It’s not just your toddler’s portion sizes that should differ from yours; the balance of energy and nutrients within each meal should differ too.
Your toddler needs a diet that is relatively high in fat and low in fibre; the opposite of the average adult diet. Although fibre is a good thing for us adults, too much of it may fill your toddler up and prevent them from getting the energy and nutrients they need.
Fat in your toddler’s diet is an essential source of energy and fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A, D, E and K). Many parts of the body also rely on fat to function properly. What is important to be aware of though is the type of fat in your toddler’s diet.
- Mono-unsaturated fat – These are the fats found in olive or rapeseed oils, nuts*, seeds and avocados. This fat is good for your toddler.
- Polyunsaturated fat (Omega 3 and 6 fats) – These are the fats found in oily fish (like salmon, tuna, mackerel), vegetable and sunflower oils. Omega fats are very beneficial for your toddler’s health.
- Saturated fat – These fats are found in fatty and processed meats, cakes, biscuits, confectionary and butter. If eaten in excess they can be damaging to your toddler’s health.
- Trans fat – These fats are found in processed foods such as biscuits, cakes, crisps, chocolate. This type of fat should be avoided as much as possible as it is very detrimental to your toddler’s health.
Low-fat dairy products
- Low-fat/semi-skimmed milk, low-fat yoghurt and other low-fat dairy products are not recommended for toddlers and infants under the age of 2 years. Skimmed milk is not suitable under the age of 5 years.
If you’d like any further information about fat in your toddler’s diet call our Careline and speak to one of our Nutritionists or read our article about managing your toddlers diet.
*Please note that whole or chopped nuts should not be given to children under 5 years due to the risk of choking.