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Health & Nutrition
Nutrition for Toddlers
Now that your child has reached toddler stage, there will be an increased activity level and therefore energry requirements, not to mention a new founded independence. Here are some guidelines on your toddlers daily diet.
On a typical day your child should have at least 7-11 servings of carbohydrates, which are essential for energy, in the form of cereal, toast, potato, pasta, rice, juice, crackers etc.
Always provide at least 3 servings of protein, e.g. eggs, milk, chicken, lamb, beef, ham, fish, lentils, which is essential for development of healthy nerve and muscle tissue, the immune system, organs, hormones to kick start good growth and to heal all the little knocks and cuts their little hands and knees get!
Children also need a certain amount of fat for insulation and for the transport of nutrients around their body. Dairy products such as whole milk, cheese, yoghurt and ice cream will provide this fat as well as other nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates and calcium.
Fruit and vegetables should feature heavily on your menu, as they provide many of the nutrients that little bodies need to develop properly. There really can be no alternative to the way Mother Nature intended for us to ingest her nutrients…no pill can substitute the goodness found in the natural product. Typically children and vegetables don’t really like each other, however, don’t lose heart, try and make vegetables interesting and playful.
The fruit and vegetables will depend greatly on the season. It is important to have a wide variety of produce to ensure maximum nutrient density. The fruits and vegetables most commonly used would be potatoes, tomatoes, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, celery, sweet corn, turnip, peas, parsnips, onions, lentils, cauliflower, peppers, apples, bananas, melon, pineapple, fruit salad, oranges, grapes and raisins.
Fruit should be either stewed for babies or cut into very small pieces so that the older children will not choke.
You should not use processed foods such as noodles or chicken nuggets as they contain a high amount of salt and artificial flavourings. Hamburgers should be homemade and the fish fingers organic. Oven chips on the odd occasion are great as a treat. They are both low in fat and salt and keep the serving size is minimal.
Water is very important part of everyone’s diet and it is a great habit to start when young. Encourage water as the main drink for children and occasionally use ‘no sugar’ orange or blackcurrant cordial, diluted 1:10. Milk as a snack is great as you are adding Calcium and Vitamin D.
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