Nutrition for toddlers

12-24 Months

Introduction of other drinks

After your child turns one, you can introduce drinks other than breast milk, formula or water. This can include cows’ milk or toddler nutritional supplements.

Find out more at: HealthED

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What is a toddler nutritional supplement?

Toddler nutritional supplements are especially formulated milks for toddlers from the age of one year for when their diet is inadequate. They are mostly cows’ milk based and contain energy and essential vitamins and minerals for growth and development.

Find out more at: NHMRC Pdf (1)

Role of toddler nutritional supplements

Toddler nutritional supplement drinks are scientifically formulated for toddlers from the age of one year. They are supplemented with essential vitamins and minerals for growth and development, for when dietary intake may be inadequate.

Studies show that toddlers who have excess cows milk in their diet are likely to be iron deficient, as whole cows milk is a poor source of iron.

Find out more at: NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values for ANZ.

Nutrition and the Immune System

Vitamin C can be used as a booster for a child's immune system.

When can a formula-fed toddler move to cows' milk?

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From 1 year of age, toddlers can begin drinking cows’ milk. It is recommended that this be full fat milk or semi skimmed milks from the age of 2 onwards, and that low fat or skim milks are avoided.

No more than 500mL per day

Find out more at: HealthED

Rapid growth during the toddler years

A toddler grows more in the first three years of life than they will at any other time. Their stomach though is still very small, limiting the volume of food they can consume. This is why a toddler's nutrition is so important.

Main nutrient gaps in a toddler's diet

In Australia and New Zealand there is a prevalence of vitamin D, iodine, selenium and iron deficiency in toddlers. All of these are important for growth and development.

Find out more at: NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values for ANZ.

Toddler diets

It is important that toddlers receive a variety of foods from the four main food groups:

  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Breads and cereals
  • Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, beans and other alternatives
  • Milks, yoghurts, cheeses and/or alternatives

Find out more at: HealthED

Omega 3 DHA fatty acids for toddlers

Omega 3 DHA fats are important for brain and eye development. They are predominantly found in oily fish such as mackerel, herrings, sardines, salmon and tuna. They are also added in some toddler nutritional supplement drinks.

40mg per day

Find out more at: Omega 3 Centre.

Iron for toddlers

Iron is important for brain development in toddlers. Low iron can have an impact on their ability to learn, reduce their appetite, and make them lethargic.

9mg per day

Find out more at: NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values for ANZ.

Immunity during day care

Your child getting sick and missing day care is a reality for working mums. Providing good nutrition to support their immune system will help minimise the number of days off from day care.

Nutrition and the Immune System

70% of the immune system lies in the gut which is why nutrition is so important for toddlers.

What are the best sources of calcium for toddlers?

Along with adequate vitamin D and regular exercise, calcium is important for bone and tooth development in toddlers. The best sources of calcium are dairy products such as milk (cows’ milk or toddler nutritional supplements), cheese and yoghurt.

500mg per day

Find out more at: NHMRC Nutrient Reference Values for ANZ.