Tag Archive | "kids nutrition"

The Benefits of Organic Food To Toddlers

Organic foods are the trend these days. Due to its increasing popularity, a lot of parents are divided between feeding their children organic food and conventionally produced food. So how can you decide which is good for your toddler’s health? It is actually pretty simple. All you have to do is to know the benefits of organic food to toddlers. Here is some information to help you out.

Reduces Exposure To Toxins

Feeding your toddler organic foods decreases his exposure to antibiotics, fertilizers, pesticides and growth hormones found in conventional meat and vegetables. Organic foods are grown untreated and do not contain any modified organisms. According to child health experts, children who are exposed to such toxins at an early age are more susceptible to develop medical problems and developmental delays. This is because their immune systems are still immature, making their small bodies collect deadly levels of pollutants quicker.

Offers More Nutrition

Studies have proven that organic foods are more nutritious as compared to commercial foods which is extremely beneficial in boosting a toddler’s cardiovascular and digestive system. For instance, organic milk has more antioxidants, vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (a substance that helps fight-off cancer) because the cows eat high levels of fresh grass, grass cover feed and clover pasture.

Minimizes Illnesses

Because organic foods are loaded with vitamins and minerals and do not contain any chemicals, a toddler’s risk of developing allergies and other diseases (e.g. asthma, cancer and skin disease such as eczema) are significantly reduced.

Makes Introduction of “New Foods” Easier

Toddlers can be picky eaters. Your little one might be hesitant to try out something new especially if it is green and tasteless. Organic foods help your toddler transition to new foods at his own pace. Untreated cranberries, organic graham crackers, organic yellow squash, baby carrots and asparagus are perfect examples of finger foods your toddler can try and accept in his daily diet.

Organic Food Tastes Better

Toddlers crave for food that are appetizing. With organic foods, you will not have any problem making your toddler eat because fruits, vegetables and meat are fresher which means they taste better.

Good For The Teeth

It can be very difficult to control your toddler’s desire for sweets. But with organic foods, you can take control on how much sweet your little one can eat every day. Organic foods do not contain additives such as artificial sweeteners, food dyes and other ingredients that can cause damage to your toddler’s teeth. Colorful, nutritious frozen pops made from organic yogurt, organic banana covered with sunflower seeds and organic yogurt topped with granola are perfect treats that will satisfy your toddler’s sweet tooth without harming his teeth and health.

The advantages of organic food are evident. So do not be afraid to try this option. Not only are organic foods healthier, tastier and makes feeding easier but it will be better for your child, your family and Mother Nature.

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Creative Ways To Get Your Picky Eater To Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are important to a toddler’s health and development. However, a lot of children loathe eating them. If your toddler is one of them, here are a few strategies that can help you make your picky eater eat fruits and vegetables minus the food wars.

Hide Them

Try concealing fruits and vegetables into your toddler’s favorite foods. Do not feel guilty about being sneaky. After all, you are doing this to ensure your toddler gets all the vitamins and minerals he needs to thrive. For example, you can grate some carrots into the spaghetti sauce or mash and add them to macaroni and cheese. If he loves pizza, puree some squash and blend them into the pizza sauce. Add finely chopped vegetables to soups, between lasagna layers or mix them into meatballs. Scramble pureed broccoli or cauliflower into eggs. This way, your toddler is still able to eat his favorite dishes while eating something healthy without him knowing it.

Switch Them

Use soy sausages instead of pork links. Add spaghetti squash to angel hair pasta and then smother with sauce. Substitute taco meat for packed veggie crumbs. Another great idea is to include mushrooms into pasta instead of hotdogs. Moreover, do not just stick to ice cream and other treats for dessert. Spice them up by offering your little one some chocolate covered strawberries, banana pudding, oatmeal cookies with raisins or fruit cake.

