Thursday, 5 April 2012

Toddlers have got a lot on their plates!

Well, actually, Squeaky hasn't today.  Our conversations today have gone like this:
What do you want for lunch, Squeaky?
Not cake. Would you like some fishcake?
Cake AFTER. Would you like to try some fishcake, please?
Chips and sauce!
And fishcake, please.

(She did eventually eat some of her fishcake, and I ate all of mine.)

The Toddler Census found that 78% of parents think their toddlers nutritional needs will be met if they eat the same meals as the rest of the family.  But the reality is, our toddlers' nutritional needs are quite different to our own. Pound for pound, toddlers need nearly three times as much energy from food as adults, more than 4 times more iron & vitamin C, about 3 times as much calcium, zinc & vitamin A, more fat and less salt than in an adult's diet.  And when your toddler decides that all they want to eat today is cake, that's hard to achieve.

To put it another way, to keep up with the amount of growing, learning & developing our toddlers do between the ages of 12 months - 3 years, if they were adult sized, their daily diet would need to be about 7000 calories, rather than the 2000 of a "normal" adult diet.  Or...

Click to enlarge
4 bowls of cereal
4 bananas
3 apples
2 cheese sandwiches
8 cereal bars
4 slices of bread & butter
3 portions of fish
3 portions of rice
5 full fat yogurts
nearly 2 pints of Growing Up Milk
And a partridge in a pear tree!

(Only joking about that last one!).  I feel full just looking at that list.  Stick a pepperoni pizza, a bacon sarnie and a few dozen cups of coffee in there & I'd be done for the week!

The same research showed that more than 29% of toddlers have refused to eat healthy foods (and I didn't know Squeaky had taken the questionnaire!), and why more than 16% of parents find cooking different foods for their toddlers stressful & worrying.  I know there are days when it would be so much easier to just give in to Squeaky's demands for toast, cake, chips & sauce, but she doesn't understand what her body needs to keep her fuelled for throwing herself down slides, chasing boys and singing Row Row Row Your Boat.

That's where Growing Up Milk comes in.  Knowing that 2 beakers of Growing Up Milk a day will help to meet her needs, with added vitamins A, C & D, calcium, iron & omega 3 means I can rest a little easier.  It's not a substitute for a balanced diet, but it helps even things out.

There's loads more information at on toddlers' nutritional needs, and hints & tips on dealing with fussy eaters.  Do go over and have a look around.

Cow & Gate Growing Up Milk are sponsoring me to attend the CybHer conference in May 2012.  The statistical data in this post came from The Toddler Census, a questionnaire answered by over 1000 parents in July 2011.


  1. It would have been nice to know that this is a post sponsored by a formula company before I wasted time and read it. :(

    1. Thanks for your comment Charlotte. The post is not actually sponsored, it is a post I've chosen to write, and the links are provided for information. I am sponsored by Growing Up Milk to attend Cybher, as shown at the top of each page, and I choose to declare it again on posts that are relevant to the subject.

      I realise that the use of growing up milks and formulas (which are two separate things) are an issue which can polarise opinion. For what it's worth my daughter was breastfed until I returned to work. Both the decision to move to a growing up milk, and the decision to work with Cow & Gate were ones I did not take lightly. See my post becoming a mumtor for more about that decision.


You know what? I love comments. Sometimes I even reply! So leave me a message & brighten up my day!

Please note: Comments on posts over 14 days old are moderated, don't panic. If you're human I will publish. If you're a spammer, I won't, but you can't read this anyway, can you?