Healthy Eating for Toddlers

So you made it through your baby’s weaning journey and now you are faced with feeding a toddler! What is different now? Well it’s all about making sure they don’t fill up on too much milk and getting the balance right. The saying ‘everything in moderation’ goes for us all!

Like us, your toddler should be eating a healthy balanced diet. You might have heard of the adult food pyramid or seen a picture hanging up in your local health centre? Well believe it or not, toddlers have their own version with slightly different requirements for the different food groups.

Breads, cereals, pasta, rice and potatoes

On the bottom shelf, try to choose healthier options like wholegrain or brown versions of bread, cereals, pasta etc. These foods are brilliant for keeping up with the demands of energetic toddlers and can also be a great source of fibre in their diet.

Fruit and vegetables

Where we should be aiming for our 5-a-day, toddlers should aim for 2-4 portions of a variety of different fruit and vegetables. Aim for a rainbow of different coloured fruit and vegetable options throughout the week. They are a great source of many different important nutrients like vitamins and fibre.

Dairy foods

Dairy foods are the same for us all, 3 portions a day. So toddlers don’t need to drink excessive amounts of milk like they used to as babies. From now on their milk is not their main source of nutrients. Milk still has an important role in their diet. We recommend just 2 beakers (300mls) per day. Include other dairy foods like yoghurts and cheese too. Dairy foods are a great source of calcium to help support their bone development.

Low fat versions are not recommended under 2 years.

Meat, fish and alternatives

Meat, fish, eggs and alternatives like beans and lentils are a great source of protein and also nutrients like iron. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and trout are also important for providing your little one with omega 3 and vitamin D.

Remember toddlers have good and bad days; they all go through periods of fussy eating. So if your toddler is going through a rough patch, concentrate on what they eat in total for the week rather than focussing too much on each day, I bet some days/mealtimes are better than others!

For more information on healthy eating for toddlers call our free phone careline at 1800 570 570.