The toddler years are special. Your little one is now much more active, expressive, and curious. From a tiny human who depended on you for almost everything, your child is now learning to walk, talk and run, asserting his independence, and constantly pushing boundaries.
This is a period of rapid change. Did you know your child’s body and brain grow and develop faster in the first three years than at any other time? By the time they turn three, your toddler’s brain would have reached 80% of its adult volume.
Young children, whose bodies and brains are rapidly developing, need a nutrient-dense diet so they have the energy to run around and process the world around them.
A nutrient-rich diet protects against malnourishment, maintains a healthy immune system, prevents obesity, and lays the foundation for your child’s good health.
Let’s look at what your little one needs to eat so he can grow and develop to his full potential.
Feeding Your Toddler
Your toddler needs about 1,000 to 1,400 calories a day, depending on his age, size, and activity level. He needs a variety of nutrients, including protein, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals, to support his rapidly growing body and brain development.
Toddlers have small tummies, so in order to meet their high nutritional needs they need to eat need small, frequent meals throughout the day. Aim for three meals and two snacks every day.
Here are some guidelines to help you figure out if your toddler is getting the nourishment he needs.
Toddler Nutrition Guide: Ages 1-2
At this age, your child should be having:
- Wholegrains: 2-3 servings
- Protein (meat and others): 1/2 serving
Growing up milk or calcium-rich foods: 1 ½ servings (or an equivalent amount of calcium-rich foods like cheese and yoghurt)
Toddler Nutrition Guide: Ages 2-3
At this age, your child should be having:
- Wholegrains: 3-4 servings
- Protein (meat and others): 1 serving
- Growing up milk or calcium-rich foods: 1 serving (or an equivalent amount of calcium-rich foods like cheese and yoghurt)
Examples of 1 Serving:
- 2 slices wholemeal bread (60g)
- ½ bowl* brown rice (100g)
- 2 bowls* brown rice porridge (500g)
- ½ bowl* whole-grain noodles, spaghetti or beehoon (100g)
- 4 plain wholemeal biscuits (40g)
- 1 thosai (60g)
- 2 wholemeal chapatis (60g)
- ¾ mug (250 ml mug) cooked leafy vegetables (100g)
- ¾ mug cooked non-leafy vegetables (100g)
- 150g raw leafy vegetables
- 100g raw non-leafy vegetables
- ¼ round plate+cooked vegetables
Protein (Meat and others)
- 1 small apple, orange, pear or mango (130g)
- 1 wedge pineapple, papaya or watermelon (130g)
- 10 grapes or longans (50g)
- 1 medium banana
- ¼ cup*** dried fruit (40g)
- 1 palm-sized piece fish, lean meat or skinless poultry (90g)
- 2 small blocks soft bean curd (170g)
- ¾ cup cooked pulses (e.g. lentils, peas, beans) (120g)
- 5 medium prawns (90g)
- 3 eggs (150g)
Do note that 1 serving of milk = 2 glasses (250 ml per glass)
Strategies to Ensure Optimal Nutrition
Introducing toddlers to a variety of foods and encouraging healthy eating habits can set them up for a lifetime of good nutrition and overall health. Here are some tips to ensure that your little one gets the nutrition he needs:
Offer nutrient-dense foods such as whole grains, eggs, fish, lean meats, nuts, and seeds
Follow My Healthy Plate
When planning meals for your little one, remember to make them healthy and balanced using My Healthy Plate.
My Healthy Plate emphasises to:
- Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables
- Fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains (e.g. brown rice, wholemeal bread, rolled oats)
- Fill a quarter of your plate with meat and others (e.g. poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, beans, tofu, dairy products).
- Use healthier oils
- Choose water
- Be active
Avoid giving your child sweetened drinks, and stay away from ultra-processed or junk foods
Don’t force foods
Keep distractions like TV, toys, and devices away
Stick to a routine
Be a good role model for your child when it comes to eating healthy food
Supplement what’s missing
A balanced and nutritious diet is essential for your toddler’s physical, cognitive, and emotional development. Inadequate nutrition during this stage can lead to stunted growth, delayed development, and long-term health problems.
Mums and dads, if you are concerned about your child’s dietary intake, adding a nutritionally-rich formula to their diet can provide peace of mind and help ensure that they receive all the essential nutrients necessary for their growth and development.
Growing-up milk is specially formulated for toddlers and young children, making it an effective way to enhance their intake of critical nutrients.
Dumex Dugro® Growing Up Milk Stage 3 is a Sucrose-free growing-up milk that contains 360° Nutrition™ – a combination of essential nutrients like DHA, calcium, prebiotics, and 15 vitamins and minerals, to support your child’s all-rounded growth and development.
This milk is so well-loved and trusted by parents that it recently won the award for “Best Growing Up Milk for Growth and Development” at theAsianparent Awards 2023!
Get so much more with this award-winning milk! Request for a FREE 700G Dugro Stage 3 sample today. Register now at https://www.dumex.com.sg/registration.html .