Bake Them

Almost all toddlers love baked goodies. Take advantage of that and make some muffins. Instead of adding chocolate chips, add some fruits and veggies such as apple and zucchini to make apple and zucchini muffins. Add white-bean puree in cookie recipes or a pack of frozen spinach into brownie mix. Add beets in chocolate cake. Your toddler will not hesitate taking a bite because the goodies still tastes sweet.

Shape Them

Excellent presentation makes food more appetizing so why not experiment with them to make sure your picky eater gets his daily servings of fruits and vegetables. Use cookie cutter shapes to create pancakes in the shape of his initials, cut eggplant, carrots, mango and watermelon into a star, heart, moon, circle and other fun shapes. Arrange cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, celery, potatoes, corn and other colorful fruits and veggies to form a smiley face, house, sun, etc.

Blend Them

Children love smoothies. You can try mixing almost every fruit and vegetable in a blender and add some ice cubes for a cool and healthy beverage. You may try mixing some milk to make it a little sweeter.

Dip Them

Toddlers love dipping things. The next time your toddler wants to munch, slice some baby carrots, celery, lettuce, apples, pears, bananas and peaches to make a vegetable or fresh fruit salad. Place some yogurt, cream cheese, low-fat cheese, tomato sauce or a cup of ranch dressing into a small bowl and let your toddler dunk away.

Finally, for these tips to be effective, you have to eat fruits and vegetables yourself. Practice what you preach. If your toddler sees you eating them with gusto, the more encouraged he will be to include them in his daily diet.

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Toddler Feeding – Foods Toddlers Should Eat Every Day

The only way to make sure your toddler is eating right is to strike a balance between what he is eating and what he should be eating. This toddler feeding guide will help you figure out what foods you should feed your toddler every day.

Whole Grains

Whole grains are very essential to your toddler’s diet. These are packed with fiber, vitamin E and magnesium which can help reduce your toddler’s risk of asthma, diabetes and heart disease. Toddlers need approximately 6 servings of whole grains per day. Serve your toddler bread, cereal, crackers, oatmeal, rice, muffins and pasta. These foods are very versatile since you can toast, spread sandwich filling, serve and mix them with other food.

Dairy Products

Dairy foods are packed with calcium and protein which are very important for the development of strong bones and teeth. The recommended intake is 4 servings per day. This could be a glass of whole-milk (at least 500 to 800 milligrams), soy milk, cereal, low-fat yogurt, fortified fruit juice, pudding and cheese (cheddar, mozzarella or string cheese).


Fruits are the perfect healthy snack. They are loaded with vitamins and minerals that are essential to a child’s health. Give your toddler ½ cup diced fruit or ½ of a medium piece of fruit each day. Apple, banana, blueberries, cantaloupe, orange, seedless grapes, strawberries and watermelon are easy for a toddler to consume.


Vegetables are probably the most complicated food to serve to children. However, vegetables are a must in every individual’s diet because they are rich in nutrition and contain unique disease-preventing elements. To make vegetables more appetizing for your little one, choose small cooked veggies (e.g. lima beans, peas, corn) and slice boiled carrots, squash, spinach, eggplant, sweet potatoes and broccoli into bite-sized pieces. You can also serve these with your toddler’s favorite dip or add them to soups and pastas to ensure he gets 5 portions of veggies a day.

Protein-rich Foods

Protein contain nutrients such as vitamin B, iron and zinc that helps build and restore tissues in the body that children need to grow. Toddlers need about 2 servings of protein every day. Fish like cod, tuna, sardines and white salmon, meat, chicken, turkey, beef, tofu, beans, hummus and shrimps are the best sources of proteins.

Healthy Fats

Children need fats in their diets to be healthy. Healthy fats supply vitamin E, zinc and nutrients that are necessary for brain growth and formation of hormones. The key is to know which fats are good and bad. Saturated and trans fats are “bad fats” because they increase cholesterol and weaken the immune system. Monounsaturated or polyunsaturated fats are “good fats” since they are good for the heart and one’s overall health. Foods that contain “good fats” include nuts (peanuts, pecans, cashews, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds), pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, tofu, avocado, peanut butter, olives and fatty fish (e.g. tuna, salmon and mackerel). The suggested daily intake of healthy fats for toddlers is 2 servings.

