Looking after the nutritional needs of busy little toddlers on the go
Constantly on the go, toddlers are full of energy working out the world around them with a new frame of mind and heightened sense of independence. It’s no surprise, therefore, that busy little people need a balanced and a nutritionally dense diet of food and drink to fuel their growing bodies and service the energy they are burning.
“Toddlerhood is a time of physical, cognitive, social and emotional growth, to support this they need balanced nutrition to assist their growing bodies and developing minds,” says Dr Scott Dunlop, Consultant General Pediatrician and Founder and Director of Sydney Paediatrics.
Maintaining variety in a toddler’s diet is essential for their healthy growth and development, and good food and drinking habits established in early childhood can last a lifetime. Depending on how much they’re growing and how active they are, however, a toddler’s appetite can go up and down, and while this is all part of normal development, picky-eating habits can be a major cause of concern for parents of toddlers, who all too often find themselves in a battle of wills at the dinner table.
“Over the first three years of life subtle changes in the requirements of micronutrients occur to reflect children’s physical increase in size and increased mobility,” says Dr Dunlop. While a healthy balanced diet should service the nutritional needs of a toddler, picky eating habits may affect this. A report undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) in 2018 entitled Australia’s Health 2018 demonstrated that 80% of children aged 2-3 years old did not eat sufficient serves of vegetables.
If you find your toddler is missing out on essential nutrients, such as iron and zinc, this may affect their appetite, behaviour and energy, but the good news is there are many simple additions to their eating and drinking patterns that can help with this.
Alula S-26 Gold Toddler is a nutritious milk drink suitable for children from the age of 12 months, containing 16 key vitamins and minerals to help support toddlers’ growth and development as part of a varied diet. “One serve of Alula S-26 Gold Toddler milk drink provides 50% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) of added B vitamins and iron, additionally, two serves will provide at least 50% of the RDI of 16 age appropriate vitamins and minerals,” says Makedonka Del-Ben, Head of Marketing at Alula.
If your little one is having a fussy day and needs nutrition, Alula S-26 Gold Toddler milk drink can be used in a variety of ways, not only as a comforting drink but also as part of a yummy fruit smoothie or as a substitute replacement for cow’s milk when preparing cereals and baking or cooking meals such as a frittata or quiche. You can also grate or finely chop vegetables into healthy snacks such as muffins and biscuits or add to pasta sauces or casseroles to help boost nutrient intake, while fruit can be chopped into bite sized pieces – a size more acceptable for a little person – or also baked into biscuits or scones.
The energy in a toddler’s diet (kilojoules consumed) should be balanced against their physical activity in the day to ensure they are consuming enough essential nutrients while not over consuming. “If a child is particularly fussy with food and is missing out on essential nutrients, a toddler milk drink might be utilised for short-term nutrient support, while being mindful that the child doesn’t fill up on that milk at the expense of more calorie and nutrient dense solid food,” says Dr Dunlop.
When used as part of a healthy diet, Alula S-26 Gold Toddler can help portion the nutritional intake over the course of a day, providing reassurance for parents. For example, with one 220ml serve you know that your toddler will be receiving 50% of the RDI of added B vitamins and iron. When it’s time to progress, Alula S-26 Gold is also available in a Junior milk drink for those aged 2 years plus.
“The most common nutritional requirements to support the development of toddlers and young children are those familiar to most parents such as iron, Vitamin D and calcium,” says Dr Dunlop. He further highlights iron deficiency as being the most common micronutrient deficiency in toddlers’ diets. “This is generally due to a lack of dietary iron intake via red meats and green vegetables and relatively easy to achieve if a dietary balance isn’t maintained.”
As new taste and textures are introduced through solid food, it can be difficult to ensure your toddler is receiving all the nutrients needed every day to support healthy growth and development, so finding the perfect supplement that balances missing nutrition is important.
“We are really proud to have played a role as a trusted partner in nutrition for Australians for more than 50 years,” continues Makedonka. “This year, S-26 Gold Toddler has changed its name to Alula, and while it’s a new name it’s the same nutritious formulation, as we continue our commitment to combining both scientifically researched ingredients and care for young children.”
Dr Dunlop recommends a number of strategies to employ if you are struggling to get your toddler to eat enough of the right foods:
- Do not have emotional battles with children over food.
- Do not give over-the-top praise to children who eat well.
- Let hunger drive interest in food. If you don’t generate an appetite in the child, they’ll never come to the party in trying new foods or eating reasonable volumes of foods.
- Maintain regular mealtimes.
- Limit meal times to a set time period; don’t let them drag on and on
- Offer realistic portion sizes
Alula S-26 Gold Toddler is available from pharmacies and supermarkets nationally. For more information visit www.meandmychild.com.au
About Sanulac Nutritionals
Sanulac Nutritionals Australia distributes a quality range of nutrition products scientifically designed to help meet the needs of infants and young children.
® S-26 is a registered trade mark. Used under licence. Distributed by Sanulac Nutritionals Australia Pty Ltd.