Your baby just turned a year old! Congratulations, that is a huge milestone. Once a baby is a year old and starting to walk, that is when they move from the baby phase to the toddler phase. Besides childproofing your home even more due to the fact that your new toddler is becoming more mobile, there are plenty of other important things that you need to learn. The most important example is by learning how to meet your toddler’s nutritional needs.
When it comes to your toddler’s nutrition, bear in mind that he or she will start eating foods that keep us strong and healthy. You already know that sugar, artificial food coloring, and other additives are not good for your toddler. That does not mean to deny them a tasty cookie every now and then. But foods that have very little nutrition for your toddler will not provide the needed nutrients.
Now, you are probably asking what foods should you be feeding your toddler? You may already suspect that fruits and veggies are important because they are loaded with important vitamins and minerals, and you are right. However, let’s now delve into the best foods that will fit your toddler’s nutritional needs right now:
Milk And Full-Fat Dairy Products Must Be Part Of Your Toddler’s Diet
As soon as your baby turns a year old, this is the time to wean him or her off of formula or breastmilk and start replacing that with full-fat cow’s milk. That is an important part of your toddler’s diet. Yogurt and pasteurized cheeses are also loaded with the nutrients that your toddler needs. The reason that dairy is a crucial part of your toddler’s diet is that it contains calcium and vitamin D to help strengthen bones. The fat in dairy also is excellent for your toddler’s brain development and normal growth.
It is also important to prepare yourself that your toddler may not like milk at first. It is best to introduce milk and dairy products to your child slowly until he or she is used to it. Then you can cut the formula or breastmilk out totally. However, don’t give your toddler more than 16 ounces or 480 milliliters a day. That can hurt your child’s iron absorption, and let’s now talk about why iron is an important component of your toddler’s nutritional needs.
Iron-Rich Foods Are Critical For Your Toddler’s Nutritional Needs
Your child needs to eat foods that are loaded with iron because that is how anemia is prevented. Anemia in children is extremely dangerous because it can have a serious impact on their mental, behavioral, and physical development for life. Foods that are rich in iron are:
- Whole Grains
- Green Leafy Vegetables
And, if your toddler is picky to the point that he or she doesn’t like eating many of those iron-rich foods in this list, then it is best to keep feeding your toddler iron-fortified cereals. That is until your toddler becomes mature enough to start trying these foods more willingly. And in order to make sure that your toddler is getting enough iron, then be sure to feed him or her foods that are rich in Vitamin C. That helps with the absorption of iron.
Foods That Are Rich In Vitamin C
Dairy, iron-rich foods, and foods that have a lot of vitamin C are extremely important foods that will meet your toddler’s nutritional needs. Vitamin C not only helps improve the absorption of iron, but it helps your child build a strong immune system. That is because once your little one goes to school, then he or she will be introduced to many germs and viruses. In order for your child to fight those off effectively, then he or she needs to have a strong immune system. Vitamin C will help with that, and foods that are high in Vitamin C are:
- Citrus fruits
- Broccoli and greens
- Green and red peppers
- Winter squash
As long as you incorporate these foods into your toddler’s diet on a consistent basis, then your little one will grow up to be strong, smart, and healthy!
Here are other pointers to consider when it comes to meeting the nutritional needs of your toddler:
- Do not exceed giving your toddler over 1400 calories a day, even if he or she is active.
- Be sure to give your child bite-sized portions because that could be a choking hazard
- Allow your toddler to snack on healthy foods that are mentioned above in between meals
- Always contact your child’s pediatrician if there are concerns about your toddler’s dietary needs
- Get a referral for a pediatric dietician if you are unsure of how much to feed your child
- Watch for possible allergies such as the development of hives and rashes
This basic guide will help you feed your child the right foods in order to meet your toddler’s nutritional needs.