Keep in mind that this is just a guideline. Not everything on your toddler’s plate has to be a “super food”. As long as you offer a couple of servings of these foods every day, your child is guaranteed to get the nutrients he needs to be healthy and strong.

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Lactose Intolerance In Children

Lactose intolerance is the inability to produce lactase enzyme that helps the body absorb lactose. While it is not lethal, it can be very uncomfortable, especially to children. Here is a guide to help you understand lactose intolerance in children.

What Causes It

Lactose intolerance is very widespread in the United States. It has been reported that 30 to 50 million Americans have this condition. A person may have lactose intolerance for these reasons:

  • Ethnic Background – individuals of Asian American, Hispanic American and Native American race are more prone to developing lactose intolerance at an early age
  • Medications – some medicines can impede with the intestine’s ability to generate lower levels of lactase
  • Digestive Tract Illnesses – toddlers with conditions that affect the intestine (e.g.  Crohn’s disease or celiac disease) causes the body to suffer from lactose intolerance
  • Infection – a toddler who has had a severe case of diarrhea can develop momentary lactose intolerance for a week or two

The Signs and Symptoms

Signs of lactose intolerance vary from child to child. Some toddlers will not have any reaction while others will be very uncomfortable within 20 to 30 minutes after consuming dairy products and can last for 30 minutes to 2 hours. Children with lactose intolerance will display the following symptoms:

  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Nausea
  • Stomach pain
  • Vomiting

How To Diagnose It

Some parents believe their children are lactose intolerant when they really are not. Hence, it is strongly recommended to consult with a pediatrician to verify whether or not your toddler has it. The doctor will check your medical history and perform a physical examination on your toddler. If your child has lactose intolerance, the doctor can also give suggestions on ways to manage it.

Treatment and Prevention

There is no cure for lactose intolerance. But, there are things you can do to help your toddler deal with it.

Modify Your Toddler’s Diet

If your little one is very sensitive, the best thing you can do is to eliminate dairy from your toddler’s diet. This means, he is not allowed to ingest cow’s milk or soy milk, butter, cheese, curd, yogurt and whey. You can give him lactose-free milk or expressed breast milk, green leafy vegetables, fortified bread, fortified juice, tofu and canned salmon or sardines to ensure he still gets the necessary calcium his body needs.

For mild lactose intolerance, you can give your toddler small amounts of dairy products or have him eat dairy products with other foods (e.g. drinking milk during dinner or mixing cheese to his pasta).

Read Food Labels

When buying food, always make sure to check the label first to ensure that the food does not contain any milk and dairy products. Common foods with these ingredients include bread, cereal, instant soups, lunch meats (cold cuts), margarine and cookie and pancake mixes.

Lactase Supplements

Talk with your pediatrician and ask if your toddler can take lactase supplements. They are available over-the-counter and come in drop and tablet form which your toddler can take with foods that contain lactose.

Lactose intolerance is a chronic condition. But, your child does not have to stop enjoying his food as long as you know how to deal with the condition.

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Healthy Snack Ideas For Kids Lunchbox

A healthy diet is essential for children, especially those who go to school. However, it can be overwhelming to figure out what snack to prepare for your toddler every day. But, with a little creativity, any parent can pack a healthy snack for kids lunchbox without the fuss.


Sandwiches are a classic, filling and nutritious option for a toddler’s lunchbox. Instead of using white bread, use brown bread (either whole wheat or multi-grained), soft tortillas for wraps or pita pockets. You can try different sandwich fillings. Peanut butter, jelly, cheese, cubed chicken, corn, bacon, ham, thin slices of roast beef or turkey, tuna and grilled vegetables should do the trick. Toast the bread, remove the crusts and make mini sandwich shapes for a fun, bite size snack to eat.


