The toddler years are a critical time when children are building life-long healthy eating practices.
So it’s important to provide them with a wide variety of nutritious foods from all five food groups, which are essential for their bodies as they grow and develop.
A toddler’s stomach is only small and fills quickly so it’s best to feed your little one small, frequent, nutrient-dense meals made up of a variety of foods from the different food groups – vegetables & legumes, fruit, whole grains, lean meat, eggs, nuts & seeds, as well as dairy.
Making healthy family meals and creating a positive environment around eating will encourage healthy eating habits where choosing a variety of foods from all five food groups becomes second nature for you and your child.
It helps to set regular meal times and provide a wide range of tastes and textures so that time spent around food is an enjoyable, positive experience for all. For example, beginning the day with a wholesome breakfast provides toddlers with the energy to grow, play and learn. They tend to be hungrier and are less tired or distracted than later in the day so more likely to enjoy eating a good breakfast.
Breakfast time is also a good opportunity to increase fibre and calcium intakes. Aim to include foods from at least three food groups for breakfast. Whole grain cereals topped with fruit and probiotic yoghourt such as Jalna is a great example of a healthy breakfast for the whole family.
A few helpful tips include:
- Variety is key – try to include a variety of food from the five key food groups.
- Limit foods containing saturated fat and added salt and sugar.
- Offer small healthy snacks in between meals.
- All drinks should be offered to toddlers after their meal to prevent filling up on fluids.
- Breakfast is a great time to ensure your child gets a range of whole foods as they often have a good appetite compared to other times of the day.
These toddler tips are complemented by Jalna’s recent launch of its very own A2 Protein Whole Milk Natural Yoghourt based on A2 milk from local Victorian dairy farmers, available in Woolworths, Coles and independent grocers nationally.
Jalna also recommends Jalna Greek, BioDynamic Organic and Premium Blend Natural Pot Set Yoghourt for toddlers.
Jalna’s Nourish section is packed full of great information about keeping your family healthy and active. You might like to read some extra information from their nutrition adviser, Karen Inge.
From time to time, Mouths of Mums brings you content sponsored by our partners. Right now, we are partnered with Jalna to bring you this awesome article, letting you know the importance of having the right probiotics in your diet.