As your baby begins to crawl, walk and talk their nutritional needs will be developing too. This is an important time to ensure your child is eating well and getting all the nutrients they require. We understand it can be hard for parents to know exactly what to feed their children but armed with some basic know-how, it can be simple.
Read on for our essential guide on how to best nourish your baby. You can also check out our series on baby led weaning for an in-depth guide on BLW.
Every child is different, and how much food they need depends on their developmental stage and their appetite.
In general, toddlers aged 1-3 require between 1,000 – 1,400 calories per day, although this can vary depending on their age, size, and physical activity.
This diet should consist of foods from the 4 main groups, in the appropriate portion size for them :
- Starchy foods x 5 a day
- Fruit and veg x 5 a day
- Dairy foods x 3 a day
- Protein foods x 2 a day
This is also known as the “5, 5, 3, 2” method!
Here are some good examples of foods in each food group:
- Starchy food: 2-4 potato wedges, 1-2 rice cakes, 2-4 tbsp canned spaghetti hoops
- Fruit & veg: 1 banana, 1-3 cherry tomatoes, 2-6 vegetable sticks
- Dairy foods: 1 cheese triangle, 2 small yoghurt tubes, 2-4 tbsp rice pudding
- Protein foods: 1-2 fish fingers, peanut butter on bread, 2-3 tbsp baked beans
7 Must-Eat Nutrients for your baby
You should ensure these 7 nutrients for your baby on a daily basis:
- Protein (meat, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts, beans)
- Carbohydrates (bread, cereals, rice, crackers, pasta)
- Calcium (milk, cheeses, yoghurt, broccoli, tofu)
- Iron (red meats, liver, poultry, beans, nuts)
- Fibre (lentils, chickpeas, spinach, asparagus)
- Vitamin A (carrots, sweet potatoes, cabbage, fish oils, egg yolks)
- Vitamin C (citrus fruit, strawberries, tomatoes, potatoes)
Keep coming to our blog for more tips and guides to support your child in developing healthy eating habits to last a lifetime.