Fruits are an ideal way to add sweetness to your toddler’s lunchbox. Cut up different pieces of fruit into cubes such as apple, apricot, banana, papaya, peach, pear, orange, strawberry, kiwi and watermelon. Combine all of them in a small plastic container to make it colorful. To make it even yummier, offer a tasty dip such as yogurt, cream or peanut butter. This will ensure you that your toddler gets his daily dose of fiber, protein, potassium and vitamin C even if he is in school.


Vegetables can be a tricky snack to give your little one. But, with a little creativity, you can get your toddler to enjoy this healthy snack. Veggies such as broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, celery, cherry tomatoes and cucumber are popular snacks. Because toddlers love dipping their foods, do not forget to throw in a small container filled with low-fat ranch dressing to increase the taste factor.

Starchy Foods

Cereal, pasta, bagel, crackers, pretzels, almonds, sunflower seeds, muffins and energy bars are also great additions to your toddler’s lunchbox. Starchy foods are rich in carbohydrates which supplies your little one’s body with the energy it needs for physical activity and for proper organ function, helping your child perform his best in school.

Snack Mix

Prepare a trail or snack mix your toddler can munch on. In a resealable plastic bag, add cereal, raisins, baked potato chips, popcorn, dried cranberries, peanuts, banana chips, tortilla chips, chocolate chips, etc. There are so many possibilities you can experiment with.

Sweet Treats

It will not hurt if you add one or two sweets into your toddler’s lunchbox. Low-fat pudding, yogurt, Jell-o, oatmeal cookies, granola bar, a slice of cake or any sweet he likes will satisfy your toddler’s sweet tooth.

Healthy Drink

Of course, a lunchbox will not be complete without a drink. Store a bottle of water, applesauce, white or chocolate milk, orange juice or homemade lemonade to keep your toddler hydrated throughout the day.

Healthy snacks need not be boring. The key is to know what your toddler likes to eat and to pack his snacks in an appetizing way so your preschooler can come home with an empty lunchbox.

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The Benefits of Milk For Toddlers

“Drink your milk.”. You have probably heard this thousand of times from your parents, and now, you are reiterating this order to your child. Milk plays a very significant role in a toddler’s diet. Here are six benefits of milk for toddlers.

Provides Balanced Nutrition

Milk is one-stop shopping for nutrition. It almost has all the fundamental nutrients that a growing toddler needs – vitamins, minerals, protein, iron, fats and calcium. Sure, you can get these nutrients from other sources such as meat, fruits and vegetables, but milk puts them all together in one convenient package.

Decreases The Risk of Developing Allergies and Illnesses

A child’s immune system is still weak; hence, it is very easy for a toddler to get sick. Drinking milk helps develop and sustain a healthy body, aids cell development, gives your toddler the energy he needs, promotes healthy skin, good eyesight and the production of red blood cells and antibodies that help ward off common infections such as diarrhea, lower urinary tract infection and respiratory infection among others. It is also beneficial in the development of a toddler’s digestive system to prevent allergies.

Reduces The Risk of Obesity

A lot of parents think that giving their toddlers too much milk to drink can cause a gain in weight and body fat. But, studies have not found a connection between high milk consumption and weight gain. In fact, a toddler who is a milk drinker only has a 20% chance of becoming obese.

Builds Better Brains

Milk enhances brain growth. It contains a brain-building substance called tryptophan – an amino acid essential for growth. Tryptophan creates serotonin, a transmitter found in the brain that boosts the development of the central nervous system for better memory, spatial, verbal and visual skills. When your toddler drinks milk often, maximum fat consumption is achieved which is valuable for your child’s developing brain.

Promotes Better Sleep

Have you ever wondered why drinking a glass of warm milk makes you feel sleepy? After a long day of doing physically demanding activities, your little one might feel restless which makes going to sleep even more difficult. But, when your toddler drinks a glass of warm milk before bedtime, the muscles relax more which creates a comforting sensation that will help him settle down and put your little one to sleep right away. Another reason why toddlers sleep better after drinking milk is because their stomachs have something in it.

