Has your toddler started solids and reduced their breast or bottled milk consumption? This is always a tricky time for mums and we’re always constantly concerned about what they’re eating, if they’re eating enough and if they’re eating enough of the ‘right’ foods. When your 18 month old decides he’s going to live on plain pasta and strawberries for a week (it will happen!) it’s hard to not be worried about the nutritional value of what they are (and aren’t) eating.
Firstly, don’t stress! Even if you’ve brought your toddler up on fresh, organic food they WILL go through a stage where they will only eat one or two foods and it probably won’t be what you picked up from the farmer’s market that weekend. Toddlers are picky and they go through phases – all of them!
During the transitional period between weaning and starting a diet of primarily solid food, there are a few ways to ensure that your child is getting the nutrients they need.
- Keep offering a healthy balanced diet
They might only choose the plain pasta but keep presenting them with lots of options. Toddler’s tastes are fickle and they will change their preferences frequently. Once they get bored of one food they will likely turn to one of the others on offer, so make sure they’re healthy.
- Continue breast or bottle feeding
If you’re concerned about the amount of food your toddler is consuming, continue offering breast milk or formula to ‘top up’ their feeds. By offering solids first, you are encouraging them to try new foods and develop new tastes, and then ensuring that they are full with the top up of milk.
- Try to include iron rich foods
From 6 months onwards, toddlers will get all of their iron from their food so try to ensure that their diet consists of a range of iron rich foods. Foods like beef, lamb, pork, chicken and fish are good. You can find a comprehensive list of iron rich foods here.
- Supplement with a toddler friendly multivitamin
A toddler-friendly multivitamin can help with any gaps in nutrition that were previously filled with breast milk or formula. Hivita Liquivita for Kids is the toddler friendly multivitamin that provides a reassuring ‘safety net’ while children transition to a balanced diet. It has been carefully formulated with 30 vitamins, herbs and minerals that growing bodies need to thrive. The liquid is easy to digest and swallow, comes in a naturally delicious pineapple and mango flavour, and can be taken on its own or blended with other foods or liquids. With no added sucrose or glucose and no artificial flavours, it is a great way to ease your mind and know that your toddler’s nutritional needs are being met.
Remember that when it comes to food and toddlers they can be fussy and picky and that’s OK! It’s not your fault, and they will grow out of it.
If you have any specific concerns about your toddler’s diet we recommend that you consult your GP or a medical professional.