Recipe for a healthy toddler

The constant running around, learning and playing can really take it out of you – even when you’re a ball of energy.

Eating on the other hand can be a little tricky when it comes to your toddler. Between the ages of one and three years old is when things can become particularly difficult.

If your toddler doesn’t have a good diet of the correct food and nutrients, it makes the forming of strong bones and teeth, muscles and healthy tissues difficult. A good diet can also help to protect against illness!

Essential vitamins…
  • Vitamin A is needed for your toddler to have healthy skin, eyes and a strong immune system.
  • Vitamin C is important for your toddler’s immune system, and also for wound healing and bone and tissue growth.
  • Vitamin D is essential for the absorption of minerals into the blood stream.
  • Vitamin B is very important, particularly B6 which is required for the production of antibodies and red blood cells.
…and minerals
  • Iron is important for your toddler’s immune system and supplying oxygen to the cells.
Iron-deficiency is common in toddlers as iron requirements are high but dietary intake is often low, especially if little or no meat is eaten. If your toddler is listless, irritable, tires easily, yawns all the time and is very pale, then it may be a good idea to have them checked for anaemia.
  • Calcium is important for strong bones and teeth and also for muscle action.
  • Magnesium is required for most body processes, including energy production.
  • Zinc is required for growth, energy, a healthy metabolism, immunity and insulin storage.

The table below will give you a good idea of how you can put the necessary vitamins and minerals into your toddler’s diet.

If your toddler seems tired or run down, ask your doctor if a vitamin supplement will help. Typically, an over the counter multivitamin and mineral supplement should provide the extra vitamin A, C and D that may be lacking in their day-to-day diets.

There is much disagreement among professionals, however, about whether supplements are good for all children or not. Remember to always consult your doctor before giving your toddler a supplement of any kind.

Do you think your toddler is getting all the vitamins and minerals they need?

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