Keeps The Body Hydrated

Sometimes, toddlers prefer drinking milk over water, and because toddlers have high energy levels, they can easily get dehydrated. A toddler can stay hydrated by drinking milk. It serves as an excellent substitute to water in helping the body cool down as well as maintain the fluid level in the body. Drinking milk after an hour of rough play can replenish the body with the fluid lost while performing the activity.

Milk is very good for everyone, especially for children. While it is not the perfect food, it has a lot of things going for it that will truly keep your toddler active, bright and healthy.

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Kids and Sweets – Developing Healthy Dessert Habits

Kids and sweets go together like copy and paste. No one can blame them. Everyone loves a good dessert. However, having a sweet tooth can lead to sticky health issues. But luckily, it does not have to be entirely bad for your toddler with the help of these tips.

Offer Plenty of Options

Sure, it can be ice cream or chocolates, but there are a lot of things that can gratify your toddler’s sweet tooth that are not unhealthy for his body. Dessert items such as yogurt, trail mix, fruit crisp, a bowl of cold, fresh fruits, low-fat pudding and soy milkshake are not only very yummy but are loaded with vitamins and nutrients as well.

Keep Everything In Moderation

As the old saying goes, “Too much of anything is bad.”. Eating sinful treats like cake, popsicles and cookies is divine, but once you eat too much, say hello to toothache. It is very important to keep everything in moderation in order to make sure your little one has healthy dessert habits. Offer desserts frequently, but not every night. For example, your toddler can have dessert 3 times a week after dinner or you can alternate giving him healthy and not so healthy desserts.

Do Not Ban Sweets Completely

Never banish sweets altogether as this will only backfire because your toddler will just want them more. Eating one piece of candy, muffin or a slice of chocolate cake from time to time will not do him harm. Instead, it will even teach your toddler to be careful with his portions.

Explain Its Importance

Your toddler may ask you why he cannot have dessert every day. Instead of giving him a lengthy discussion of the food pyramid or how he will get obese if he eats too much sweets, explain it to your toddler in a brief and precise manner. You can say something like, “Baby, in order for you to grow strong, your body needs healthy foods. So we eat healthy food first and then we can have a treat.”. This way, there will be no room for questions and arguments.

Do Not Force Your Toddler To Eat

If your toddler is not hungry, do not obligate him to clean his plate before he can have dessert. This only encourages overeating which can lead to health complications later on in life. Let him eat as much as he likes or have him try two or three bites of everything on his plate before he tries the dessert.

Set A Good Example

Your child’s eating habit is a representation of your own eating habit. So before you teach your toddler how to have healthy dessert habits, examine yourself first. Does your toddler see you munch on that cake like there is no tomorrow? If yes, how can you expect him to listen and follow your orders? Adjust your dessert habits first. Once he sees you eating one slice of cake in a week, he will follow.

Teaching your toddler healthy dessert habits is difficult but not impossible. With discipline, moderation and imagination, sweets can be good for your child.

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Tips On How To Stop Your Toddler From Eating Junk Food

Everybody loves eating junk food, especially children. However, if your toddler is becoming a junk food junkie, you might need to reassess his diet in order to stop this unhealthy habit. Here are some tips to help you out.

Give Your Pantry A Makeover

Start your toddler’s eating-habit overhaul in the pantry. Examine it. Do you see bags of chips lined up in one corner? Clear out the chips and other unhealthy foods and replace them with healthy foods. If your toddler only sees bread, cheese, sugar-free cereals and fresh fruit in your pantry, that is what your little one will end up eating. Keep in mind that children will eat anything when they are hungry, so the “I want junk food.” declarations will not last long.

