Nutrition For Toddlers PDF Print Write e-mail

Toddlers eat five to seven times per day, which includes meals and snacks. Because toddlers eat relatively small quantities at each meal, every bite counts, so providing nutrient dense foods is critical.
 
Nutrients of Concern
 
Due to the lack of quantity of food consumed, including iron-rich foods such as meats, iron deficiency is a concern during the early years of life. Iron deficiency is of great concern to toddlers because it can interfere with development and cognitive abilities.
 
Recently, vitamin D deficiency has resurfaced among young children in the United States. Reasons for this include decreased consumption of milk and decreased exposure to the sun due to the use of sun block with kids or that parents are shielding them from the sun altogether (your body can make vitamin D from rays of sun). Children with vitamin D deficiency have poor mineralization of bones known as rickets. To ensure that children consume enough vitamin D, milk should be provided at every meal.
 
Supplements may be considered for very picky eaters. Consult a Registered Dietitian for child-specific supplement recommendations or Ask the Experts.