Toddler Nutrition

As your toddler explores more adventurous tastes, they're also learning the power of the word 'no'. Even with your healthiest intentions, it can be a challenge to make sure they get a perfectly balanced diet each day. Most toddlers' diets fall short of the recommended daily amounts of vitamins and minerals but there are plenty of ways to encourage healthy eating that will pave the way for good habits later on in life.

This section includes advice about providing a nutritionally balanced diet for your toddler, why family foods aren’t always suitable and how you can use foods to support their developing immune system. We also look at the importance of iron for healthy development and what to do if they’re refusing milk or making a mel of dinner times.

Ensuring your toddler gets enough iron

Your toddler needs a wide range of vitamins and minerals to help them develop at this important stage of their growth, which is why a varied weaning diet is important.

But one nutrient that a lot of toddlers are still lacking in is iron – in fact, 8 out of 10 toddlers don’t get enough. Making sure your toddler is getting enough iron can be even more difficult if they’re going through a fussy eating phase.

Read on to find out why iron is so important, how you can use our daily diary to work out if your toddler is getting enough and which iron-rich foods it’s good to include in their diet.

A significant proportion of children in the 1 to 3 year age group are deficient in a number of nutrients, the most common of which is iron.

Iron deficiency can be associated with “faddy eating” habits and can occur if your toddler does not eat a wide enough variety of foods, which can lead to a loss of appetite and your toddler only wanting to eat what they want, when they want it.

Iron is an important nutrient which is involved in many functions within the body including brain development. It is an essential part of haemoglobin in the body; this is a red pigment in our blood that allows it to carry the oxygen around the body for energy and growth.

Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron and is found in citrus fruits, e.g. oranges, kiwi fruit, and some vegetables, e.g. peppers. Giving your toddler fruit as a dessert is a good way to increase absorption of iron from their savoury meal.

And if you have any questions on how to make sure your toddler is getting enough iron, our Careline team will do their best to help. Call us on 800 6458 6262 (UAE)/ +971 4 420 9489 (Other countries) between the hours of 9am and 6pm Saturday to Thursday.