Offer Healthy Substitutes

Swap junk foods with more nutritious options. For instance, instead of offering junk food during snack time, give him cheese sticks or fruits instead. Buy whole grain bread and cookies instead of those goodies made with white flour.

Another effective tip is to use healthier cooking techniques. Instead of frying potatoes to make French fries, why not bake or grill them. Rather than serving sugary cereals, offer your toddler a hot cereal with a little cinnamon or other spices (e.g. nutmeg, brown sugar and honey). This way, you give your toddler something healthy while he can continue enjoying the foods he loves to eat.

Keep It Fun

Make healthy foods fun to eat. Cut sandwiches into funny shapes, slice different fruits to make a fruit salad, dip veggie sticks into yummy sauce and turn pancakes into smiley faces by placing eyes, nose and mouth using raisins.

Wean Your Toddler Slowly

A toddler who is so used to eating junk food will have a hard time letting go. Do not just restrain your little one from eating junk food at once. Take it slow. Replace potato chips with lightly flavored vegetable crisps and pudding with low-fat yogurt. The secret is to strike a balance between healthy and junk foods in your toddler’s diet. Gradually decrease your toddler’s intake of these foods until he is eating no more than one serving per day.

Talk About The Consequences

Stick a food chart on the wall and help your toddler identify the good foods and bad foods. Talk to him about the effects of eating junk foods and why eating healthy food is better. Read a book or watch a video about healthy eating so he will be able to understand your point better.

Be A Role Model

Practice what you preach. Toddlers love imitating their parents, so if you want your toddler to stop eating junk food, be aware of the foods you eat in front of your little one. Set a good example by limiting your own junk food intake. Once he sees you eat fruits instead of chips, he will follow you.

Finally, do not prohibit junk food completely as this will only make it more tempting. Allow him to eat one or two servings every now and then, say, once a week. Everything in moderation will not hurt your toddler.

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Drinking Water For Children – Ways To Get Your Toddler To Drink More Water

Children should drink at least six to eight glasses of water a day. However, drinking water for children can be a constant struggle. Here are several ways to get your toddler to drink more water.

Make It Available

When you think your toddler is feeling thirsty, give him water. Even if he is not thirsty, ask him to drink a few sips. Once he starts, he will realize he is thirsty after all. Also, leave a sippy cup filled with water where your toddler can easily reach it so when he does get thirsty, he can just reach the cup and drink.

Do Not Offer Options

If your toddler is the type who prefers to drink soda and juice over water, it would be best to keep soft drinks and juices out of his sight. Or, you may impose a rule that your toddler is only allowed to get to the next beverage until his cup is empty. Sure, he may whine and complain at first, but that is okay. He will get used to it in no time.

Give Your Toddler His Own Water Bottle

Have a variety of fun and colorful sippy cups, water bottles and jugs available. You can buy affordable BPA-free plastic sippy cups, bottles and jugs. Have him pick out his own special containers. He will surely have a fun time filling and refilling the containers by himself.

Use Straws

If you give your little one a straw to drink with, water will taste yummy to him. Straws are inexpensive and readily available in grocery stores. Buy some heavy duty plastic straws, preferably straws sold in multi packs of different colors so you can wash and reuse them. Swirly, sports, connectible and glow straws are a big hit and they make drinking water more entertaining.

Flavor It Up

Water is tasteless, which may be the reason why toddlers detest drinking it. Flavored and colored water might just be the answer to your problem. Add sliced lemon, lime or orange to water. This will give the water a little color and taste. You may also put some food coloring in the water. In a clear glass, add 1 or 2 drops of food coloring so your toddler can see the color flow and transform his water from plain to cool.

Turn It Into A Game

Why not make drinking water a playtime activity? Here are two fun examples to try:

  • Buried Treasure – Place a slice of lemon or banana at the bottom of a clear glass of water and let your toddler try dragging up the fruit with the pressure from a straw. Your toddler will gulp up a lot of water just so he can retrieve the fruit.
  • Musical Cups – Fill a few clear glasses to different levels and have him tap them with a pencil. Explain to him that with every sip, the notes will change in pitch.

