Babies tend to grow quite fast (about 3 inches in 90 days) compared to toddlers who grow at an approximate rate of 4 inches annually. While growth during these years may be slow, toddler nutrition should never be compromised.
During this period parents need to initiate change by encouraging children to stop using the bottles and moving them into an era where children drink from cups and eat more independently.
Most parents are often worried about how much food the child needs in order to grow and develop appropriately.
Basically, children’s nutritional requirements are determined by their activity, size, and age.
On average a toddler needs about 1,300 calories daily, however, you should trust the toddler’s cues and your instincts to assist you to arrive at the right amount of nutrients.
Iron Requirements for Kids
Health experts say that toddlers should take about 8 mg of iron daily. After 1 year, children can develop iron deficiency as they do not formula milk fortified with iron.
As a result, they may not be getting sufficient iron from food to meet the necessary requirements.
Unlike what most people think, cow milk is not a good source of iron, this means that if the child is fed with cow milk, they are likely to develop iron deficiency.
Part of the problem with drinking a lot of cow milk is that such children may have less appetite and are not likely to eat foods that are rich in iron.
Milk is known to decrease the absorption of iron and may affect the intestinal lining. This usually causes bleeding which leads to loss of iron.
Low iron levels in the body negatively impact the growth and result in behavioral as well as learning complications. If nothing is done to rectify the situation, it can lead to anemia since iron is necessary for making red blood cells.
These are the cells responsible for supplying oxygen to other body tissues and organs. Without sufficient red blood cells and iron, vital organs and body tissues get less oxygen which reduces their efficiency
Preventing Iron Deficiency in Kids
Serving foods rich in iron such as beans, fish, meat, and poultry Coupling foods that are rich in iron with others that contain vitamin C is ideal as it assists in absorbing iron.
Foods rich in vitamin C include broccoli, oranges, tomatoes, and strawberries. Limiting the intake of milk to about 16-24 ounces daily
Milk is a critical part of a child’s diet; it provides vitamin D and calcium. Since toddlers need a lot of calcium, if they get two servings of dairy foods daily, the child will get the recommended calcium requirement. However, this amount provides less than half of the vitamin D required.
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), vitamin D supplementation of 400 IU daily is needed if the child is drinking less than one liter of milk daily.
Initially, some toddlers may refuse to drink cow milk since it does not taste the same as breast or formula milk.
If the child is one year and is having these complications, you can consider mixing whole milk with some breast or formula milk to help the child identify with milk. Adjust the mixture gradually so that it becomes 100 percent cow milk.
Shelly Rayner is a nurse by profession. She loves writing articles, blogs and product reviews that helps users. Hopefully you will find them useful.