Your toddler’s nutritional needs are much higher than an adult’s or even older children in relation to their body size. They are growing fast and becoming more and more active as the weeks go by. As a result they require more calories (energy) and nutrients in each spoonful of food than we do.
Your toddler needs 3 times the amount of daily calories that an adult does for their size (per kg of their body weight everyday). Similarly they need much higher amounts of top essential nutrients e.g. nearly 4 times the amount of iron, 3 times more zinc and nearly 6 times the amount of calcium (per kg of their body weight), compared to an adult.
Toddlers get most of their energy from digesting foods rich in carbohydrates and fat. It is important not to offer too many low fat, high fibre foods, as toddlers need fat [link to fats article] in their diets as a source of energy. Low fat dairy foods can be introduced after they are 2 years old as part of a balanced diet.
As your toddler’s stomach is only about 1/3 of the size of an adult’s stomach, aim to give your toddler 3 nutritious main meals (healthy balanced diet for toddlers) and 2 healthy snacks between meals each day to meet their high needs for energy and top essential nutrients.
If you’d like any further advice on your toddler’s nutritional requirements why not contact one of our Nutritionists.