The end of toddlerhood and the beginning of early childhood around the age of 2 years marks the end of breastfeeding and the completion of weaning transitions. As a result, the nutritional needs of kids also change significantly during this period, to suit their growth needs.
Your child begins independent feeding around the age of 1 year, but by the age of 2, they are completely independent of breastfeeding. At this age, giving them the right foods is important so that any nutritional deficiencies can be avoided.
Iron deficiency is a common nutritional problem for over 50% of the children aged 6 months to 3 years. Until the age of 6 months, breast milk satisfies a baby’s iron needs, but due to the increased demand for iron after this age, iron needs to be obtained from food sources too. After the age of 2 years, your child should be receiving iron from a variety of foods, including spinach and leafy greens, whole grains, eggs, chicken and meat. Iron absorption is also improved by Vitamin C, which can be found in many fruits and vegetables.
During early childhood, Vitamin D and Calcium also become important nutrients for a child’s growing bones and teeth. Vitamin D helps bones absorb calcium, promoting healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D deficiency can also cause problems like rickets in children, which can make bones soft and brittle. Ensure that your child consumes foods like milk, eggs, and fish, as well as juices or cereal fortified with Vitamin D. Also, include Calcium sources like leafy greens, beans, and dairy products at this age.
Your child may not eat as much or as often as they did when they were a baby. This is because growth slows down after the first year, and the nutritional needs and appetite of kids also change accordingly.
There is a drop in appetite, and as a result, you will need to feed your child 3 meals and 2 snacks, which include a variety of food groups. Snacking becomes important at this age because of their small appetite, as well as increased nutrient needs. Nutrient dense foods are the best solution to fill this gap, as they allow your child to meet nutritional needs by eating small quantities.
Don’t worry about feeding your little one “more” food - their tummies are only as small as your fist. Instead, try to focus more on the quality and nutrition of the foods you are giving your little one. The nutrients in your kid’s food play an important role in physical growth, health and brain development.
Naturally, making your picky eater eat these foods can be quite a challenge. But when healthy food is made tasty, it helps to not only fill your child’s tummy but also nourish and support healthy development. Nestle CEREGROW, for example, is a multigrain cereal, fortified with Iron and Vitamins A, C and D. Just one bowl of this fortified cereal, with the nutrition of grains, milk and fruit, satisfies 25% of your child’s daily micronutrients! It is like a quick fix to a preschooler’s fussy eating habits and small appetite. Click here to buy this amazing cereal!