Keep It Cold

As much as possible, offer a cold glass of water. Put some ice cubes in his glass to keep the water cool. Toddlers love drinking anything cold especially after playing outside. It will be such a refreshing treat.

Set An Example

Be an example and drink water yourself. If your toddler can see you drink water, he will do it as well. Remember, children tend to imitate what they see, especially their parents’ actions.

Water is crucial to a toddler’s health. It keeps children healthy and when they are healthy, they feel good and perform better.

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Child Nutrition – Nutrients Your Toddler Needs

Good child nutrition will support the growth of your toddler. There are several key nutrients your toddler needs to ensure that he grows up healthy. Here are some of the essential nutrients that should be part of your toddler’s diet.


Calcium is essential for promoting healthy bone development, nerve and muscle function, helping blood clot and activating enzymes (to convert food to energy). This nutrient is very essential during the years when bones are growing. Make sure your toddler gets enough calcium by serving him cheese, yogurt, milk, banana, pear, dried plum, watermelon, broccoli, green beans, spinach and calcium fortified cereals and juices.


There are two types of fiber – soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber help decrease blood cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. Soluble-rich foods include – brown rice, oats, apple, orange, strawberry, carrots, cauliflower, corn and sweet potatoes. Insoluble fiber cleans your toddler’s insides as well as increases and softens stools to keep the digestive system working well. Whole-wheat cereal and bread, green beans, legumes, leeks, mango and papaya provide a good amount of insoluble fiber. This nutrient also lowers your toddler’s chances of type two diabetes and heart disease.

Fatty Acids

EFAs or essential fatty acids are fats necessary in a diet because they cannot be produced by the body. EFAs reduce the risk of dementia, diabetes and heart disease and help build cells and immunity, normalize the nervous system and fortify brain function, vision and cardiovascular system. Good sources of essential fatty acids include – egg, fish, peanut butter, soybeans, tofu, nuts and seeds (pine nuts and pecans).


This nutrient boosts brain development, carries oxygen in the blood to help keep red blood cells healthy and to help keep children energized. Sufficient iron intake also prevents anemia which can make your toddler irritable and weak. Make sure you boost the iron in your toddler’s diet with iron-fortified breakfast cereals, fish, red meat, beans, lentil, spinach, dried fruits (e.g. raisin and cranberry) and whole-wheat bread.


Magnesium keep bones strong, controls heart rhythm, boosts immune system and helps maintain healthy muscles and nerves. Serve your toddler magnesium-rich foods such as wheat germ, whole-wheat bread, avocado, nuts (e.g. roasted cashews and dry peanuts), fish, turnip, Chinese cabbage, black beans and soybeans.


Children need high amounts of protein. Protein is a source of energy and amino acids necessary for the development of antibodies, enzymes and hemoglobin as well as for restoration of damaged cells. Protein can be found in eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, seafood, beans, grains and nuts.

Vitamin C, D and E

Vitamin C helps improve your toddler’s immune system, speed up growth, repair bones, blood vessels and tissues, keep your toddler’s gums healthy and keep diseases at bay. Foods rich in Vitamin C include – orange, guava, kiwi, mango, broccoli, potato, spinach and tomato.

Vitamin D absorbs calcium, builds strong teeth and bones, regulation of cell growth and for achieving growth potential. Egg yolk, margarine, cereal, mackerel, canned tuna and salmon are foods rich in vitamin D.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that keeps the body’s cells from damage. It also plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin and muscle, DNA repair and strong, responsive immune system. Foods packed with vitamin E include kiwi, mango, papaya, roasted sunflower seeds, spinach, broccoli and wheat.

The amount of nutrients your toddler needs depends on his age and appetite. Do not worry if your toddler refuses to eat foods rich with these nutrients. Just think of creative ways to incorporate them into his diet.

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