With their first birthday, your child leaves infancy behind and teeters into toddlerhood with many important milestones to come. First steps and first words bring increasing independence, and with such an interesting world out there sometimes hard for them to find the time for food!
However challenging it might be, ensuring that your growing toddler's nutritional needs are met is essential. Relative to their body weight, toddlers need a lot more energy, protein, iron and calcium then adults. It's hard to believe, but a toddler needs just as much iron every day as an adult male. The best way to give your toddler the chance to receive all the nutrients they need is to offer them a variety of foods. Including your toddler in family meals is a good way of getting variety into their diet. Children learn by imitating those around them, so if the rest of the family is eating something, the better the chances your child will give it a try as well.
Offering your toddler a range of foods at this stage is also important for later in life, as the foods we are exposed to in our first years set the basis for the foods we enjoy as adults. Studies have shown that up to 70 per cent of food preferences are well established by the time we are three years old.