritional requirements.  At this stage, you should be able to offer your toddler many meals that are being eaten by the rest of the family, maybe just chopped up a bit if necessary, but this isn’t always the case.  Just when you think life might start getting a bit easier now that you don’t have to prepare meals especially for your baby, fussy eating might be getting in the way! Look out for my next blog for some hints and tips on handling fussy eating.

When planning your family’s meals, there are a few important things you should remember about a toddler’s dietary needs that might influence the foods they can eat and any adaptations you might want to make to family meals –

  • Energy needs are high as toddlers become more active, but they still have relatively small tummies and appetites can be small
  • Toddlers like routine, so work out when they can eat 3 meals and 2-3 snacks each day, planned around their sleeping time
  • Toddlers need more fat and less fibre than older children and adults – use some butter or fat in cooking, use a mixture of white and wholegrain cereals, occasionally offer cakes and biscuits not just fruit for pudding
  • Combine foods from all five food groups in your toddler’s diet – fruits and veg; starchy foods e.g. pasta, potatoes, cereals, bread; meat, fish and alternative protein sources; milk and dairy foods; foods and drinks containing fats and sugars (use in moderation)
  • Make mealtimes enjoyable and eat together as a family whenever possible

You might also want to click on the following links as they contain a lot more useful information:

http://www.nhs.uk/Planners/birthtofive/Pages/Solidsthenextsteps.aspx
http://www.hipp.co.uk/expert-advice/9-plus-months-and-toddlers/feeding-your-toddler

Looking forward to next time!
Helen