This month we are talking all things KIDS. We spoke with Dietician, Danielle Roberts, to find out exactly why toddlers can be so difficult to feed, and how you can go about making this time with your little one as special and simple as possible.
Danielle is mother to 3-year-old Lizzy, and chats to us about her top tips for feeding Lizzy, as well as all things related to toddler nutrition and early childhood development, and the role that nutrition plays in your toddlers’ growth.
FUTURELIFE®: How old is your daughter, Lizzy?
Danielle: 3 years old on May 8th.
FUTURELIFE®: Why do you choose the FUTURELIFE® Kids range for your daughter?
Danielle: It is tasty, but mostly it is very nutritious, containing all the required vitamins and minerals for a child. Lizzy can be a fussy eater, so I know that when she eats FUTURELIFE® KIDS she is getting a balanced meal.
FUTURELIFE®: Why is Lizzy’s nutrition so important at this stage in her life?
Danielle: Lizzy has started pre-primary school, and so needs good balanced nutrition to provide her brain with all the nutrients to concentrate and learn. Physically, toddlers grow and develop so much in the first few years, and their gross motor skills are developed, which requires a lot of energy. FUTURELIFE® KIDS provides her with all the macro and micro nutrients to reach her nutrition goals.
FUTURELIFE®: What are the biggest issues or obstacles you’ve found with feeding a toddler?
Danielle: Fussiness, being tired easily and therefore not eating well, wanting the same food all the time.
“Sometimes children’s appetites can decrease as they start to be more interested in playing. Also despite the fact that they are active, we need to remember their tummies are still small, so they do not need too much food.“
FUTURELIFE®: What are your top tips for feeding Lizzy?
Danielle: Lizzy likes to feed herself, so if it is tasty and she can easily feed herself, she will be happy. Lizzy also likes to eat at a table without distraction, and she often eats better in company, so I try to make meal times a family time where we all eat together.
FUTURELIFE®: What can moms expect at the beginning phase of toddler eating cycles?
Danielle: Sometimes childrens appetites can decrease as they start to be more interested in playing. Also despite the fact that they are active, we need to remember their tummies are still small, so they do not need too much food. They grow and develop a lot mentally, but their physical growth does slow down compared to infancy.
FUTURELIFE®: Why do you think getting toddlers to eat is so hard?
Danielle: They are easily distracted, busy (they want to rather play), they tire easily and they have not developed many tastes yet and so can be fussy.
FUTURELIFE®: What do you feed Lizzy on a day to day basis?
Breakfast: FUTURELIFE® Kids or Oats. She also loves scrambled egg!
Snack: Yogurt and an apple (she loves a treat like banana bread)
Lunch: Provita & cheese or a peanut butter sandwich
Snack: pretzels or peanuts
Dinner: Chicken with rice and veg (cucumber is a firm favourite) or baked hake with veg. she also loves pasta but it generally has to be plain which is not ideal, so often I will add a piece of cheese or a boiled egg to this dinner
FUTURELIFE®: What are your top 3 tips or advice for toddler nutrition?
Danielle: My top tips are:
- Make it look tasty
- Make it energy dense (so that even if they eat a little, it is packed with nutrition)
- Make it a familiar food that they like.
If you have any questions about your child’s health, wellness and nutrition, why not visit our Facebook page? Our team of dieticians are always on hand to answer your questions!